Load balancers are necessary for organizations of all sizes to control their applications and guarantee a positive user experience. Due to their efficiency, scalability, and reliability, software-based load balancers are in massive demand with today’s thriving companies.
Load balancers became famous about two decades ago with the advent of the Internet generation. With the intentions of optimizing the execution of newly created websites and guaranteeing that end-users had a conscious experience when hitting a site, the load balancer was a fundamental front conclusion to web servers and utilization. The load balancer performs the traffic cop, managing complex algorithms to optimize traffic to backend servers.
A load balancer can improve business applications and services’ security, efficiency, safety, and availability. A load balancer can:
- Decrease server workload and increase performance
- Diminish Single Point of Failure through repetition and rebalancing workloads during a server fails
- Enhance scalability by the extension of new servers
Examples of Load Balancers Software
Cloudflare: Cloudflare Inc. is the leading web performance and security company helping to create a safer Internet. Today the company operates one of the world’s largest systems that powers more than 10 trillion requests per month. It is nearly 10% of all Internet requests, impacting more than 2.5 billion people globally.
LoadMaster Load Balancer: Kemp hyper-performance load balancers power the always-on application experience [AX] that your organization needs to succeed. Kemp load balancers give you more simplified deployments, more flexible licensing, more throughput for the money, and world-class direct access technical support.
Network Performance Monitor: SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor (NPM) is a powerful and affordable solution that can help you quickly detect, diagnose, and resolve network performance problems and outages. NPM provides advanced network troubleshooting for on-premise, hybrid, and cloud services with critical path hop-by-hop analysis. NPM’s comprehensive coverage is designed to enable an IT professional to reduce mean outage time, see a return on network investments & determine how to reallocate resources for future health.
For the most fantastic time, the term “load balancer” suggested one thing: a specialized hardware appliance with proprietary hardware to expedite application traffic. However, improvements in Intel architecture servers have covered the way for software-only solutions to employment delivery. These software-based procedures, when architected correctly, appear in a superior platform for maintaining modern applications.
Difference between Software-based and Hardware-based Load Balancers
Hardware load balancers are separate from “software” load balancers in that the hardware load balancer needs a specialized piece of physical hardware with exclusive processors, ASICs, memory, and networking support. During the late ’90s and early 2000s, these were the only sort of load balancers possible. Enterprises developed accustomed to the concept of purchasing load-balancing appliances based on the predicted growth in traffic. Hardware load balancers have to be established and configured in the data center framework.
The primary analysis was that load balancers were built with customized hardware as they were more durable than a thoroughly software-based balancer. However, this gap has unwaveringly become more minor with the improvements in Intel architecture servers.
While purpose-built hardware may be quicker than software running on any single x86 server, the elasticity, programmability, and horizontal scale are delivered by software load balancers quickly. It will become the reason for webscale enterprises choosing them above hardware-based systems. Software load balancers can be ascended vertically using x86 servers with more processing cores or scaled horizontally by combining many servers.
Another defining feature of a hardware load balancer is its solid limit on the number of SSL connections and data it can carry. Unfortunately, once this deadline is surpassed, the load balancer holds accepting new connections and performance degrades, creating a poor application user experience.
So, to append server capacity, higher physical load balancing appliances will require installation, rising costs.
Critical Advantages of Load Balancing Software
- Scalability: Software-based solutions allow superior scalability. With software-based load balancers, servers can be sized up or down in real-time according to interface and processing demands. Additionally, they can be immediately placed into existing infrastructures without obstructing an application’s receptiveness.
- Programmability: Software-based load balancers allow superior programmability. With load balancing software, configuration parameters can quickly be resolved, and the variations occur in real-time. In addition, it adds several benefits, including implementing health checks, corresponding automated scripts, transforming status check codes, and redistributing transactions when required.
- Security & Data Protection: Load balancing software offers an added layer of security and data protection. Load balancers are configured with virtual firewalls that have rules for incoming traffic, allowing the application servers to reside behind private subnets. In addition, the application servers also have inbound/outbound rules defined that only allow traffic from/to the load balancer. Using this model, applications are insulated from many types of DoS and application attacks.
- Cost-Effectiveness: The most notable benefit of software-based server load balancing is that it decreases costs. Load balancing software is more affordable and more convenient to provision than hardware solutions. There’s no need for the costly acquisition, set up, and maintenance of hardware. In this regard, load balancing software is more of an operating expense rather than a capital expenditure.
- Ability to Deploy on Demand: The ability to deploy on-demand is one of the most significant benefits of software load balancers. This feature can be beneficial for smaller businesses looking for a low-cost way to deliver a scalable product.
- Increased Reliability: Network reliability can be significantly improved with software server load balancing. If one server happens to fail, the remaining servers pick up the workload immediately so that service is not interrupted. As a result, performance and availability are improved without having an excess of servers on hand.
Software Server Load Balancing Software With advantages such as added savings, security, and scalability, software load balancers are a perfect solution for today’s organizations. In addition, advanced load balancing solutions are a requirement for high-performing, highly available applications.