If you have services in the cloud – or are considering moving them – cloud load balancing offers a host of benefits.
Many modern organizations have started adopting cloud-first or hybrid-cloud strategies. From CRMs that store customer information and ERP systems that track product data to cloud-computing platforms that can host websites and run multiple applications – organizations are using more and more cloud-based solutions to meet various business requirements. As such, the cloud migration market has been growing at around 30 percent a year, according to Forbes. Concurrently, the Covid-19 pandemic – which has caused major problems for the management of on-premises IT systems – is accelerating this trend.
However, if organizations want to reap the real value of the cloud, they need to focus on developing and implementing an intact cloud-based IT infrastructure – with end-to-end operating models oriented around the cloud. And if most of their computing infrastructure is hosted in the cloud, wouldn’t it make sense to run the load balancer in the cloud too?
The answer is...YES.
Cloud load balancing helps distribute client requests across multiple application servers that are running in a cloud – enabling organizations to maximize application performance and reliability. The best thing about cloud load balancers is that they’re not tied to a particular server or cluster. They are platform and protocol-independent – and can load balance across multiple cloud resources. Neither do they require additional software on the load-balanced nodes, i.e. agents nor are there any special configurations required. Unlike conventional load balancing methods of on-premise resources, cloud load balancing can involve lower cost and offers the ease of scaling applications up or down to match an organization’s business demands. So what are the three big benefits that cloud load balancing offers?
Businesses using load balancers in the cloud are able to handle traffic surges more effectively. Cloud load balancers are quick and easy to deploy, and through simple-to-use self-management interfaces, cloud resources can scale to meet the demands of traffic spikes (like those on Black Friday) without degrading performance. By deploying a cloud load balancer in front of a group of application instances, services are always served from healthy nodes, while bypassing ones that fail health checks – enabling web services to quickly auto-scale depending on the level of demand.
Flexibility, reliability, and high performance
Cloud load balancing manages application traffic while delivering increased redundancy. When the workload is distributed among various servers or network units, should a cloud resource crash, the cloud load balancer can effectively direct traffic away from the failed resource to active resources hosted elsewhere in the business’ cloud environment. This ability to host an application at multiple cloud hubs around the world hugely boosts system reliability. For example, if a power outage hits the northern US due to a snowstorm, a cloud load balancer can direct traffic away from cloud resources hosted there to resources hosted in other parts of the country – a multi-cloud approach can achieve this across two of public cloud providers, while a hybrid approach enables you to failover between a data center and public cloud. This helps organizations make their client applications work faster and improves performance – potentially at a lower cost, which brings us to...
Gone are the days when load balancing solutions were just hardware appliances installed in a customer’s data center. Due to their deployment complexity and maintenance costs, such devices limited viability to big companies with large OPEX budgets, and lots of technical experts to keep the systems running. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) typically couldn’t justify the expense involved in buying, deploying, and maintaining such systems.
Today, however, with cloud load balancers coming into the market, the cost equation is entirely different. Cloud load balancers can deliver the performance and reliability benefits of hardware-based solutions with much lower cost of ownership up front. As they run on the cloud, there’s no capital purchase, no direct cost for maintenance or support, and the service is billed based on usage – making them affordable even for smaller businesses. And while cloud load balancers may not be as cost-effective over the long term, the simple fact is that you only pay for what you use – ensuring no spend is wasted on unused or obsolete hardware.
For more on cloud, read our blog to find out more about our approach to multi and hybrid cloud environments to help future-proof our customers' IT infrastructures.