With so many businesses and applications migrating to the cloud, corporations are increasingly concerned about how they will manage application availability and traffic. This issue is especially difficult for businesses that want the most flexibility possible by using different cloud service providers. To handle difficulties like load distribution, server responsiveness, and continuous availability, the usual way is to set up a local (on-premises or “on-prem”) rack-mounted DNS load balancer to solve the problem like load distribution, server responsiveness, and continuous availability.
What is Cloud Load Balancing?
The technique of distributing workloads among computing resources in a cloud computing environment while carefully balancing network traffic reaching those resources is known as cloud load balancing. Load balancing allows businesses to fulfill workload demands by distributing incoming traffic to numerous servers, networks, or other resources, all while enhancing performance and avoiding service disruptions. Workloads can also be distributed across two or more geographic locations via load balancing.
Cloud load balancing enables businesses to reach high levels of performance at possibly cheaper costs than traditional on-premises load balancing. Cloud load balancing utilizes the cloud’s scalability and agility to fulfill the needs of distributed workloads with a large number of client connections. It also enhances throughput and reduces latency while improving overall availability.
In contrast to hardware-based load balancing, which is more widespread in enterprise data centers, cloud load balancing distributes network traffic across resources using the software. A load balancer takes incoming traffic and directs it to active targets according to a set of rules. The health of individual targets is also monitored by a load balancing service to verify that they are fully operating.
Difference between hardware vs cloud load balancing
A hardware load balancer device (HLD) is a physical appliance used to distribute web traffic across multiple network servers. Routing is either randomized (e.g., round-robin), or based on such factors as available server connections, server processing power, and resource utilization.
Scalability is the primary goal of load balancing. In addition, optimal load distribution reduces site inaccessibility caused by the failure of a single server, while assuring even performance for all users. Different routing techniques and algorithms ensure optimal performance in varying load balancing scenarios.
Cloud load balancing, also known as LBaaS (load balancing as a service), is a modernized version of traditional hardware load balancers. It provides worldwide server load balancing and is appropriate for a highly distributed system, among other benefits.
The following use case scenarios compare a hardware load balancer to a cloud-based solution.
1. Single Data Center Load Balancing
This refers to traffic distribution through a local data center containing a minimum of two servers and one load balancer. Here, both hardware and cloud load balancers are equally effective in load distribution and server utilization.
The main difference is the higher cost of purchasing hardware compared to an LBaaS subscription fee. In addition, lack of HLD scalability may hinder performance, forcing you to purchase additional hardware—either out of the gate or down the road. Both issues are non-existent with cloud-based solutions, which can scale on-demand for no extra cost.
2. Cross Datacenter Load Balancing
Cross data center load balancing, also known as global server load balancing (GSLB), distributes traffic across global data centers typically located in different regions. The cost of purchasing and maintaining requisite hardware for GSLB is considerable at least one appliance has to be located in each of your data centers, with another central box to manage load distribution between them.
A DNS-based solution can be used to replace the central appliance to save money. However, this has its own set of issues; because of its dependency on TTLs, DNS is now regarded as antiquated and ineffectual.
Finally, due to the increased number of probable bottlenecks, scalability becomes an even greater issue with GSLB appliances and DNS cross-data center arrangements.
Comparison between hardware and cloud load balancer