December 17

What is load balancing?

minute read


Video Transcript:

Before delving into the benefits of a load balanced server, let’s first look at a typical VLE setup. The web server, database server, and file storage are housed together.  Users have access to the system and everything works as it should.

But what if the database server goes down?

This is a rare occurrence, but something we need to think about. Well, with a traditional system, the whole system is down, and the VLE is unavailable to users.

How can overt software help with this?

Well, we can provide load balanced infrastructure, which looks something like this. Both internal and External users connect to one of several load balancers via the internet. Let’s call these LB1, and LB2. These load balancers route traffic to one of several web servers, which in turn interface with shared storage, and several database servers. These resources are constantly synced, and data duplicated, so users are seamlessly moved from one set of resources to another.

Let’s see how this works in practice.

Scenario 1: Web server failure.
In the event that web server 1 fails for whatever reason, the connection between LB1, LB2 and the shared storage is lost. In this case, traffic is automatically routed through web server 2, and there are no connection problems or downtime. When web server 1 comes back online, the load will be shared between the two of them once again.

Scenario 2 : Database and Load Balancer failure.
Let’s say that on top of web server 1 going down, we also lost load balancer 2 and database server 2.
In this case, Load balancer 1 takes over, routes traffic through web server 2, and database server 1 operates as the database for the entire system.

When it comes to keeping critical systems online, there is no comparison to a load balanced system.
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