Greyson Team

What is Load Balancing?

When choosing technology that can potentially change how traffic flows throughout the network, it is important for everyone in the application, network, and security teams to be on the same page. This is especially true with a load balancer. Load balancing refers to efficiently distributing incoming network traffic across a group of backend servers, also known as a server farm or server pool.

How it Works

A load balancer or application delivery controller acts as a traffic cop sitting in front of your servers directing traffic to the appropriate destination. Therefore security, network, and server teams need to work together to understand the solution.

Load Balancer Diagram – F5 Networks

Load balancers are typically grouped in 2 different categories: Layer 4 and Layer 7.

  • Layer 4 (L4) load balancers work at the transport level (IP, TCP, FTP, UDP).
  • Layer 7 (L7) load balancers work at the application level and distribute requests based on data found in the application layer (HTTP headers, SSL session IDs)

Based on the core functionality of a load balancer, firewall security can easily be bypassed, exposing the environment to an attack. Understanding traffic flow is pivotal for network teams to troubleshoot an issue and expedite recovery. Server teams can enhance applications’ availability by adding controls to help roll out server updates.

Load balancers have the potential to enhance application delivery throughout the network. But to properly maximize the investment, it is important for a company’s technical and security staff to understand the solution. It is also recommended that you work with a trusted partner which can help guide you throughout the process and implement the solution.

Networking best practices change and evolve constantly. It takes the help of industry experts to keep up with the latest trends and determine the best path for your organization. Our team of networking professionals have the experience needed to guide you in the right direction. Call us today to find out how you can reduce network complexity and optimize your network for the future.