Many methods are used today to improve website performance, response time, and also, to avoid disruption of service attacks. Too many DNS requests can overload a server and cause a downtime. A couple of hours of downtime can cause a significant loss of revenue for a vendor. Yahoo! was inaccessible for 3 hours in 2000, for example, and the revenue lost was estimated to about $500,000.

Network Load Balancing (NLB) methods are used to avoid routing protocols, such as Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), to easily deliver data across points in different geographical regions. The workload is distributed across multiple computers and disk drives, and finally, different servers in a cluster. System administrator can actually build clusters of servers, each of which is load balanced with incoming client requests. In such way, all users get served faster.

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Each server is basically running a duplicate of an application that you wish to provide to the targeted user. A virtual network adapter is created on each host so that the whole cluster is recognized as a single entity by the computer. However, the whole cluster of servers, i.e. whichever can handle the request fastest, will answer the client request. In such way, overloading of a single server is avoided.

Advantages of Using Network Load Balancing

  • You can provide content-intensive applications to the client. Whereas a single server couldn’t provide adequate processing power, an additional cluster can.
  • Intelligent usage of processing power. Service requests are directed to the least busy servers.
  • Highest performance is achieved and users are provided with answers to their requests in the fastest response time.
  • Downtime recovery. You can easily readjust any functions of the cluster, and redistribute service to different servers in the cluster, in a different geographical location.

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