What is a load balancer?

It is a very high in demand managed solution to manage traffic load. It is a hardware solution whose main work is to reduce network or application traffic load, by distributing traffic across different servers. Load balancer helps improve the overall user capacity while also improving application performance. You could run your applications without the load balancers as well. But what if there is a sudden traffic on your application, in that case the application will either slow down or will be down. To avoid such mis happening it is a general practice that businesses use load balancers to manage the uneven and unforeseen traffic. Load balancers provide elasticity to the network and application to manage the always varying traffic load. 

There are mainly 3 types of elastic load balancers:

What are the types of load balancers?

  1. Application load balancer, 
  2. Network load balancer and
  3. Classic load balancer. 

How do application load balancers work?

Application load balancers basically work on Layer 7 of the OSI model. In these application load balancers traffic or requests gets routed based on the information in the HHTP request header. This is a fully managed service which means you don’t access what’s happening in the backend.

How do network load balancers work?

Network load balancers basically work on Layer 4 of the OSI model to manage the ever-volatile TCP traffic requests. Static IP addresses are made available at different availability zones. This works great if you are using container services or want to use more than 1 port on EC-2 instance. With network load balancer you could handle millions of requests each second and no preparation in advance is needed to handle such traffic load.  

How do classic load balancers work?

These classic load balancers basically work on Layer 4 and Layer 7 of the OSI model. In classic load balancers requests gets forwarded without looking into the type of requests. They are just forwarded to the backend section. Classic load balancers works great if you need simple load balancing and multiple protocols. 

Which load balancer you should choose?

And all of these load balancers have their own utility while managing network or application traffic. It totally depends on the platform and the type of function required from the load balancer. Flexible applications utilise Application Load balancer, extreme performance and static IP requires Network Load Balancer and existing applications with EC-2 classic network make use of Classic Load Balancers.

Contact Spectra Cloud Technical Support and Sales team to know more about Load balancers for your organization’s information Technology Infrastructure.