Optimal utilization of resources is the key to a high-performing web server. While underutilized resources were a problem with physical servers, virtualization allowed maximum utilization of resources by dividing the physical server into several virtual servers. However, with multiple virtual servers, there was a possibility of one server reaching its threshold and dropping requests. This led to the need for balancing the load among the servers to ensure better performance and speed of each device. In this article, we will talk about load balancing and how it works in Cloud Hosting.
Cloud Hosting and Load Balancing
Cloud Hosting is a hosting service in which your website data is stored on a ‘cloud’ architecture – a storage cluster of interconnected servers. The structure of this hosting allows the web host to offer instant resource scalability, advanced data security and enhanced reliability of the hosting service.
How it works:
One of the best features of a Cloud Hosting service is server reliability. Since the website is hosted on a network of interconnected servers, if one server experiences too much load, then another steps-in and balances the load. This helps in reducing latency and offer fast-loading websites.
When a user requests information from your website, the same is forwarded to a router. The router sends it to a load balancer. Now, it is the turn of the load balancer to assess which machine has the resources required to fulfil the request and forwards it to that machine. The machine processes the request and sends the information back to the load balancer which forwards it to the router and in turn to the user’s browser.
Today, site owners expect 99.9%+ uptimes. However, servers need maintenance, and sometimes, the web host needs to shut a server down for routine maintenance activity. This is when load balancing comes handy too. With a network of servers working in tandem, a few going down does not affect the performance of the websites hosted on it. The load balancer does the trick and ensures that the requests are processed by servers that have the capacity to fulfil them.
However, load balancing is not that simple in a cloud environment. The balancer needs to assess the processing capacity, health of the server, and the geographical location to ensure that the request is forwarded to the server that is best suited to process it.
Before you buy a Cloud Hosting plan, talk to the host and understand how he balances load across his network. Look for reviews from other users regarding uptimes, speed, and the overall reliability of the hosting service. This can give you an idea about the effectiveness of the host’s load balancing process.
Load balancing is an important feature of a Cloud Hosting service. It separates this hosting type from the others as it offers scalability and reliability at a completely different level. We hope that this article gave you a basic idea about load balancing in Cloud Hosting and why it is important for your website. If you have any further questions, please mention them in the comments below.