​Load balancing explained for beginners

Knowing about load balancing is important for everybody. We all want the same: to have lots of traffic on our website! But managing such workloads is a hard challenge. If we are not prepared, our dream high traffic could suffocate our server and shut down the business. Tragic!

What is load balancing?

Ok, load balancing explained for beginners should be like this.

It is a traffic distribution method that divides the workload among the available resources supporting an application. For example, think about a website receiving millions of user requests from different spots in the world. Now, imagine the work it requires to process all of them quickly to send back the exact image, video, or text requested by every user.

Such a website has many servers to execute this hard but crucial task. The problem is that even the number of servers can be enough to do the job without a load balancer, some servers could be overworking while others could be working at their minimum capacity. As a result, some servers can get sluggish or crash due to the overload. This will cost you on different fronts. Fixing servers, money loss during the downtime, angry customers, and a bad reputation.

Placing a load balancer between the users and your servers will make the process very efficient and prevent problems. It will balance the workload among all the available servers to guarantee all resources are equally used.

Technology types of load balancing

There are two technology types of load balancing, hardware and software.

Hardware-based load balancer.

It is a machine to process and redirect traffic to multiple servers. This load balancer can live in a data center. Virtualization can be used to generate multiple virtual load balancers to work for your business, and all of them can be centrally controlled.

Pros.

  • It is a secure and reliable choice.
  • You have full control and responsibility over it.

Cons.

  • It requires investment in equipment, configuration, and regular maintenance.
  • To use it at its complete capacity is not recommended. If there is a situation of sudden high traffic (traffic spike) and it grows higher than the machine’s capacity, your business performance will be affected. In a bad scenario, users will be hit too by slow service, for instance. If you manage to add another load balancer on time, this doesn’t have to happen.

Software-based load balancer

It is an application that has all the necessary functions to execute the balanced distribution of work. You can either set it up directly on your server or access it through a third-party service.

Pros. 

  • Flexibility. A software load balancer can be scaled up or down easily.
  • It is more compatible with cloud computing environments.
  • It is less expensive than purchasing and setting up a hardware load balancer.

Con. 

  • It doesn’t deliver the top-performance hardware-based load balancer can.
  • If the server on which it works stops working, the load balancer stops too. 

Conclusion

Having high traffic doesn’t have to be a tragedy. Your story can be happy and successful if you use load balancing.

Fundamental details about Anycast DNS

Every time people send a DNS request for loading a website, different processes take place within the DNS machinery for it to happen. One of these processes is routing their requests to be answered. Anycast DNS is a method to do this.

What is Anycast DNS?

The most fundamental detail about Anycast DNS is that it is a traffic routing and addressing method for networks that allows a group of servers to share the same IP address. It aims to have nameservers in different locations around the planet to be closer to the users. This way, when someone sends a request to visit a website, this will be routed to the closest server to his or her location. Having the same IP address, whichever server can answer, but the nearest to the user will be the one that answers.

How does Anycast DNS work?

Anycast DNS works closely with the Border Gateway Protocol or BGP. This last enables the routing of data through the Internet. BGP helps to communicate to routers the networks that can be reached through each of them and the topographical distance that it takes to reach such networks. The range of the IP address shared by the group of servers is advertised in the BGP messages of multiple routers. This way, routers know which of them can offer the shortest route to that IP address.

Then the request is addressed and routed to the closest server. Thanks to Anycast infrastructure and its workmate, the BGP, a user in Vietnam can access a domain with hosting in Brazil in no time.

Why should you use Anycast DNS?

You should use Anycast DNS because it means getting a reliable network to support your online business, and that brings big advantages.

It provides redundancy. A business having only a single DNS server can work, but it’s like putting all your eggs in one basket. If it fails or is under normal maintenance, your nameserver could face downtime, and that will mean fewer sales for you. Besides, you will have very limited room to handle high traffic. If your only nameserver gets stressed, risks of sluggishness or failures increase.

It increases your business resilience. DoS and DDoS attacks are happening daily, and potentially, you, like everybody else, can be targeted by cybercriminals. Having Anycast DNS, attackers could bring down a server or two, but not all the network backing up your business. It will keep you online!

It provides you with the dreamed uptime. With multiple nameservers globally located, downtime won’t be a worry. If a server is unavailable, the Anycast DNS system will automatically reroute requests to the closest and most available instance.

It speeds up response time. It ensures it always will address and route requests to the closest and available nameserver. Waiting time for your clients will always be the shortest possible.

Conclusion

Anycast DNS is a great solution for businesses with big expectations. Let it be in your team and experience the difference from day one!