I remember the day when I sat down at my computer to check my 12 class result, the site kept on crashing repeatedly. Anxious and worried my friends and me, jumped to the closet cyber cafe in the neighbourhood, knowing very little that it wouldn’t change a thing.
Before we got our result, I remember the guy there saying, there was too much traffic on the CBSE website. I wish I knew about load balancers back them, more importantly, people managing the CBSE website knew that it would save us from anxiety.
Yes, load balancing is critical to avoid such situations. I think it is vaguely understandable what a load balancer does. Now in this blog, we shall have a deeper look at what is a load balancer, what it does, the need for it and everything we need to know, to know a load balancer well.
You’re reading this blog do you wonder how? The internet is enabling this connectivity. But there are so many other functions it is carrying out simultaneously. There is a very strong chance that the overload can interrupt a normal sound working.
We also log out when forced with too many interactions at once and sadly web servers are very much like us. The web servers can also communicate with a particular number of computers, lest they shut down and stop responding.
Load balancing: Load balancing refers to the activity of efficiently distributing all the incoming network traffic across a group of backend servers, which are commonly known as a server farm or the server pool.
Load Balancer: The load balancer is a device that manages the flow of information between the server and an endpoint device.
How to avoid overloading a website?
1. Strong Servers:
There are many ways one can ensure the same. Firstly the IT admins can ensure this by making web servers to be more efficient and more powerful. They can add more system resources like memory and faster processors to a computer.
A web server can be communicating with multiple computers at once. All this can only be accomplished by having really strong servers. But often this also doesn’t suffice as for instance certain applications, like NodeJS won’t be able to see large performance gains by merely employing a stronger computer.
2. Employing many systems:
Another resort to cater to this issue is to simply have more workforce ie. to have more computers. This is the best option as would cloning be. That would make working easier, as many systems would be efficiently working to cater to many avenues.
But the internet does not work like that, as the user types a website address the DNS gives them a single address to the former to try. This is a task for the computer to know if there are many copies of a web server to connect.
The need for a Load Balancer:
If we employ a single web server, our computer only connects to a load balancer. The load balancer also keeps a log of the web servers that are available.
The load balancer is meant to keep a log of which web servers are available and also of the ones that are heavily used. With all this information the load balancer is able to send requests from the user’s computer to the ap test web server to give the information that the user wants.
By employing a load balancer, web admins are at capacity to deploy as many web servers as they find necessary to be able to handle, the various numbers of people that want to visit a single website. It could be a math of 2 or 100 web servers.
The load balancer accomplishes the tough task of keeping track of which web servers are busy and also further pointing out the new ones, incoming the website traffic to web servers which aren’t occupied at that given moment.
What if Load Balancers get overwhelmed?
The load balancers are efficient in managing other load balancers as well. By the means of employing numerous load balancers, websites can spread the amount of traffic a little bit more. Every load balancer would then have its own set of web servers to manage.
These load balancers wouldn’t have much idea of what is happening with other chunks of web servers or the load balancers managing those chunks of web servers.
But, there is one big load balancer, that manages all the smaller load balancers. That one big load balancer is supposed to keep a track of how busy the smaller load balancers are and also direct new internet traffic to the web servers appropriately.
The load balancers help in distributing computational tasks among multiple computers on demand. Hence this prevents a single computer from getting overwhelmed.
Efficiency of a Load Balancer?
The load balancers are abled differently based on the maker’s efficiency. Some software load balancers are inclusive of a reverse proxy as well. A reverse proxy is utilised to redirect a network request from one computer and port it to another on the network. Reverse proxies can be utilised for all kinds of things.
It is essential to keep in mind that since a software load balancer can perform proxies, these proxies are not performing any kind of load balancing. It is very important for the user to understand this and be able to choose a load balancer efficiently, with guidance and consultation from their concerned team.
Is employing a Load Balancer worth it?
After having tried to understand what a load balancer is, its purpose and also how to select one, the question of importance is that if we should be using a Load balancer or not. The answer is pretty straightforward if you have a website or plan on having one and if you have even the slightest idea of having heavy traffic later in time, it is suggested to employ a load balancer.
The use of a load balancer is very crucial for the expansion of any network resource. It helps in not letting work get affected and aids the saving time rather than being wasted in delays caused by heavy traffic.