What is an NLB?

An NLB (network load balancer) efficiently distributes incoming traffic over multiple backend servers, WAN links, or virtual machines to eliminate the chance of overloading a single host. Plus, it doesn’t use any complex routing protocols.

High-traffic websites must serve millions of concurrent requests from clients or users and return what they require (correct videos, images, app data, etc.) quickly and reliably. A load balancer is a cost-effective way that acts as traffic police in front of the servers.

It effectively maximizes capacity utilization and speed to ensure that the servers aren’t overloaded, eliminating the threat of degraded performance. If a server crashes, the load balancer diverts the incoming traffic to the remaining servers. And when another server is added to the group, the load balancer quickly directs the incoming traffic to it.

In short, a load balancer does the following:

  • Distributes client requests across multiple servers to be more efficient.
  • Allows the flexible addition or subtraction of servers without compromising operation.
  • Sends requests only to servers that are online to ensure server reliability and availability.

Algorithms for Load Balancing

Different load-balancing algorithms offer different benefits. The following algorithms are used for different purposes:

  • Least Time – directs requests to the server selected based on a formula that combines the fewest active connections and fastest response time.
  • Round Robin – distributes requests sequentially over a group of servers.
  • Least Connections – sends a new request to the server with the fewest current connections to clients. By calculating the relative computing capacity of each server, only one is determined with the least connections.
  • Hash – distributes requests on the key defined by you (like the client’s IP address or URL).
  • IP Hash – uses the IP address of the client to see which server receives the request.
  • Random with Two Choices – decides on two servers selected randomly and sends the request to the server with the least connections.

There are many benefits of load balancing. From scalability, efficiency and flexibility, to reduced downtime, redundancy, low latency and more, businesses should consider this to manage their servers today. Get in touch to see how we can help get it setup for your organization!