How to Pick the Best Option for Your Multi site Load Balancing Needs

How to Pick the Best Option for Your Multi site Load Balancing Needs

Recent years have seen a definitive movement away from a traditional, single data center, with more and more organizations opting to go with a multi-site model. Also called a multi-data center or multi-cloud model, this approach includes hybrid configurations that bring improved speeds, better performance, and greater reliability.

Multi-site load balancing needs are rather different from what you might see if you were to use a traditional single data center configuration. And that begs the question: how do you pick the best option for your multi-site load balancing needs? Well, it’s usually advantageous to start with the basics.

Basic Considerations for Picking the Best Load Balancer for Your Needs

Whether you are seeking a global server load balancer for a worldwide deployment of your new mobile app or require a multi-site load balancing solution with exceptional performance capabilities, it is helpful to have a firm grasp on the key considerations for choosing a load balancer.

Here is an overview of the points that you should be examining as you begin you search out the best load balancing option.

Calculate Your Anticipated Loads – By evaluating your anticipated loads, you can more effectively evaluate a load balancer’s capabilities relative to your needs and the demands that you would place on the system. High availability is the key to speed and performance but if your loads are excessive and far higher than what a server infrastructure can handle, then availability is going to be a consistent problem. If you are on the fence between over-calculating or under-calculating load, it is generally best to go with the higher figure.

Consider Security – For some applications, security is a significant point of consideration. There may not be encryption between the load balancers and the servers, opening the door to attack while data is in transit. If this is the case, you may need to look for certain configurations that improve security, like using an SSL pass-through or by opting to place the load balancer and servers in the same data center. There are many workarounds to improve security, but you must be conscious of this as you are selecting the right load balancer for your needs.

Evaluate Scalability – As you consider all of these points, make sure you factor in your current needs and your future needs. Scalability is a key consideration that must be factored in as you calculate load, cost, and performance. A solution that works today could prove ineffective just a few months down the road. You want to be sure you select a load balancing solution that will work well both today and in the future.

As with all technology investments, cost of ownership and return on investment are going to be key considerations in your search for the best load balancer. Choose the wrong load balancer and you are likely to find that the numbers just don’t compute to your advantage in the area of ROI and cost of ownership.

How to Pick the Best Multi-Site Load Balancer

With these more general considerations in mind, you will be well-positioned to choose the best multi-site load balancing technology to suit your needs. Here is a look at some of the best options for multi-site load balancing.

  • Global Server Load Balancing – GSLB is a top pick for multi-site load balancing needs because you have a global network of servers that are available to handle incoming client requests. GSLB goes beyond typical DNS load balancing options to include server health checks, geo-load balancing to the nearest server location and shortest round-trip load balancer algorithms that allow you to effectively leverage a broad GSLB server network.
  • Go Hybrid With Cloud Load Balancers – If you have a public-facing application that requires load balancing technology, the cloud can offer a great multi-site load balancing solution. You can even opt for clouds in different availability zones to improve performance beyond what would ever be possible with traditional data centers. It is even possible to use load balancers on different cloud providers in differing geographic locations in an effort to optimize availability and speed. The possibilities really are limitless in this regard, particularly if you opt for some of the larger, more resilient cloud infrastructures such as AWS.
  • Local Area Network (LAN) Extensions – One multi-site load balancing strategy entails the establishment of a VLAN or subnet across multiple data center locations, with an active load balancer at one site and a passive load balancer at a second site. Add in some high-end routers and switch equipment and you can create a network that meets your needs.

Once you find the ideal load balancing technology for your needs, you will need to select the right algorithm or method that will be used to distribute client requests across your servers. These methods can include:

  • Round Trip Time (RTT)
  • Round Robin
  • Static Proximity
  • Least Connections
  • Least Bandwidth
  • Least Response Time
  • Least Packets

These are a few of the different load balancing algorithms that you might consider, with the best choice being largely dependent upon factors such as the nature of your application and your priorities (i.e. speed, reliability, etc.)

Multi-site load balancing can pose some challenges as you are selecting the ideal technology for your needs, but once you have a good system in place, the benefits can be tremendous. Navigating the setup and configuration process demands a relatively high degree of technical expertise, but that is where the pros at Resonate can help.

The team here at Resonate specializes in today’s best load balancing solutions, including cloud load balancing, GSLB, and a number of other load balancing technologies that can work well for a multi-site configuration. We encourage you to reach out today and the Resonate team will examine your load balancing requirements; then, we can architect a good solution that will not only meet your needs but even exceed your expectations when it comes to attributes such as availability, performance, and reliability.