Managing Issues Arise from Load Balancer

December 18, 2017

Network traffic overload is a common issue facing companies; once their websites are visited by numerous amounts of people, downtime or crash may happen, which may impact their business’ operations. This issue can be avoided by deploying load balancing. As previously mentioned load balancing has numerous benefits. One of which is to efficiently distribute incoming network traffic and workloads across a group of backend servers.

eBay have a busy traffic everyday with  169 million active users. Meanwhile, Accentf(x), a performance marketing and customer data analytics company based in Louisville, Kentucky, provides business to customer data and insights to companies, such as Samsung and Home Depot. These companies require a high-availability system to serve their clients 24/7, therefore downtime during scheduled updates to client web services means cost. They later deployed load balancer to overcome this challenge.

Along with the benefits of load balancer, several challenges remain. For example, when you implement a load balancer, the number of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connections and the number of servers must be equal, so it can distribute the workload evenly. This balance is sometimes impossible because when a server has malfunction, a “long-lived” TCP will dump all the workload to the working server, even after the malfunction is corrected. This issue, however, can be tackled by making the connections not be long-lived. By allowing connections to live for no longer than 10 minutes, for instance, means that about 10 minutes after you bring the second server online, the load should be back to being balanced.

Another issue with load balancing is when multiple servers are present, all requests and information during a user’s session are stored in different backend servers. This will disrupt the user’s session. Ideally, when a user’s session is happening, all requests and information during a particular session are stored in the same backend server to make the user’s session more efficient and simpler. This can be achieved by doing stickiness (sticky sessions), where the load balancer is instructed to communicate with the same backend server when a user’s session is taking place, even if multiple servers are present.

Yes, deploying load balancer can be beneficial if you can tackle the issues that may come with it. A thorough evaluation on IT environment and business needs as well as guidance from the expert will help you earn maximum benefits of the solution. CTI Group will help you dealing with more workloads with less worry.

Harry Surjanto is an Indonesian business and technology executive who currently serves as CEO and founder of PT Computrade Technology International (CTI Group), a leading IT solution and service provider in Indonesia. With his previous experience at a system integrator company, Surjanto has marked 27 years of career in IT and service industry. His expertise covers business strategy, people development and channel management. Surjanto got his bachelor degree in Electronic Engineering from Satya Wacana Christian University and master degree in Business Administration from Pelita Harapan University.

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