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What is a Load Balancer and, Why Do I Need One?

Web Hosting Blog

‘What is a load balancer?’ and ‘Why do I need one’ are two common questions businesses ask. Before deciding if load-balancing is right for you here are the basic facts you need to know.

What is a load balancer?

In simple terms, a load balancer allows the distribution of network or application traffic across a number of servers.

This innovation increases the capacity and reliability of applications, so you get 100% uptime on your service with two servers open to deal with your traffic.

The advantages of load balancing

The number one reason people get a load balancer is increased redundancy. If your applications are all on a single server, you risk everything if something goes wrong. But, a load balancer lets you switch to another server if one server fails.

A load-balancing solution also gives your customers a seamless, uninterrupted and unaffected experience under any circumstance. 


Imagine that you wanted to make a few changes to your site. You could make the changes on Server 1 and direct all your traffic to Server 2 while you did the changes. 

Then, you can direct 20% of your traffic to Server 1 to test the updates. 

If it all goes well, you can then direct 100% of traffic to Server 1 until the upgrades are made to Server 2 

 Then go back to a 50/50 split once you are all done. 

At no point has your website had to go offline while you do your updates and, your customers are happily using your site as though nothing has happened!

Overall, load balancers prevent a single server from being overcome. This means you can maintain responsiveness and availability – even during periods of high demand. Load balancing provides you with higher redundancy, fault tolerance and, all this leads to greater peace of mind that if your server goes offline, you have a backup.

Load balancing is a great solution for anyone who expects high availability for their systems or sites like eCommerce sites.

To find out more about load balancing speak to one of our experts today.