Honey Bees & Web Servers: A Load Balancing Love Story

High traffic spikes to your website should be a cause for celebration – not something to stress about! Liquid Web™ offers Load Balancer solutions to alleviate the load of high traffic caused by popular media events, viral campaigns, or social networking trends. In addition, we strive to stay on top of the latest in industry developments. For instance, did you know researchers are even looking at honey bees to improve the efficiency of load balancing systems?

The honey bees utilize a dance, called a “waggle,” to direct worker bees to the best nectar sites, locations which rapidly change based on a variety of factors. This dance is highly complex and includes the distance the nectar is from the hive and what direction it lies in. After studying this dance, Professor Craig Tovey of Georgia Tech realized he could apply biomimicry and utilize it to increase server efficiency during times of high traffic spikes.

Our load balancing solutions distribute the traffic load evenly across two or more servers in a similar manner. Rather than “dancing” like the honey bees, they utilize specific algorithms to determine which server should be selected to service a particular request. A range of algorithms used to distribute traffic are available to choose from, including Round Robin, Least Connect, and Historical Intelligence. The three algorithms differ in a few important ways. While the first two methods are more intelligent, they don’t take the current load or responsiveness of the servers into account.

  • Round Robin: In this method, the load balancer evenly distributes the traffic to each server in succession.
  • Least Connect: This method balances the traffic load by sending the traffic to the server with the lowest number of active connections.
  • Historical Intelligence: This method chooses which server to send the traffic to using both the current number of open connections between the load balancer and the server, and the response time of the servers.

With so many options, our load balancers are sure to give you peace of mind and allow all potential customers access, no matter the volume of traffic you’re attracting. Supported fully by our Heroic Support® engineers, these Load Balancer solutions create a redundant, fault-tolerant hosting environment that allows you to enjoy the benefits of your high traffic spikes!

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