Load balancing is a way of distributing the throughput or processing requirements evenly among multiple servers in a clustered environment. Load balancing allows a computer system to easily handle large fluctuations in volume to web sites or databases. Without load balancing, one server could be under utilized while at the same time another server was being swamped by requests.

Load Balancing -- Methods

Load balancing can be accomplished with software, hardware, or a combination of both. There are trade-offs to consider in how to implement load balancing, so it is best done by someone with load balancing expertise.

Load Balancing -- Benefits

While load balancing improves the throughput and efficiency of a computer system, it does not improve reliability. Because of this, it is typical to combine failover capabilities with load balancing to improve the robustness of the system.