Cloud load balancing is the process of distributing workloads and computing resources within a cloud environment. This process is adopted by organizations and enterprises to manage workload demands by providing resources to multiple systems or servers.
Cloud load balancing also involves hosting the distribution of workload traffic within the internet.
Like different types of load balancing, cloud load balancing empowers you to expand application execution with unwavering quality. Its advantages over conventional load balancing of on-premises assets are the lower cost and the simplicity of scaling the application up or down as per business demands.
As artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning software advance, they can become increasingly valuable in assisting companies manage incoming loads. By analyzing the past and present data, these tools are able to bolster load balancing by helping to intelligently manage traffic across servers.
Some of the key functions of a load balancer are:
- It distributes client requests or network load efficiently, across multiple servers.
- It ensures high availability and reliability by sending requests only to servers that are online.
- It provides the flexibility to add or subtract servers as demand dictates.
Cloud Load Balancing Techniques
Traditional load balancing solutions believe in proprietary hardware housed during a data center, and they need a team of sophisticated IT personnel to put in, tune, and maintain the system. Only large companies with big IT budgets can reap the advantages of improved performance and reliability. In the age of cloud computing, hardware-based solutions have another serious drawback: they don’t support cloud load balancing, because cloud infrastructure vendors typically don’t allow customer or proprietary hardware in their environment.
Fortunately, software-based cloud load balancers can deliver the performance and reliability benefits of hardware-based solutions at a much lower cost. As they run on commodity hardware, they’re affordable even for smaller companies. They are ideal for cloud load balancing as they will run within the cloud like all other software applications.
There are certain parameters for measuring the efficiency of the load balancing algorithm in cloud computing environment.
- Fault Tolerance
- Response Time
- Energy Consumption
- Migration Time
- Associated Cost
There are two types of load balancing algorithms, mainly. They are:
1) Static Algorithm – In this, traffic is divided evenly among the servers. Static algorithm is known to be proper in the system which has low variation in load.
2) Dynamic Algorithm – Here, the lightest server in the whole network or system is searched and preferred for balancing a load.
Why Cloud Providers Need Load Balancing
The effective use of cloud load balancing helps ensure business continuity. The noteworthy features and main objectives of using load balancers are to effectively maintain system firmness, facilitate system performance and protection against system failures.
The speed of scaling in the cloud means how effectively companies can handle traffic without downgrading the performance by putting a cloud load balancer ahead of a gaggle of application instances, which may quickly auto scale in reaction to the extent of demand. Cloud Load Balancing was introduced for various reasons. One of them is to better the speed and performance of every single device and the other is to keep saving individual devices from hitting their threshold by dropping down their performance.
Cloud load balancing helps other companies to give high level of performance at a lower cost as compared to that offered by traditional on-premises load balancing technology. Cloud load balancing takes advantage of the cloud’s scalability and agility to satisfy rerouted workload demands and to enhance overall availability. Additionally, when it comes to workload and traffic distribution, cloud load balancing technology succeeds immensely to provide health checks for cloud applications.
How Cloud Load Balancing Helps
As you are involved in the continuous process of delivering more services through your cloud infrastructure, it is expected that you’d experience an exponential increase in traffic from the clients. You also, need to stay alert and ready for the occasional spikes and seasonal surge in demand. In order to scale your infrastructure to support the increasing demand as well as maintain acceptable levels of responsiveness and availability, you need to ensure that you incorporate load balancing into your cloud endeavors.
Some of the benefits of cloud load balancing are:
- Increased Scalability – The usage of efficient load balancers enables you to easily match up the increased user traffic and also, distribute it among several servers or various network devices.
- High Performing Applications – Organizations are able to make their client applications work faster and provide improved performances, that too at potentially lower costs.
- Ability to Handle Traffic Surges – If you are using cloud load balancers, no need to worry about traffic surges. With the help of load balancing requests can be wisely distributed among different servers for generating maximum results in less response time.
- Flexibility – If the workload is distributed among various servers or network units, even if one node fails the burden can be shifted to another active node. Load balancing easily manages application traffic with increased redundancy and scalability.
- Reliability – If in case a cloud resource crashes, the cloud load balancer is effective in directing traffic away from the resource to resources hosted elsewhere in a business’ cloud environment.
- Cost Effectiveness – Cloud load balancers are able to deliver the performance and reliability benefits of hardware-based solutions at a much lower total cost of ownership. Since they run on the cloud, they are affordable even for smaller companies.
Cloud Service Providers
There are many cloud service providers that offer cloud load balancing technologies, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure etc. AWS offers Elastic Load Balancing, in which you distribute workloads and traffic among EC2 instances. Google Cloud Platform offers load balancing for its infrastructure as a service. Google Compute Engine distributes network traffic between VM instances. Microsoft Azure’s Traffic Manager distributes traffic in its cloud services across multiple data centers. The users of Cloud load balancing include companies with large-scale applications that need high availability and performance, but any organization can achieve benefits from the cloud technology.
The Rise of Load Balancing in Cloud Computing
The benefits of cloud load balancing arise from the scalable and global nature of the cloud itself. The ease and speed of scaling in the cloud primarily means that enterprises and organizations can handle traffic surges without deteriorating performance by placing a cloud load balancer in front of a group of application instances, which can quickly auto scale in reaction to the level of demand. Cloud load balancing enables companies to achieve high performance levels for potentially reduced expenses than the traditional on-premises load balancing technology. It makes use of the advantage of cloud’s scalability and agility to meet rerouted workload demands and to improve overall availability.
Ashish Shekhar & Nairita Goswami
Marketing Team, RapidValue