Learning How to Optimize Load Balancers
Being the fundamental function for managing a website, load balancers don't run well without being
configured properly. Loan balancing basically divides the amount of work that a computer has to do
between two or more computers to ensure that more work gets done in the same amount of time and, all
users get served faster. Here are a few ways to optimize the functioning of load balancers.
* Establish the application session type.
Many load balancers have numerous types of persistent sessions, like shopping carts or other types of
applications. It's often better to use persistent sessions, if an application makes calls to other servers.
Whenever a persistent connection is used, even if the user session is moved from one server in the pool
to another, the back-end connection to the database needs to be preserved. For this, the load balancer
maintains a session information for all users and decides how long to keep user sessions alive. While
many persistent sessions can use up memory resources on the load balancer, it is best to set a maximum
* Be prepared for emergencies.
When servers are unavailable, configure e-mail and SNMP trap alerts for major incidents. This helps
detect the difficulty in the system and provides information when the environment is degraded. To ensure
that hardware problems don't take the system completely offline, weigh the cost and complexity issues of
clustering or other high-availability solutions. IT managers can script tests for each server in a load-
balancer pool to make sure that if the load on that server will be transferred to another server in the pool
server, if the service stops responding.
* Determine the network activity.
Capture the bandwidth used by each service, the hits on each service, so that this data offers a historical
perspective on network traffic. This can enable IT managers to recognize the trends and proactively add
capacity whenever required to keep from overloading the system. Measuring the network activity can also
help in detecting problems when they occur.
* Restrict the traffic
With the help of access lists, restrict the traffic going through the load balancer. Although server groups
actually have multiple servers to handle to high volumes of traffic, it is server load balancing that aids in
the allocation of traffic across network servers in a more or less even spread, thereby ensuring that there
is no overload of one server.
Load balancers can intelligently analyze the wide area connections and accordingly allocate bandwidth,
for business-critical applications. As load balancing appliances have the potential to handle more than
one function, use the right load balancing techniques to optimize system performance through higher
application availability and scalability.
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