How can load balancing improve response times?

Written by:
Amelia Craig
Date Posted:
21 January 2019

Website outages
A website that is slow at loading or has frequent outages can be damaging for a company that sells their products or services online. High levels of traffic to a website puts a lot of strain on servers – think of the frenzied customers that try to get tickets in the Glastonbury lottery or Black Friday deals.

Balancing the traffic
Load balancers are the perfect solution for websites with high levels of site traffic. They distribute the workload across two or more servers, ensuring that an individual server doesn’t ever hold too much traffic, causing site failure.

Hyve can provide layer 3 or layer 7 load balancing, allowing traffic to be distributed intelligently across servers. Layer 3 load balancers distribute traffic based on IP addresses alone, whereas Layer 7 load balancers can make load-balancing decisions based on the content of the message.

Routing traffic

Depending on the content, the load balancer then makes a TCP (transmission control protocol) connection with the most suitable server for the message and sends it back. They also allow maintenance and code releases on a server without the need for website downtime.

Load balancers perform constant health checks on the available servers before routing traffic, so if one server is unavailable due to updates, the load balancer will reroute traffic to another server that is performing correctly. This allows maintenance and code releases to be deployed on each server individually, ensuring there is always an available server for traffic to be routed to.

Damage control
Website downtime issues regularly make the headlines, with many users taking to social media to express their frustrations. For example, in July 2018 Amazon’s website crashed on one of their biggest shopping days of the year, ‘Prime Day’ (and they use their own hosting).  Thousands of outraged customers took to Twitter to vent their frustrations, with many of them threatening to cancel their prime membership.

Using a hosting provider that can quickly scale resources and load balance traffic is hugely beneficial for these situations, especially for businesses that rely on their website to sell their services.

Load balancing with Hyve
Our load balancing experts manage your platform and scale your network in order to meet traffic demands at any given time, preventing website downtime. Drop us a line on 0800 612 2524 if you would like to discuss how to improve your current set up.

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