What is Internet Link Load Balancing and Link Load Balancer
Large enterprises use more than one link to direct customers to a service or a website. More than one link is used to prevent disruption in service due to a failure on the part of the ISP (Internet Service Provider). Link load balancing helps these enterprises utilize the different backup links in their full capacity. This not only increases the reliability but also improves the overall access to the website.
Why is Link Load Balancing Important For Enterprises
Large enterprises that cannot allow access to the business services, to go down at any point of time, use more than one link and more than one internet service provider for this purpose to connect to the internet. Multiple internet service provider links help the enterprise to have a backup link in case of the failure of one of the links connecting the internal network of the enterprise to the internet.
When not in use, a backup link is mostly idle, i.e., the backup link is not fully utilized by the enterprise. Link load balancing technology is used by a load balancing appliance called the link load balancer which manages the different links connecting the internal network of the enterprise with the internet.
What is Link Load Balancing Technology
As discussed above, enterprises use more than one ISP link to connect the internal network to the internet or an external network. A link load balancing mechanism allows the enterprise to aggregate the bandwidth capacities of all these links and distributes the traffic on all available links.
The point to note is that all the links that connect to the internet are individually capable of handling the traffic. The purpose is to eliminate the risk of a single point of failure. When several links connect the internal network to the internet, and even when one of them fails, a link balancer simply diverts all traffic from the failed link to the one that is functioning well.
How do Link Load Balancing and Link Load Balancer Function
A link load balancer is placed between the enterprise internal network and the different links that connect to the internet through various internet service providers. The link load balancing device allows the use of all the possible links to connect through the internet. When a new request is registered, the link balancer simply diverts the request to the link that has lesser traffic thereby allowing greater bandwidth.
Link balancer also check for the health of the links. They try to divert traffic to the link that is seen in better health. The most advanced balancer use end to end checking of health by determining the response time of the link. This helps them to divert the bulk of the traffic to the most healthy links and ask for maintenance of the unhealthy link.
Link Load Balancing Advantages
There are various advantages that are associated with link load balancing. A server may receive unprecedented requests for a service, that may well exceed the bandwidth of a single link, resulting in possible failure of the link and hence a disruption in the service. Also, the requirement of a 24*7 access to services compel enterprises to prevent any loss in communication.
Link load balancing helps against these threats. While it fairly increases the reliability of the system, it also increases the bandwidth provided for the services.