Every site owner wants website traffic. However, too much traffic affects your web server’s performance. One web server is fine when you’re starting out, but you need more than one if your site’s popularity increases. With more than one server, you need a way to route traffic. You route traffic to the next available server using a load balancer.
What is a Load Balancer?
A load balancer sits between the Internet and your web farm. Your web farm must have at least two servers for you to take advantage of a load balancer. A load balancer determines which server can handle the current traffic and sends this traffic to the next available server in the rotation.
Advantages of a Load Balancer
Not only does a load balancer help with busy servers, but it also ensures that traffic persists to the right server even when one crashes. You’ll never need to worry about traffic receiving failed web request on your site. If one server crashes, the load balancer detects the issue and sends traffic to the next available server in the rotation.
Load balancers are also beneficial when you need to promote new code to your website. You first remove one web server from the rotation. You then upload your new code to the removed server. Using the server’s direct IP address, your quality analysis people test the site. After testing is complete, you then promote the code to the additional servers in your web farm. The result is that you fully test your code in a production environment before uploading it to all web servers. This process reduces the amount of bugs you introduce to the production website and ensure better quality for your users.