The basics of Load Balancing

Any owner of a high volume site will know that the quality of the services provided depends to
a great deal on server response times and network transfer speeds. While the response time
depends on the server\'s resources - plenty of RAM, a fast CPU and quality I/O performances
- network transfer speeds depend on the bandwidth for Internet links.

High traffic periods can stretch those resources to the limit and result in problems for servers
and subsequently users. While installing faster CPUs, more RAM or faster and/ or dedicated
SCSI controllers is one option, an alternative approach is to increase web server numbers
and distributing traffic evenly across this server network.

This process is what load balancing is essentially all about. In essence, a system, disc-
subsystem or network is fine-tuned to distribute data and data-processing, communications,
and so on evenly across a network of connected servers to balance the overall load. If one of
the servers experiences peak loads, some of the load is redirected to another server that still
has spare capacity available.

As a result, no single server is ever likely to be overwhelmed, and slow loading times,
disruptions, connection issues and other problems caused by high volume traffic can be
prevented.

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