What is Load Balancing?

Load balancing is all about making sure no single server gets overwhelmed. Picture this: your favorite website or app can get crazy busy at times. Without load balancing, one server might end up feeling like it’s carrying the weight of the world, leading to slow response times or even crashing.

So, what does load balancing do? It’s like a traffic cop for network requests, spreading them out among multiple servers. This way, no server gets too bogged down, and everything runs smoothly.

Load Balancing Algorithms

  1. Round Robin: Servers take turns handling requests.
  2. Least Connections: The server with the least load (fewest active connections) gets first dibs on new requests.
  3. Weighted Round Robin: This one’s like Round Robin, but servers can have different “weights” based on their capacity – heavier servers get more requests.
  4. Least Response Time: Sends traffic to the server that’s quickest to respond – it’s all about efficiency.
  5. Hash: Distributes requests based on a key you define, whether it’s the client’s IP address or the request URL. If the set of servers changes, NGINX Plus can even apply a consistent hash to minimize the reshuffling of workloads.
  6. IP Hash: The IP address of the client decides which server gets the special treatment. So, when a request comes in, the server is chosen based on the client’s IP address.
  7. Random with Two Choices: This one randomly picks two servers and then makes a smart move. It applies the Least Connections algorithm to decide which server gets the request.

Benefits of Load Balancing

  • Scalable
  • Reduces downtime
  • Flexible
  • Efficient

Whether it’s at the application layer, transport layer, or network layer, load balancing ensures everything is running smoothly.

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