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Every webmaster wants more traffic. Gaining a continuous new flow of visitors to your website allows you to generate more leads and hopefully turn them into customers. Unfortunately, increases in web traffic come with a heavier load on your server. Traffic spikes can come from trend jacking on social media with articles based around a certain event or various other viral marketing campaigns, as well as increased bandwidth from video streaming. With almost 2/3 of the global population now connected online, there is plenty of scope for increases in traffic and the server issues incurred while trying to cope with the spike.

Load balancing is an excellent solution to smooth out any server issues. By using a set of algorithms, a load balancer can distribute parts of your site to specific areas over multiple servers. This helps to ensure your site functions optimally and isn’t affected by an underperforming server or bandwidth issues. Here at Catalyst 2, we offer load balancing as part of our Managed Hosting Plus packages as well as other benefits including server maintenance and monitoring as well as round the clock support.

What is a load balancer?

A load balancer evenly distributes the traffic coming to your website, ensuring your hosting solution is operating at an optimal level. It essentially acts as a gateway for incoming traffic to your site and distributes the flow of visitors to key areas, attaining maximum efficiency of the delivery of the pages on your site without overworking any of the servers. This keeps all servers running at a maximum so that each web page can be delivered in an efficient and timely manner. The intuitive nature of the load balancer will also know when a server is down, or alternatively, if a new server becomes available it will then be able to distribute the web traffic to all the functional servers accordingly, resulting in them being load balanced.

Why are load balancers important?

Time is money and businesses may not fully understand just how much even a small amount of time offline can affect them. The average business experiences almost 15 hours of IT outage each year, which results in excess of a whopping 1.5m in revenue. Just 1 hour of server downtime can be the difference between a good and bad year for SMBs, so it’s imperative to make sure your servers are load-balanced.

Regardless of the size of your business, the story is clear, any server downtime will result in a drop in revenue and will have negative connotations for your company. With catalyst2 Managed Hosting Plus you not only get a personal service but also the proactive support and maintenance we provide, ensuring any server issues are ironed out before they cause any problems for your customers.

So how do catalyst2 implement load balancing technology?

Here are the main ways the load balancing algorithm can be used to deliver the pages of your website to users in the most efficient way, a few examples are:

Round Robin – essentially rotates the load over a set number of servers, reducing the workload on any one particular server.

Least Connections – this method assigns new connections to the server with the least amount of workload at the time, ensuring no particular server gets overloaded.

Least Time – similar to the least connections method, this has the option of assigning one server with extra capacity to allot more connections to, distributing the load on each server more evenly.

Hash – will distribute connections to a specific key that you define, like a URL or a certain IP address.

IP Hash – the client’s IP address will determine which server the task is assigned to.

Random with 2 choices – selects 2 servers and then uses the least connections method to decipher which server should be used.

At catalyst2, we provide a full range of load balancing solutions. Get in touch with us today for our advice and recommendations on all your server and hosting needs.