How Load Balancing for Multi-Cloud and Hybrid Cloud Works

The age of the multi-cloud is here. And with it, we see organizations moving their workloads from one cloud to another depending on different factors. However, as more and more applications are deployed in the cloud, it’s becoming more challenging to manage all these applications. When you have several applications deployed across multiple locations, keeping track of them and ensuring they all have sufficient resources to run optimally can be challenging. Fortunately, there are solutions made specifically for this purpose: load balancing solutions for hybrid and multi-cloud environments. In this post, we will talk about load balancing, how it works in a hybrid or multicloud environment, and some common use cases.


What is Load Balancing?


Load balancing is a technique used to distribute workloads across multiple compute resources. It helps ensure an application always has sufficient resources to run optimally, even if those resources are being shared across other applications. As a result, a load balancer can help improve application performance and availability. Some load balancers can also help with things like resource metering or failover. Load balancing can be done both in hardware and software. In a hybrid or multi-cloud environment, it’s done in software. A load balancer is a software-based system that sits in front of your application and directs traffic to it. It knows how your application is built and can decide how to route incoming requests to individual servers inside your data center. The load balancer can monitor each server to ensure the application is operating properly. If the application goes down, the load balancer can detect the failure and direct all subsequent traffic to another server.


How does Load Balancing Work?


Load balancing works by distributing incoming requests among multiple servers. The load balancer maintains the state of the application and determines which servers to send the requests to. It will select the servers based on the state of the servers, the capacity of the servers, etc. Load balancing is often done based on the source IP address of the incoming request. The load balancer maintains a table of source IP addresses to server mapping and routes each request to the same server that received the previous request from that source IP address. This is known as persistence or sticky sessions.


What is a Hybrid Cloud?


A hybrid cloud refers to a cloud infrastructure that includes some on-premises components, like servers and network infrastructure. This means that a hybrid cloud environment might have a portion of the application hosted on a public cloud while the rest runs on-premises. A hybrid cloud can be achieved by connecting your on-premises and cloud-based applications with a virtual network. A virtual network is a dedicated network that spans across your on-premises and cloud-based resources. It’s a way to connect your on-premises servers and cloud-based applications and make them appear as if they’re on the same network. With a virtual network, you can create a hybrid cloud environment where one application or service is deployed on a public cloud, and the rest run on-premises. This helps you take advantage of the best features offered by each environment.


How does Hybrid Cloud Load Balancing Work?


In a hybrid cloud environment, the load balancer sits between the client and the server. The client makes requests to the load balancer, and the load balancer routes these requests to the appropriate server. The load balancer can make these decisions based on the current state of the servers, how many requests the servers are receiving, the application being hosted on the servers, etc. The load balancer maintains a table of source IP address to server mapping and routes each request to the same server that received the previous request from that source IP address. This is known as persistence or sticky sessions.


Some Common Use Cases for Load Balancing in a Hybrid Cloud Environment



● Improved Performance - Load balancing helps to distribute the workload by sending incoming requests to the least busy server. This ensures that the server is always receiving enough requests to maintain optimal performance.
● High Availability - Load balancing is essential for high availability since it’s used to failover to the next available server. For example, if a server goes down or becomes unavailable, the load balancer will start sending the requests to the next available server.
● Resource Metering - If your application is collecting pricing data from different sources, you may want to use a load balancer to distribute the requests across multiple sources. This will allow you to report the pricing data from your sources and ensure you don’t miss any of them.
● End-to-end Security - A load balancer can be used to provide end-to-end security for your application. The load balancer can inspect the requests coming into the application and secure them.

Multi-Cloud Load Balancing and Some Common Use Cases for Load Balancing in a Multi-Cloud Environment



● Simplified Migration to the Cloud - One of the challenges of moving to the cloud is getting your application migrated and ready to be hosted on the cloud. Using a load balancer will allow you to test your application in the cloud while still running on your existing infrastructure. This will reduce the time and effort required to migrate your application to the cloud.
● High Availability - Load balancing is essential for high availability since it’s used to failover to the next available server.
● Resource Metering - If your application is collecting pricing data from different sources, you may want to use a load balancer to distribute the requests across multiple sources. This will allow you to report the pricing data from all of your sources and make sure you don’t miss any of them.
● End-to-end Security - A load balancer can be used to provide end-to-end security for your application. - Automated Failover - A load balancer can be used for automated failover when working with a highly available application service. This will allow you to switch to another cloud when one fails.

Conclusion


Load balancing is a technique used to distribute workloads across multiple compute resources. It helps ensure an application always has sufficient resources to run optimally, even if those resources are being shared across other applications. In a hybrid or multi-cloud environment, it’s done in software. A load balancer is a software-based system that sits in front of your application and directs traffic to it. Load balancing works by distributing incoming requests among multiple servers. The load balancer maintains the application's state and determines which servers to send the requests to. It will select the servers based on the state of the servers, the capacity of the servers, etc. Finally, load balancing can be done both in hardware and software. In a hybrid or multi-cloud environment, it’s done in software.

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