Load balancing is a core networking solution responsible for distributing incoming traffic among servers hosting the same application content. By balancing application requests across multiple servers, a load balancer prevents any application server from becoming a single point of failure, thus improving overall application availability and responsiveness. For example, when one application server becomes unavailable, the load balancer simply directs all new application requests to other available servers in the pool.
Load balancers also improve server utilization and maximize availability. Load balancing is the most straightforward method of scaling out an application server infrastructure. As application demand increases, new servers can be easily added to the resource pool, and the load balancer will immediately begin sending traffic to the new server.
Early generation server load balancers are tried and true solutions for improving the availability and scalability of an organization’s application infrastructure. Nonetheless, enterprises that persist in using such products run the risk of exposing themselves and their customers to increasingly poor application performance and a seemingly endless stream of application layer security threats.
As a leader in cloud networking and security solutions, the Citrix NetScaler line of products provide a much more efficient and effective approach – replacing the old server load balancers with new Application Delivery Controllers. These tightly integrated physical and virtual appliances not only provide core load-balancing capabilities, but also deliver the highest levels of security and performance for today’s business critical Web applications.