Load Balancing Algorithms

Load balancers use a number of algorithms to direct traffic. Some of the most common algorithms are listed below.

1)Random: Using a random number generator, the load balancer directs connections randomly to the web servers behind it. This type of algorithm may be used if the web servers are of similar or same hardware specifications. If connection monitoring is not enabled, then the load balancer will continue sending traffic to failed web servers.

2)Round Robin : Using a circular queue, the load balancer walks through it, sending one request per server. Same as the random method, this works best when the web servers are of similar or same hardware specifications.

3)Weighted Round Robin: Web servers or a group of web servers are assigned a static weight. For instance, new web servers that can handle more load are assigned a higher weight and older web servers are assigned a lower weight. The load balancer will send more traffic to the servers with a higher weight than the ones to the lower weight. For instance if web server ‘A’ has a weight of 3 and web server ‘B’ has the weight of one, then web server ‘A’ will get 3 times as much traffic as web server ‘B’.

4)Dynamic Round Robin: Servers are not assigned a static weight, instead the weight is built dynamically based on metrics. These metrics may be generated on the servers and the load balancer will check them. The reason this is round robin is because if two servers have the same dynamic weight, the load balancer will use round robin between the different weights.

5)Fastest: The load balancer keeps track of response time from the web server, and will prefer to send connections to those servers that respond the quickest.

6)Least Connection: Keeps a track of the connections to the web servers, and prefers to send connections to the servers with the least number of connections.

7)Observed: Uses a combination of least connection and fastest algorithms. “With this method, servers are ranked based on a combination of the number of current connections and the response time. Servers that have a better balance of fewest connections and fastest response time receive a greater proportion of the connections. ”

8)Predictive: Works well in any environment, uses the observed method, however tries to predict which server will perform well based on rank of observed and will send more traffic to servers with a higher rank.

For additional details read http://bit.ly/1dyGelW.

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