Load Balancer | What is it and how does it work? | Parallels Explains

What is a load balancer?

load balancerA load balancer is an appliance that could be physical or virtual and acts as a proxy to distribute network traffic across several servers. Load balancers are utilized to increase capacity (concurrent users) and reliability of applications. Load balancers improve the performance of shared applications and desktops by distributing the network traffic on multiple servers, as well as by distributing application-specific tasks on each server individually.

Load balancer categories

Load balancers improve server fault tolerance and end-user response time. Load balancing distributes client requests across multiple servers to optimize resource utilization.

Load balancers are split into two categories: Layer 4 and Layer 7.

Layer 4 load balancers work with data located in network and transport layer protocols (IP, TCP, FTP, UDP), meaning the actual data requests to the servers.

Layer 7 load balancers work with data located in application layer protocols such as HTTP.

Both types of load balancers receive requests and distribute them to a server based on a configured algorithm.

Some industry-standard algorithms

The round-robin load balancer continues passing requests to servers based on this order to ensure that the server load is distributed evenly to manage high traffic.

If the weighted round-robin load balancer receives 6 requests, it directs them in this sequence:

In this manner, the weighted round-robin algorithm distributes the load according to each server’s capacity.

Parallels RAS load balancer

Parallels Remote Application Server (RAS) integrates a load balancer within its main component, the Parallels RAS Console, capable of using a round-robin or resource-based balance utilizing CPU, Memory, and User Session counters. Also, an external load balancer appliance titled “HALB,” which stands for High Availability Load Balancer is available without any extra cost.

Download your 30-day Parallels RAS trial and experience intuitive load balancing in your infrastructure in a matter of minutes!


F5 | https://www.f5.com/services/resources/glossary/load-balancer

NGINX | https://www.nginx.com/resources/glossary/load-balancing/

Load Balancing | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Load_balancing_(computing)

TechTarget | https://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/load-balancing

DigitalOcean | https://www.digitalocean.com/community/tutorials/what-is-load-balancing

Parallels | https://www.parallels.com/products/ras/capabilities/load-balancing/