Load Balancing Server: Definition, Types and How It Works

Load Balancing Server

Load Balancing Server – Having a site or application with high traffic will certainly require a lot of resources. Sometimes the server is overwhelmed when it receives many requests or requests from too much traffic, causing the server to experience downtime and slow response.

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To overcome this we need a backup server called a load balancing server that can maintain server uptime and speed to be more stable. What is server load balancing, how does it work, and what are the advantages of server load balancing? To answer all these questions, let’s discuss them one by one in this article.

What is Server Load Balancing

Load balancing is the process of dividing the traffic load from a server or application. With a load balancer, the traffic load will not be burdened on several connection lines.

By speeding up the server response time, the server avoids overloading. Server performance will be maximized even with high traffic though.

Know the Types of Load Balancers

There are three types of load balancing, namely hardware, software, and virtual load balancers, along with their explanations.

Load Balancer Hardware

As the name suggests, this hardware load balancer is in the form of hardware. The tool functions to distribute traffic according to pre-arranged settings.

Because of its physical shape, this load balancer is placed together with the server in the local data center. The number of load balancers is adjusted to the highest traffic required, this load balancer can handle large amounts of traffic. Although this load balancer has a fairly expensive price. and not as flexible as load balancer software.

Load Balancer Software

The more modern, the more sophisticated load balancer technology is, now there is a software version. Only by using an application or virtual machine you can have a server load balancing tool.

Regarding the cost of this software load balancer, it is more affordable than a physical load balancer. However, this software version is much more flexible and when you receive a larger access request, you can change the configuration according to your needs.

There are two types of load balancer software, namely commercial and open source. These two types can be used as an alternative to replace a physical load balancer to save costs.

How Load Balancing Works

Both software and physical load balancers distribute traffic to multiple servers to ensure that no single server is overloaded. Effectively load balancing minimizes server response time.

Functionally, load balancing is like a traffic police whose job is to prevent congestion and unwanted things. A load balancer must be able to ensure that network traffic flows smoothly while at the same time providing a sense of security in a complex network work system.

Here’s how load balancing works:

  • Users access web servers or applications.
  • The load balancer receives and distributes requests to multiple servers using IP addresses.
  • If a server is down, it can divert traffic to another available server.

Load Balancing Method

Load balancing consists of various methods that use different algorithms. Let’s look at the following explanation.

Round Robin

Round robin is the most widely used method of load balancing. This method is suitable for servers with the same specifications and do not have many continuous connections.

This method can direct traffic to the first available server. Then traffic will be directed to the second server and so on depending on the number of servers available.

The disadvantage of this algorithm is that it does not consider the load and characteristics of each server. This method assumes that each server has the same capabilities and specifications.

Least Response Time

This method combines two ways of distributing the traffic load. When a data request occurs, load balancing will direct traffic to the server with the smallest active context and the fastest response time.

In addition to knowing the server response speed, this method can help users find out the load on a server.

Least Bandwidth

The least bandwidth method is quite simple. This method looks for servers that serve the least amount of traffic based on the size of the bandwidth speed, which is megabits per second or Mbps.

If traffic accesses data, load balancing will distribute it to servers that have the smallest Mbps traffic.

Least Connection

The least connection algorithm is a method that evaluates the round robin deficiency in reading each server’s load. This method can even out on all available servers. If the server has a large connection load, data requests will be distributed to more spare servers.

When a request occurs, the least connection will try to share it with a server with a smaller connection. This will be able to avoid overload on the server due to the amount of traffic received.

IP Hashes

The IP hash method is a method of requesting data access to a server that is determined by various data associated with the IP address. Simply put, the client’s IP address will determine which server will get the traffic.

Advantages of Load Balancing

Those are some load balancing methods, so what are the advantages of using load balancing, let’s look at the following.

Increase Flexibility

The website admin will be more flexible in handling website traffic because the server load is balanced. They will be able to carry out server maintenance tasks in stages without the need to turn off the website or wait for the website to enter idle time.

Load balancing can allow admins to save loads to one server while other servers perform maintenance.

Reduce Downtime and Increase Performance

Load balancing can make it easier for admins to perform server maintenance anywhere and anytime. So you don’t need to worry about reducing or increasing website performance at the same time.

Efficient Failure Management

Load balancing can assist accessors in detecting failures as well as handling them efficiently. That way the failure that occurs does not affect the existing server load. By using multiple distributed data centers, you can bypass the path of detected failures and redirect resources to other servers that are not affected.

Simplify the Traffic Distribution Process

Can simplify the traffic distribution process, if you are maintaining a website on multiple servers using load balancing then operational failures can be significantly limited. So that load balancing can eliminate unnecessary processes such as redundancies.

If there is a failure in sending traffic to two or more servers and one server fails. Then load balancing will automatically redirect traffic to another server. With a balanced server load, you can feel safe because the server will always be online to handle website traffic.

Ease of Upgrade and Downgrade

The higher the number of visitors to your website, the higher the traffic, which has the potential to make your website slow and even fail to load content.

To avoid this, you can use load balancing which can spread servers to one or more servers that are easy to handle. Server administrators will find it easier to scale up and down the server as needed.

Disadvantages of Load Balancing

In addition to the advantages of load balancing, there are also disadvantages that you may need to consider before using load balancing on your web server. The following two disadvantages of load balancing:

Requires Additional Configuration

The use of load balancing requires additional configuration in maintaining a continuous connection between the client and server. And also you can reconfigure the load balancer if there is an array change in the downstream cluster. For example, there is a deletion or addition of nodes.

Expensive cost

This applies to those of you who use hardware load balancing. Yes, as previously said, this hardware load balancing has a price that is not cheap compared to the software version.

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