Load Balancing

What Does Load Balancing Mean?

Load balancing is an even division of processing work between two or more computers and/or CPUs, network links, storage devices or other devices, ultimately delivering faster service with higher efficiency. Load balancing is accomplished through software, hardware or both, and it often uses multiple servers that appear to be a single computer system (also known as computer clustering).


Techopedia Explains Load Balancing

Management of heavy Web traffic relies on load balancing, which is accomplished either by assigning each request from one or more websites to a separate server, or by balancing work between two servers with a third server, which is often programmed with varied scheduling algorithms to determine each server’s work. Load balancing is usually combined with failover (the ability to switch to a backup server in case of failure) and/or data backup services.

System designers may want some servers or systems to share more of the workload than others. This is known as asymmetric loading.

Large telecommunications companies and others with extensive internal or external networks may use more sophisticated load balancing to shift network communications between paths and avoid network congestion. Results include improved network reliability and/or the avoidance of costly external network transit.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…