Startup City Magazine

Four reasons businesses are taking global load balancing to the cloud

By Martin Ryan, VP & Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Dyn

Martin Ryan, VP & Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Dyn

Headquartered in Manchester, Dyn is a cloud-based internet performance company that enables the businesses to monitor, control, and optimize their online infrastructure.

If you’re operating a business online efficient, quick and reliable access to web-based content and applications is critical for revenue, reputation and customer loyalty. Ensuring fast load times and 100 percent availability can be the difference between a life-long customer and a customer lost for life. Keeping performance consistent for online visitors, no matter where they are located & from what device, will help to create and maintain the best end-user experience possible.
By running multiple data centres, online businesses have the opportunity to ensure availability and that each visitor interacts with the optimal endpoint for them. For some businesses, the optimal endpoint may be defined by the visitor’s location, while others route their traffic based on costs or regulatory requirements.

This comes down to the effective management & balancing of Internet traffic and from your data centers and cloud service providers. There are two approaches with the same end-goal, but processes and costs differ. Using in-house load balancers to route traffic between data centers adds overhead & maintenance and also increases risks and performance degradation. With cloud-based global load balancing services, you can ensure your website visitors are routed to the best possible data centre so they enjoy rapid, reliable access to your services while you minimize costs and enjoy greater flexibility.

Here are four reasons businesses are currently taking their global load balancing to the cloud instead of using appliances:

Reliability: If your data centre is knocked offline, you have greater redundancy because your backups are still up and running. Poor web performance will cost your business time and revenue. Apple’s recent App Store outage cost the company US$34 million in lost sales and severely reduced the quality of customer experience. During the 11-hour outage customers couldn’t access the online store and even some physical stores were interrupted; withholding the users from making credit transactions. A cloud load balancing solution proactively monitors all endpoints and routes to an alternate endpoint if any endpoint is down due to an outage. Having this redundancy means your users will not encounter broken web pages and their experience will not be interrupted.  

Freedom to focus on business critical projects: Consider setting up a global load balancing appliance. This would involve months of valuable staff time and exposes your business to the risk of human error.  With a cloud solution, setting up global load balancing can take just minutes and eliminates the need for your staff to continually make manual programming changes. You can quickly expand your infrastructure as you move into new markets and regions. Routing can be optimised based on the capabilities of different data centres and third party providers, site visitor location or cost of services. You can therefore put the time and energy saved from using an on-premise appliance into other areas of your business.

More cost effective than on-premise solutions:  When you take global load balancing to the cloud, the service provider, rather than the customer, makes the investment in time and expertise required to set up and maintain the network. With a cloud service, it is quick and easy to swap out providers to ensure you are getting the best price, all without needing to make major changes to the load balancing aspect of the service. You incur no capital expenses, up front or over time, as you add data centres. This is significantly more affordable than an on-premise appliance, as you will not require implementation staff, hardware or ongoing maintenance costs. You are therefore spending your money more efficiently without saving money at the expense of your customers.

Better performance: The load balancer builds its balancing pools for various geographic regions, so it knows exactly which web servers are available for traffic and how often they should receive traffic. A worldwide network improves performance by steering users to the closest available data centre. This removes the need for unnecessary hops, as the load balancer in the cloud doesn’t have to drag along HTTP and application data in addition to the DNS data, as it would with an appliance. This can deliver a median improvement of up to 25 milliseconds per request, ensuring that users can access your site at speed, no matter where they are in the world.

With cloud-based global load balancing, you can manage traffic to and from your data centers around the world and ensure your business is prepared for an outage. Load balancing also enables your web infrastructure to scale as your business grows, giving you the tools to increase your site’s performance, flexibility and redundancy. While load balancing can add in complexity, the benefits certainly make it worthwhile.

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