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Cloud Load Balancing simply implies doing load balancing, i.e. distributing workload across multiple servers or data centers, network links, central processing units, disk drives, on the cloud, i.e. within the Internet itself. This method, as other load balancing methods, helps to achieve optimal resource utilization, maximize throughput, minimize response time, and avoid overload of resources.

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Image source: https://www.rackspace.co.uk/

The concept relies heavily on Edge Computing, i.e. locating parts of Web site content and processing closer to the end user:

  • computing is pushed away from centralized points of a network
  • mesh topology of a network is used (peer-to-peer, decentralized)
  • replicas of information are created across distributed network of servers
  • the volume of data that needs to be moved is decreased
  • the distance that the data must go is reduced
  • the risk of failure is smaller, data is checked as it passes through protected firewalls and other security points

Designed specifically for corporate and other large-scale web servers, edge computing provides application processing load balancing capacity that acts like an application cache. In this specific case, the cache is in the Internet itself. However, you should not mistake static caching of web content with Cloud Load Balancing, as this type is caching and/or mirroring transactional and interactive systems, which is a much more complex problem that is related to data freshness, refresh rates, dynamic data etc.

One of the usual methods to meet expected data loads in businesses, is implementing a Content Delivery Network (CDN). However, even such cloud environment can fail without an automated load balancing component. Traditional content delivery networks (CDNs) lack the flexibility to apply real-time traffic management policies, limiting your content delivery strategy. With cloud load balancing, you have the flexibility to manage the delivery policies based on:

  • real-time conditions
  • user targets
  • geographical performance

All without compromising availability, application performance and operational efficiency.

With Cloud Load Balancing you are able to manage and combine single CDNs, multiple CDNs or default origin servers. For many development and e-commerce firms, load balancing on the cloud is the next logical step towards building their future platforms.

As an example, Amazon incorporated Zeus Load Balancer to their EC2 application catalogue. Kosten Metreweli, chief marketing officer for Zeus Technology, commented:

“The combined load balancing mechanism, both on premises and in the cloud, allows a company to fail quickly or scale quickly, depending on the popularity of its new application.”

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