Load Balancing: Explanation and Benefits for Servers

Load Balancing

Have you ever managed a server? If so, you must be familiar with the name load balancing. However, some people really don’t understand about load balancing because these terms or words are very common. Some servers really attach great importance to using load balancing to use it as an optimizer for a server.

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Do you know what load balancing is? If you still don’t understand very well, here is an explanation regarding the benefits for the server.

Explanation of Load Balancing

As the name suggests, load balancing is useful for load balancing. It refers to efficiently distributing incoming network traffic over a group of backend servers, also known as a server pool or server pool.

A modern high-traffic website must serve hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of concurrent requests from users or clients and return the correct text, image, video or application data, all in a fast and reliable way. To scale cost-effectively to meet these high volumes, modern computing best practices generally require adding more servers. But if one server goes down, how?

How Load Balancing Works

The load balancer acts as a “traffic cop” that sits in front of your server and routes client requests across all servers capable of fulfilling those requests in a way that maximizes speed and capacity utilization and ensures that no server is overworked, which can degrade performance . If one server goes down, the tool is able to redirect traffic to the remaining online servers. When a new server is added to the server group, load balancing automatically starts sending requests to it.

In this way, load balancing performs the following functions:

  • Efficiently distribute client requests or network load across multiple servers
  • Ensures high availability and reliability by sending requests only to servers that are online
  • Provides flexibility to add or remove servers on demand

Types – Types of Load Balancing

It can be divided into two types, namely the type of hardware and software. What is the difference?

Hardware Load Balancers

The first is a hardware load balancer. These balancers rely on the firmware to supply the internal codebase as well as the programs that operate the balancer. Hardware load balancers include management provisions for updating firmware when new versions, patches, and bug fixes become available.

While firmware updates can usually be downloaded, the actual firmware patching process is often more involved than a general operating system or application file patch. Load balancers with security capabilities can update application security features such as firewalls, or some malware protection.

Software Load Balancers

And the second type is the type of software. Balancers can be sensitive to OS version, and virtual appliance deployments can suffer from hypervisor dependencies. If you go the software load balancer route, ensure that any OS changes or updates do not adversely affect the load balancer software.

For example, platform updates or patches can still disrupt virtual devices that support VMware ESX/ESXi, Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, Oracle VirtualBox, and other hypervisors. Perform advanced testing to avoid possible server load balancer outages that could be caused by OS or hypervisor dependencies.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hardware Load Balancing vs Software Load Balancing

Several things are questioned about choosing between hardware and software load, they will question the issue of cost. Yes, it’s not a sure thing, the costs are expensive, but even with good profits, it’s not a problem.

So, if asked to choose, which one to choose between the two? Let’s first understand the advantages and disadvantages of each!

Advantages and disadvantages of Hardware Load Balancers

Advantages Deficiency
Has high performance High cost to get the best performance
Sufficiently less susceptible to failure Requires expensive maintenance and definitely increases TCO for IT infrastructure

As for the advantages and disadvantages of Software Load Balancer are as follows:

Advantages Deficiency
Very affordable fees Compared to hardware load balancers, software load balancers have lower performance
Updates and downgrades become easier because it is software
Using cloud technology and virtualization

Load Balancing Method

There are different types of load balancing algorithms that IT teams use depending on the distribution of the load i.e. whether the load is on the network or the application layer. The selection of the backend server to forward traffic is based on the load balancing algorithm used.

The following are some of the most frequently used load balancing algorithms or methods:

Least Response Time

In the least response time algorithm, the backend server with the least number of active connections and the least average response time is selected. Using this algorithm, IT staff ensures fast response times for end clients.

Least Connection

By considering the number of active and current connections to each application instance, the ‘least connection’ load balancing algorithm distributes the load by choosing the server with the least number of active transactions (connections).

Least Bandwidth

In the least bandwidth method, the backend server is selected based on server bandwidth consumption, namely the server that consumes the least bandwidth is selected (measured in Mbps). Here the server that sends the fewest packets is selected by the load balancer.

