Although the shifting of applications to the cloud from legacy structures of data centers continues to gain traction, it is found that server load balancing remains as an integral component of the core of IT infrastructures. Irrespective of the type of servers including ephemeral, permanent, virtual, or physical, workloads will be always required to be intelligently distributed throughout the entire gamut of servers. Load Balancing in Cloud Computing

However, the process of distributing workloads across a myriad of hybrid infrastructures, data centers, and clouds is extremely daunting. This usually culminates in poor distribution of workloads and deterioration of application performance. This underlines growing need for GSLB or Global Server Load Balancing

Load balancing from cloud’s perspective   

Load balancers are aptly known as Application Delivery Controllers or ADCs as these are designed to appropriately disperse workloads with an aim to achieve optimum consumption of collective server capacity so that the applications continue to perform efficiently. 


Global Server Load Balancing


Organizations have been leveraging hardware based Application Delivery Controllers for efficient distribution of workloads across the gamut of backend servers. Traditionally, the load balancing scenario has been dominated by Radware, Kemp Technologies, F5, and Citrix, which are considered as perfect resources in traditional environments of data centers

The more recent Application Delivery Controllers from same vendors are based on software as compared to their legacy counterparts that were hardware intensive. These include Amazon ELB, Nginx, and HAProxy, are facilitating organizations to move more number of applications to cloud environment. 

There are two fundamental approaches of leveraging multi-cloud Global Server Load Balancing techniques. The first approach covers basic management of traffic by using legacy managed DNS provider, which involves simplicity of usage and remarkable cost efficiency. 

Need for a better solution

However, this approach lacks in superior ability to manage traffic and enables only few capabilities including geo routing and round robin DNS. Additionally these approaches are unable to avert improper distribution of workloads simply because instead of executing traffic routing, which is based on real time workloads by taking into consideration capacity of data center, these approaches depend upon fixed as well as static rules. 

Also Read: Data Center Tiers and their Influence on Enterprise IT Infrastructures

To put it in a simpler way you can consider the example of geo routing, which makes sure that the user requests or workloads are properly distributed to the nearest data center but fails in accounting for spikes, outages, or geographical distribution of users. 

The second and smarter approach involves leveraging DNS devices, which are purpose built for seamless integration with Application Distribution Controllers for improving upon the shortcomings of the first approach.

Many enterprises may not be comfortable with demerits of this approach that include capital intensive network appliances that push up the capital as well as operating expenditure to significant levels.

These high-performance yet cost-prohibitive network appliances can be difficult to implement on a large scale because a single data center equipped with DNS capabilities cannot cater to mega scale global load balancing requirement.

By hosting DNS at a data center, there is creation of an additional point of failure since DNS is extremely vulnerable to DDoS attacks which are not easy to handle. Moreover, there is a need to empower DNS with 100 percent availability which is beyond the capacity of most of the enterprises. 

Many organizations therefore deploy their own data center load balancers instead of relying on Global Server Load Balancing features that are offered by load-balancer providers. The deployed data center load balancers can be effectively substituted by managed GSLB functionality, which is based on cloud computing for smart management of traffic by leveraging real-time telemetry offered by load balancers. 

Delivering GSLB via cloud

The most efficient delivery model of Global Server Load Balancers is via cloud-based managed service. 

An ideal GSLB service must be capable of redirecting workloads away from POPs that are already over-burdened with requests. In fact, the right GSLB solution should avert the overloading of POPs. This requires efficient detection of conditions that cause the overloading and may be due to capacity loss or result of spikes in demands.

Disparities of Application Demand Controllers that involve open source as well as commercial solutions in hybrid architectures need GSLB services to feature open interface that can facilitate real time data collection.  

Also Read : How Elastic Load Balancer Works?

In addition to exhibit globally available features, a right GSLB service must guarantee above average efficiency for management of global traffic. GSLB is devoid of capex as well as opex by its own definition. One needs to support the same with redundant infrastructure so that the cloud based infrastructure if GSLB is capable of delivering real time capabilities. 

In conclusion

We can expect to acquire capabilities of proprietary Application Demand Controller solutions while efficiently managing traffic on a global scale with help of reliable GSLB capabilities. By combining the two approaches mentioned in this article it is possible to offer a gratifying as well as consistent user experience.