How Does Global Server Load Balancing Work?

What is Global Server Load Balancing?

Load balancing is an essential component of the technology infrastructure for applications and services. But there are quite literally dozens of different types of load balancing solutions. With so many options to consider, it is easy to get overwhelmed and when this happens, you risk choosing the wrong load balancing strategy and subsequently miss out on all of the benefits that load balancing can offer.

Global server load balancing (GSLB) is one form of load balancing that many companies consider as they examine their options. This load balancing method is well-suited to a wide array of applications, bringing a significant ROI and exceptionally reliable performance.

What is Global Server Load Balancing?

At its most basic level, global server load balancing involves the distribution of traffic across multiple servers which are situated in separate geographic locations worldwide. This traffic can be website traffic, application traffic, SaaS-related traffic and so forth. Any technology that uses a server can potentially benefit from global server load balancing.

The wide geographic spread that’s involved with global server load balancing makes it a good option for those who demand stability — it’s all thanks to the distribution across different locations and among pools of servers. This configuration makes them less vulnerable to regional events that interfere with performance and availability.

Load balancing is used to improve speed, reliability and overall performance among other things. When you have too much traffic generating requests on a single server, that server can get overwhelmed and performance drops. In extreme cases of overload, the server may crash, resulting in much-dreaded downtime. Enter: server load balancing (SLB), which is a reverse proxy of sorts that is used to identify “clumps” of traffic using some rather sophisticated load balancing algorithms. This traffic is then distributed across multiple servers — servers with high availability and a capability to handle the traffic.

Hardware-based load balancers were the first to emerge on-scene, but a majority of today’s load balancers are deployed as software-based load balancers. This makes today’s SLBs a far more viable and affordable option than what we saw with on-premise options. This is particularly true for global load balancing since you can imagine the expense associated with deploying and maintaining servers at various locations worldwide.

How Does Global Server Load Balancing Work, Exactly?

From a more technical perspective, Global Server Load Balancing accepts the DNS resolution request for your browser or application’s URL and uses your defined policies and captured metrics to select the most appropriate data centers to answer the client or application request.

Global Server load balancing can also use the client’s location by examining the origin IP address. The load balancing algorithm then locates the nearest server with the fastest response time and it sends traffic to this server after adjusting its DNS response.

Can I Benefit From Global Server Load Balancing?

To determine if global server load balancing is the right choice for your company’s needs, you will want to consider a few different points, such as stability needs and reliability requirements.

Global server load balancing is well-known to be one of the most reliable and stable options since you have a network that spans a wide geographic area. As such, you don’t need to worry about a storm taking out all of the servers, for example.

Scalability is another benefit, although it’s not entirely exclusive to global load balancing. That said, virtually all global server load balancing solutions involve software-based technology — technology that is far more scalable than what you would see with a hardware-based load balancer. If a company is actively growing or plans to expand and grow in the future, global load balancing is apt to be a good solution. You want a load balancer that will grow with your app.

Notably, global server load balancing can be an option for small businesses and startups, medium-sized companies and large enterprises. There are few technologies that offer a consistent benefit and can be configured to suit organizations.

Considering Cost and Quality of a Global Server Load Balancing Solution

When choosing a global server load balancing service provider — or any load balancing solution, for that matter — algorithm quality should be a primary consideration. The better the load balancing algorithm, the more efficient a global server load balancer will be.

Cost is often a quality telltale. While there are no hard and fast rules in the world of technology, the adage “you get what you pay for” frequently rings true. Many companies are compelled to choose the option with the lowest price, but this can result in lesser performance that fails to bring the many benefits that you might see with a top-line load balancing algorithm.

Creating and maintaining a high-performance load balancing algorithm carries a higher cost, which leads to a price point that’s higher than what you may see with the competitors. But those lower-priced options are often less developed, with poorly-maintained algorithms that result in subpar performance.

From a vendor’s perspective, it can be costly but worthwhile to get set up to offer global server load balancing services. Once configured, the return on investment can be significant thanks to the many benefits that this technology brings. The reliability is a major draw that continues to prompt organizations of all sizes to seek out GSLB solutions.

Global server load balancing is one of many choices. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution in the world of load balancing, GSLB is a good option for a large portion of businesses. Are you ready to learn more about the latest technology, such as global server load balancing? Contact the team at Resonate to learn more about innovative global load balancing technology. The right load balancer can transform your company’s offerings in a way that is certain to appeal to the customers who rely upon your organization’s servers.