Round Robin

The round robin algorithm is the most frequently used. This method is a circular distribution of requests to company servers sequentially. There are two types of Round Robin, namely Weighted Round Robin and Dynamic Round Robin. Used primarily for a group of disparate servers, in a weighted round robin each server is assigned a weight depending on its composition.

IP Hashes

In source IP Hash, server load balancing is selected based on unique hash key. The Hash Key is generated by fetching the source and destination of the request. Based on the hash key generated, the server is assigned to the client.

Manfaat Load Balancing untuk Server

Adapun salah satu manfaat dari load balancing yang mana dapat meningkat kinerja server walaupun sedang lonjakan trafik. Selain itu berikut ini adapun beberapa manfaat load balancing untuk server:

Meningkatkan skalabilitas dan fleksibilitas

Load balancer, dapat meningkatkan skalabilitas dan fleksibilitas website serta aplikasi akan meningkat. Dengan pembagian beban server yang lebih merata, lalu lintas jaringan di website atau apliakasi akan menjadi stabil. Penggunae load balancing memungkinkan dapat menyimpan beban ke satu server, agar server lain dapat melakukan pemeliharaan untuk menunjang kinerja server.

Membantu pendistribusian trafik

Load balancer dapat membantu pembagian trafik data menjadi lebih mudah. Adapun salah satu server yang gagal menerima request, maka load balancer akan secara otomatis dapat mengalihkannya ke server yang tersedia secara merata.

Meningkatkan performa server

Dengan aliran trafik data yang lebih tertata maka adapun beberapa server yang akan dibagi menjadi beberapa sumber. Maka aplikasi dan website akan bekerja dengan optimal.

Selain itu load balancer juga dapat membantu membuat jaringan menjadi lebih stabil agar server memiliki performa yang baik walaupun trafik sedang sibuk.

Meminimalisir downtime

Dapat meminimalisir downtime sehingga server dapat meningkatkan performa aplikasi dan website jauh lebih stabil. Load balancer ini dapat membantu dan mendeteksi kegagalan dan menanganinya dengan cepat.

Menghemat resource

Adapun pembagian trafik dapat membantu mengurangi penggunaan sumber daya. Maka server tidak perlu banyak resource untuk menjalankan aplikasi atau website pada trafik yang sibuk.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Load Balancing

From the explanation of load balancing above, we will discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages of using load balancing below.

Advantages of Load Balancing

Apart from balancing data traffic and enhancing a better user experience, load balancing has many other advantages including:

Reduce Downtime and Increase Performance

Load balancing allows you to perform server maintenance wherever users or companies are. Which you can reduce while increasing website performance.

Simplify the Traffic Distribution Process

For those of you who use load balancing to maintain a website on multiple servers, if there is a failure the site’s operations can be significantly limited. This load balancing can also eliminate unnecessary processes or are called redundancies.

When website traffic is sent to two or more servers or fails, the load balancer will automatically divert traffic to other available servers. Balanced server load, so the server will always be online.

Ease of Upgrade and Downgrade

If you have a website by filling in content that interests readers. Then the more readers will mean the data traffic will be more dense too. This traffic spike can potentially make your website slow and even fail to load.

Load balancing, traffic can be spread across several servers which is easier to handle, server administrators can scale up or down the website server according to the needs of the website used.

Efficient Failure Management

This load balancing can help in detecting failures and handling them efficiently, which ensures that any failure cannot affect server load. Which is using multiple distributed data centers, you can bypass the path of detected failures and can return resources to other servers that are not affected.

Increase Flexibility

A more balanced server load means that website administrators can have flexibility in handling website traffic. You can perform server maintenance tasks gradually without turning off website activity or waiting for website leisure time.

H allows users to keep the load on one server, while another server is engaged in maintenance.

Disadvantages of Load Balancing

Load balancing can also have some drawbacks, such as:

Requires Additional Configuration

Users can perform additional configurations to maintain a continuous connection between the client and server. In addition, you can also require to reconfigure the load balancer every time there is an array change in the downstream cluster. For example, when nodes are added or deleted.

Considerable Cost

A load balancer in the form of hardware, this device usually costs more than the software.


That is our discussion about load balancing which is the process of dividing network data traffic between several servers so that the server load becomes more balanced so as to minimize downtime to websites and applications.

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