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What is Load-balancing and Do I Need It?
By: Rich Smith
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    2004-09-29

    Table of Contents:
  • What is Load-balancing and Do I Need It?
  • Why Load Balance?
  • Software Load-balancing
  • Hardware Load-balancing
  • Hardware vs. Software – A Comparison
  • Conclusion

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    What is Load-balancing and Do I Need It?


    (Page 1 of 6 )

    In today’s high tech world, the Internet is quickly becoming a favorite resource for knowledge gathering and entertainment alike.  As the owner of a popular website, you may find yourself running into problems because your servers cannot handle the number of visitors to your site. That’s where load-balancing comes in.

    Load-balancing, by definition, is dividing the amount of work that a computer has to do between one or more additional computers so that more work gets done in the same amount of time and, in general, all processing get done faster.

    Consider this analogy.  You own a restaurant, where you currently employ one chef.  As your restaurant gains popularity, the chef becomes busier with the preparation for the food for each of your visitors.  There will eventually come a time when the stream of customers is too much for your chef to keep up with them.  So how do you solve it?  You hire a second chef.  When a new order comes in, the chef with the smaller load takes it and fills it accordingly.  This way, neither of the chefs is bogged down the whole time and all orders are completely quicker.  This is the essence of load-balancing.

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