When a business or other organization hosts its web presence on its own dedicated servers, the issue of load balancing inevitably arises. Load balancing refers to the need to distribute traffic equitably among the servers that make up a cluster; it becomes necessary when a website is serving many end users at once. While it is possible to use one large server to see to the needs of a busy website, it can be much more cost efficient to use several smaller ones instead, assembling them into a cluster. This strategy helps to guarantee high performance even at times of peak usage and offers the added benefit of providing for redundancy so that not all of a company’s eggs are in the same basket.
In a managed services environment for web hosting, load balancing becomes the responsibility of the managed services provider. This is particularly beneficial for small and medium-sized businesses, since they may lack personnel with the specialized skills needed to set up a load balancing system. Such systems must be regularly monitored and maintained in order to be sure that they are functioning correctly, but a managed services IT company will be able to take care of this aspect of operations as well.
One thing to keep in mind is that the need for load balancing does not alter in any way the importance of protecting your data and systems from the attempted intrusions that are a fact in the current threat environment. Thus, a managed services firm providing load balancing as part of their web hosting services will configure the balancing in conjunction with a robust firewall and other protective measures.