What is Load Balancing?

A10 Networks Blog

Load Balancing is a methodology or algorithm of spreading network traffic, computing workloads or other service requests over a group of resources or services. The incoming traffic is distributed using various algorithms balancing of the overall workload.

The benefits of Load Balancing are to provide scalability, optimize service reliability and availability and increase overall manageability.  Services are load balanced based on algorithms like round robin, least connections, and fastest response.

The following are specific Load Balancing technologies with links to additional technical articles.

Server Load Balancing

A Server Load Balancer is a hardware or virtual software appliance that distributes the application workload across an array of servers, ensuring application availability, elastic scale-out of server resources and supports health management of back-end server and application systems.

Firewall Load Balancing

Load balancing an array of Security Firewall systems to provide the ability to scale complex network devices and guarantee non-stop operation.
While having a solid firewall infrastructure is a cornerstone of network security, best-of-breed solutions cannot be optimized without adequate Firewall Load Balancing. A highly available firewall is crucial in protecting the network and ensuring business continuity. Network architectures include load balancing solution that guarantees high availability for their firewall defenses and can easily scale out.

DNS Server Load Balancing

DNS severs in large infrastructures or mission critical infrastructures general deploy DNS services on a cluster of DNS servers.  In general, this cluster of DNS Servers are behind a Server Load Balancing system.  This architecture overcomes the shortcomings in the standard DNS failover mechanism and greatly increase performance.

Global Server Load Balancing

Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) is a technology which directs network traffic to a group of data centers in various geographical locations. Each data center provides similar application services, and client traffic is directed to the optimal site with the best performance for each client.  GSLB monitors the health and responsiveness of each site, and like Server Load Balancing, directs traffic to the site with the best response times.

Application Delivery Controllers

Application Delivery Controllers are network servers providing application reliability, acceleration and application server services.  Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) include server load balancing with additional technologies including SSL Offloading, Security Firewall Services, Application Firewall Systems, DDoS protection, Service Chaining and others.

Related Terms

How A10 Networks Can Help

The Thunder Series advanced server load balancing and flexible health monitoring capabilities provide application availability and reliability.
The core of A10’s Application Delivery (ADC) platform covers a wide range of options for load balancing methods and health checks. Comprehensive IPv4 and IPv6 support across all models maximizes options for current and future deployment.

Learn how to manage your datacenter workload with load balancing technology. Read our solution brief “Get More from Your Enterprise Network”.

Robert Keith
July 10, 2018

About Robert Keith

Robert has 30 years of experience in IT technology development and infrastructure management. He was the founder of several infrastructure ventures including Intellivence, MaxSP, Sentrik and most recently was the CTO of Iron Networks. As CTO of Iron Networks in San Jose, CA, he worked directly with many companies in the Silicon Valley to design and architect network, security, and cloud solutions. He worked directly with Microsoft engineering in the design of their cloud architectures including storage, Hyper-V, Systems Center and Virtual Networking. He also worked directly with Hortonworks to design a Hadoop deployment and management system using CentOS and many layered software packages. READ MORE