How to Configure Load Balancing for Web Applications

Today’s websites need to be capable of serving thousands of users across the globe. These sites must be able to give users access to data or content—whether texts, images, or videos—in various applications in a timely and reliable manner.

Many companies use a lot of servers, which is where load balancing comes into the picture. Load balancing is the process of distributing incoming network traffic across a group of servers. Essentially, it acts as the “traffic cop” that routes client requests across all servers in an instant.

Below are what you need to consider for the load balancing of your web applications and how to configure global load balancers for SSL scenarios.

What to Consider for Load Balancing

When it comes to the load balancing for web applications, you will generally consider first the application requirements for session persistence. Take note of the following:

• Sticky Persistence

With the sticky session, the load balancer is configured in such a way that the request from the client is directed to the server where the session data is maintained. It can also be utilized when you largely depend on local web server resources.

• Non-Sticky Persistence

With a non-sticky session, it doesn’t matter which webserver the request is routed to, as long as the session data is maintained in a database or distributed caching system shared by all.

How to Configure Load Balancers for SSL Scenarios

Now, if you’re wondering how global load balancers for SSL scenarios can be configured, they can be done primarily in two ways:

• SSL Offloading (or SSL termination)

This configuration happens when the load balancer receives a request from the client, reads the request, creates a new one, and sends it to the server. The web server then sends the response back to the load balancer, and the load balancer sends the response back to the browser. For this to work, the load balancer that encrypts or decrypts requires the SSL to be installed.

For this configuration, it is a lot easy to configure sticky persistence in SSL offloading. Why? As mentioned above, the load balancer reads the request and uses session cookies to direct the traffic to a server.

• Pass-Through

This configuration occurs when the load balancer simply redirects traffic from the client to the webserver. The load balancer cannot see and read what’s inside the request if it is an https request.

For this configuration, client IP is the most valuable information used to maintain sticky persistence. Know that this works in a controlled intranet for the most part. However, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, as some clients may have the same or may change the IP during the session.

Conclusion

You now have an idea as to what role load balancing plays in keeping your network running smoothly. Be sure to consider the two factors mentioned above, and understand how the two ways of configuration work. All these will help your business cater to your clients’ needs or users efficiently, seamlessly, and quickly.

Resonate is a leading provider of software load balancing solutions for businesses of all sizes. If you need help with the load balancing of your web applications, get in touch with us!

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