Load balancers are used to distribute web traffic, thus the workload, across multiple servers. Servebolt provides load balancer configurations for a variety of setups. This includes traditional load balancing, load balancing from the CDN edge, and geographically distributed load balancing.
Why should I use a load balancer?
The reason for using load balancers is to distribute traffic or load across multiple servers. The two most common use cases at Servebolt are to increase the ability to scale for more concurrent traffic. The other, is to route traffic to the fastest hosting origin depending on users geographical location.
Any setup with load balancing is more complex, than without. That means that you may consider other alternatives to scale first.
How do I know when I need load balancing
Scaling with load balancers is often necessary because hosting providers provide servers and computing instances with a lot less resources than when you host your website on a Bolt. For example, VPSes and cloud instances often come with only 2, 4 or 6 CPU cores, while Bolts always have multiples of that available.
If you are hosted on Servebolt, our platform engineers will issue notifications if there is any need to introduce load balancing or other techniques to increase a site’s ability to scale.
Alternatives to load balancing
Load balancing can be required because some part of the hosting setup has a performance bottleneck. There are many other ways to counter performance bottlenecks and to increase the ability to scale;
- Code improvements
- Separate database server and webserver server
- Use of caching and CDNs
Multi-origin geo load balancing
For fairly static websites, multi-origin hosting is an option. This is a kind of setup that will enable a website to be delivered at the fastest speeds possible, globally.
We have an instance of this very website, servebolt.com, hosted in all our Servebolt Cloud Regions. By using Geo Load Balancing, we route visitors from around the globe to the closest data center, which means that we deliver our website with local performance from close to any place on earth.
The following world map shows real user monitoring reported loading times for visitors to Servebolt.com. We’ve used Uptime.com’s RUM tracking.
Google Analytics also has a speed report, and the following graph displays our loading times after deploying our new site with multi-origin hosting and geo load balancing.
Load balancing can be added to any Servebolt plan or product, and is usually part of any of our Enterprise offerings.
Geo load balancing is available as an add-on to the Servebolt + Cloudflare Business plans.