Web traffic is generally a good thing to have increase, as it would point to the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategies for your website. Although this is great news for you, too much web traffic, on the other hand, can cause a bigger issue: a server crash.
As more visitors enter your website, the server it’s on starts to work harder to accommodate all the requests—inevitably causing it to crash when it peaks. When that happens, your website will suffer some downtime, losing you a wealth of opportunities that the added web traffic often points towards. In order to avoid such problems, certain contingencies must be prepared ahead of time.
Load Balancing: The Solution to Downtime
One of the most effective methods in order to avoid server crashes is load balancing. This contingency method reduces the load experienced on one server by spreading it out to different servers, thus “balancing” the server strain. The more servers there are present to “balance out” to, the easier it is to handle increased web traffic at a particular time.
There are two major methods for balancing at this time: Hardware load balancing and DNS load balancing. Hardware load balancing involves the purchase of actual hardware to supplement extra servers for your network, distributing traffic across multiple servers depending on the specifications of the machine you’ve bought. DNS, on the other hand, utilizes the configuration of a domain under the Domain Name System (DNS) in order to distribute client requests across numerous servers in different locations or data centers.
Which Is Better?
To better understand which load balancing solution is better, it is wise to analyze it through two aspects: cost and efficiency.
One of the biggest differences between the two would definitely lie with the cost. DNS load balancing is typically more reasonably priced, or can even involve a monthly subscription that allows you to space out your budget. Hardware balancing, on the other hand, has a higher upfront cost, but will generally not involve additional costs until the unit arrives at the end of its service life.
In terms of long-term maintenance, DNS has a clear win. Maintenance is often already included with your service package, as compared to the more localized hardware balancing solution which requires you to maintain an actual physical machine.
Both solutions are incredibly handy and efficient for managing the load of your servers. What will matter, however, would be the flexibility of scaling your needs. For DNS load balancing, it becomes much easier to scale—allowing more servers to be utilized by simply increasing your monthly subscription. Some providers even offer global server load balancing (GSLB) which automatically redirects traffic from certain parts of the world go to a specific resource or server.
Meanwhile, hardware balancing is extremely costly to expand and scale, especially when considering working on a global scale. Despite that, more local set-ups, however, can be more easily managed for troubleshooting and maintenance as compared to DNS servers.
Load balancing solutions are the best way to handle possible traffic spikes—by easing the load of each server, you can avoid the unnecessary downtimes brought by server issues. DNS load balancing offers the most cost-effective and functionally efficient choice, allowing you to fully utilize your website without the risk of downtimes.
Are you looking for a load balancing service provider that offers global server load balancing solutions? At Resonate, we provide a variety of service packages for all your load balancing needs. Get in touch with us now.