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What Is Global Server Load Balancing and Why Do You Need It?

How much do you think it would cost your company if one of your servers went down? Thousands of dollars? Tens of thousands?

More than 90% of enterprises report hourly losses of over $300,000 due to downtime while nearly 45% report between $1 million and $5 million per hour.

Global server load balancing (GSLB) can help you avoid those losses. Let’s look at why you need GSLB.

What Is Global Server Load Balancing?

Global server load balancing connects multiple servers in different locations around the world. They all serve the same data but traffic gets routed to different servers based on their availability and location.

If one server goes down, another picks up the slack.

How Does GSLB Technology Work?

There are two types of GSLB strategies — simple and smart.

Simple load balancing sends requests to servers based on the order they’re received or even randomly. This offers the redundancy benefits of GSLB but doesn’t account for performance.

Smart load balancing analyzes the requests before sending them to a particular server. Once it identifies where the request is coming from, it chooses the server closest to that location to reduce latency.

For example, let’s say you have a GSLB setup with servers in Los Angeles, London, and Melbourne. When a request comes from Europe, the load balancer would route it to London for the fastest performance. A request from Sydney, on the other hand, would go to Melbourne.

But if the server in London goes offline for some reason, European traffic could get routed to Los Angeles instead. The latency would be a little higher but there wouldn’t be any disruption to availability.

3 Benefits of Using GSLB in Your Business

Global server load balancing offers several benefits beyond improved availability. The following are the three biggest advantages of GSLB.

  1. Performance

Performance is one of the biggest benefits of GSLB. By routing traffic to the server that’s geographically closest to the person making a request, it cuts out one or more “hops” between locations.

Each hop delays the response a bit so users won’t get it as fast. These delays may only be milliseconds but if there are a lot of users on the server, they can add up quickly.

  1. Burst Management

If a server gets a sudden spike in traffic for some reason, it can overwhelm the network connection. In the worst-case scenario, the server could go offline.

With a GSLB setup, the servers can handle bursts of traffic by distributing it across the entire network. This instant scalability will keep things running smoothly when you get a lot of unexpected traffic.

  1. Customized Content Delivery

GSLB lets you host different content on each server in the network. Each node can host information that’s customized for the geographic location it’s in. If you want to learn more about how this works, check it out here.

Don’t Take Chances on Server Downtime

Whether your business stands to lose millions of dollars or much less if your server goes down, it still hits your bottom line. Consider implementing a global server load balancing system before it’s too late.

Browse through our Business and Finance section for more helpful articles about protecting your company from unexpected costs.