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What Are The Benefits of Linux Dedicated Server Load Balancing?

First of all you may be asking what is load balancing and why would I need it? Load balancing is a term used to describe distributing requests across a network or computer so that no single device is overwhelmed. Load balancing is useful when it is difficult to determine how many requests will be issued to a server. Busy websites typically will have two servers deployed in a load balancing configuration. If one server is getting overwhelmed with requests, some of the requests would be forwarded to another server to distribute the load.  A linux dedicated server can be built out as a web server, db server, mail server and also a load balancing server. If you choose to build out a linux dedicated server as a load balancer it should be fine with very little hard drive space, 1 or 2 CPUs and 1 gig of RAM. The resources required are very little.

Some of the options used in load balancing are least connections, round robin and weighted load balancing.  Also load balancing is very useful when using SSL certificates.  The SSL certificates can be installed and processed on the load balancer and the requests can then be passed to the web servers on port 80.  This will make the ability for the linux dedicated servers to process the SSL requests much faster and more efficiently.

Something else very useful with using a load balancer is using the connection time out features. Using the connection timeout feature is a nice security measure to block application layer denial of service attacks. The way this works is the client will send very slowly their requests to a server: header by header and even character by character, waiting a long time between each of them. This type of attack will prevent regular users from using the service, since the attacker would be using all the available resources with very slow queries. The connection timeout feature will help prevent this attack, you can use a setting of 5 seconds, which is long enough for the client to send the entire HTTP request.  If it is not sent in 5 seconds the load balancer will close the connection with an error.

So if you have a website that is getting busier everyday and you need more than one web server to handle your requests.  Set up a linux dedicated server and install an open source load balancer to help distribute the load and make your website more scalable.  One open source load balancer that comes highly recommended is haproxy.  If you have any questions about load balancing or linux dedicated servers please feel free to contact