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Different Types of Load Balancers in Computer Networking

Updated on July 24, 2011

Networking Load Balancers

In computer networking load-balancing comprises several different types of utilizing computer clusters, network links, CPUs, disk drives and other resource. The default formula is to achieve optimal resources between computers and computer clusters. Load balancing is provided by both hardware and software methodologies.

Software-based load balancers

  • Software load balancers are networking traffic splitters that help reduce workloads on computer servers. Many applications include: SAP, Windows Terminal Server, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Sharepoint Server, and VMware Virtual Desktop. Other load balancers include, Citrix (NetScaler), F5 (BIG-IP), Cisco (Ace), A10, Brocade (Foundry), Radware, Kemp, Alteon, Barracuda, Ultra Monkey (Linux open source software), and Coyote Point. Software based load balancers are much easier to configure. The protocols themselves are cheaper and can be setup at a much faster and durable rate.

Hardware-based load balancers

  • Hardware load balancers are incredibly acute. A hardware load balancer offers more deployment capabilities. It allows you to work much better with any TCP port and to the individual application of its service. Using this method is more complicated, but it gives you a competitive edge over a software based load balancer. Many companies will not use these protocols at all. Hardware load balancers are superior to the round robin DNS technique. It has less flaws compared even to strictly software based balancers.

Round-robin DNS

  • The round robin DNS techniques’ service hosts by managing DNS and responding to address request by client computers. Round-robin responds to several servers with identical services. Round-robin is ideally for geographically distributed and international Web servers. There are a few drawbacks with the protocol. In the DNS hierarchy itself, record caching makes the protocol hard to maintain. (Regardless of the setup process, with its ease, this protocol is not recommended as a primary or secondary attribute, (even by Microsoft standards.) This setup requires periodic checks several times.


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