How to Balance Traffic So Your Server Doesn’t Crash

Servers play one of the most important roles in the modern digital network called the internet. They are the storage hub for data that needs to be accessed by web surfers. Every modern business either uses private servers of their own or utilizes third-party managed servers to store their data for access.

Servers, like all pieces of networking equipment, aren’t built to withstand an infinite amount of load. They’re limited by the amount of traffic they can handle at any given point in time. If the server has to bear more traffic than it’s capable of, it could end up crashing. These unexpected crashes can increase service downtime, hinder the user experience, and also put the burden of management costs upon you.

A common way of distributing the load is to use more than one server. That way, the traffic is distributed among them and the risk of overloading is reduced.

However, the traffic must be balanced among these servers to ensure the best protection against crash risks.

Load balancers

Medium- and large-scale businesses have hundreds of thousands of customers. Their websites sometimes have to bear tons of concurrent requests, and the backend servers must respond to them with the correct response.

A load balancer is like a “server cop” that sits in front of your server pool and redirects the incoming requests to a relevant server. If any of the servers go down due to a technical problem, the load balancer automatically reallocates the client request to a different server. If you add up an additional server in your server pool, the load balancer automatically starts sending relevant clients to it.

To put it simply, a load balancer ensures that your servers handle client requests in the most efficient way possible while ensuring the risk of crashes is minimalized.

Load balancers are available in software, as well as in hardware form factor. Hardware load balancers are generally considered to be the one-size-fits-all solution. However, software load balancers could come in handy when you’re tight on budget or want a bit more flexibility.

Cookie persistence

After a specific user is connected to a server from your pool, they must stay connected to that specific server and all of their requests be handled by it. If that’s not the case, the client will have to face issues; their shopping cart will get deleted after they refresh the page; they’d have to log in to your website after every refresh, and much more.

To fix that problem, the load balancer looks at cookies to differentiate between multiple users and keeps them aligned with the correct server.

Health checking

The area where various load balancers vary is health checking capabilities. Different load balancers have different protocols to check if a server from the pool is up and functioning correctly.

Some load balancers offer a more interactive health checking mechanism, while others might rely on simpler ones. In any case, it’s a great idea to get in touch with your supplier to find out which methodology they use for health checking.

Capacity

Different load balancers are built to handle different capacity levels. Connections Per Second is the most important metric used to measure the capacitive performance of a load balancer.

Small businesses that have a smaller client group and minimum website visitors can work with load balancers of lesser capacity. However, as a business grows and the website activity by potential customers increases, more capacity would be needed.

Residential proxy

The residential proxy allows you to access a server from an IP address that’s not located in your geographical area. It lets the user choose a specific area, i.e., a city, a country, or a mobile career, and access a web server as a real person from that area.

Residential proxies work by taking the user requests through an intermediate server that conceals the actual location of the user. The target server that’s responsible for sending back a response to the user sees the request coming from the intermediate server. It improves the user experience by diverting the traffic to another server, while also enhancing security.

Final thoughts

Balancing the load among different servers of a server pool is crucial for decreasing the risk of crashes and downtime. Load balancers play an important role in that area by dividing the incoming traffic among multiple servers effectively.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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