Server load balancing is defined as a process and technology that distributes site traffic among several servers using a network device. A load balancer, intercepts network based traffic destined for a site. It splits the traffic into individual request and decides which server receives individual request.
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Load balancer maintains a watch on the available servers ensuring that they are responding to the traffic. If they are not, they are taken out of rotations. Load balancer provides redundancy by employing more than one unit a fail-over scenario. It also offers count-aware distribution, by doing things such as reading URLs, interpreting cookies and XML parsing. Server load balancer is a device that distributes load among several machines and it has an effect of making several machines appear as one.
Components of Server Load Balancing devices
• VIPs (i.e. virtual IPs) usually speeds the traffic among them. VIP has an IP address, which is publicly available and used. A VIP has at least one real server assigned to it to which it will dispense the traffic.
• Server is a device running a service that shares the load among other services. A server has an IP address and usually a TCP/IP protocol associated with it and does not have to be publicly addressable. More number of servers attached is referred as server farm. User has got access to it with specific controls as read only and super user.
Deploying server load balancer one can gain several benefits;
• Scalability: Because load balancer distributes the clients request across all the real servers available, the collective processing of virtual servers is greater than the capacity of one server.
• Availability: the load balancer continuously monitors the health of real server and the applications running on them.
• Manageability: upgrades of server hardware, operating system or application software can be scheduled at off-peak hours to minimize the impact of downtime. Load balancer balances large amount of content, referred as content management. Load balancers are operating system agnostic because they operate based on standard network protocols.
• Security: Because load balancers are front end to the server farm, load balancer can protect the server from malicious attacks.
• Quality of Service: Service or application response time, availability of a given application service or the ability to provide differentiated service based on the user type are guaranteed.
Book: Server Load Balancing by Tony Bourke
Power Point Presentation: Technology Integration: RSerPool & Server Load-balancing
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