What is Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB)?

What is global server load balancing?

For companies to deliver the best possible experience to users, they need to ensure always-on connectivity and reliable performance for business applications whenever and wherever they’re accessed. Global server load balancing (GSLB) helps you meet this requirement by providing load balancing, site failover, and web traffic management across multiple data centers and/or clouds. A core feature of a modern application delivery controller (ADC), GSLB plays a key role in use cases from disaster recovery, to application performance and application availability, to regulatory compliance.

As its name suggests, GSLB balances network traffic across an organization’s data centers. As client traffic accesses the organization’s services, it is routed intelligently by the GSLB system to the most appropriate data center site. To perform this function, a GSLB system typically monitors the health, availability, and loading for each data center; calculates client geographical locations based on their ISP DNS server address; and applies any other policies that have been configured around regulatory requirements and content localization. Traffic policies can also take into account factors such as bandwidth utilization, network costs, exceeding bandwidth thresholds, and others.

A GSLB system can be deployed as flexibly as the ADC that hosts it—in an on-premises data center, private cloud, or public cloud environment, whether as part of a hardware appliance or in virtual form.

Why your Application Delivery Controller Needs GSLB

Just as load balancing is essential to process application traffic intelligently across a server pool, GSLB is essential to distribute traffic intelligently across multiple data centers and clouds. This capability comes into play in several key use cases.

Key Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) Features

Global Web Traffic Management

A GSLB solution should intelligently distribute application requests based on site health, proximity, geo-location, and response times to maintain consistent service. To enable content and language localization, requests can be forwarded to servers hosting customized content.

Security and Compliance

Organizations should be able to control traffic for security and regulatory purposes by applying custom policies based on geo-location information.

How A10 Networks Provides GSLB

If your company operates multiple data centers, A10’s GLSB solution can provide disaster recovery by directing traffic to an active data center in the case of an unforeseen event. Learn how a GSLB can optimize your datacenter. Read our solution brief “Get More from Your Enterprise Network“.

A10 Networks global server load balancing features are incorporated across our application delivery controller portfolio. Offered in your choice of DNS Proxy or DNS Server methods, these solutions help you ensure application availability and application performance with minimal impact to your existing DNS architecture.

Learn about A10's Thunder® Application Delivery Controller (ADC)

Paul Nicholson
July 10, 2020

About Paul Nicholson

Paul Nicholson brings 24 years of experience working with Internet and security companies in the U.S. and U.K. In his current position, Nicholson is responsible for global product marketing and strategy at San Jose, Calif.-based application networking and security leader A10 Networks. Prior to A10 Networks, Nicholson held various technical and management positions at Intel, Pandesic (the Internet company from Intel and SAP), Secure Computing, and various security start-ups. READ MORE