Global server load balancing (GSLB) is a method of distributing Internet traffic to a network of servers across the globe, creating a faster and more reliable user experience.

What is Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB)?

Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) enables multi-datacenter and multi-cloud resilience by leveraging service resource awareness and DNS to steer traffic across geographically distributed pools based on defined business logic. When deployed across multiple data centers, provides application load balancing at a geographic scale – across town or the globe – using any mix of hardware, virtual, and cloud platforms. GSLB should provide multi-site resilience with seamless failover and failback in the event of a critical resource failure as well as offer optimized redirection of traffic to the closest physical service location. In the event of a service disruption, traffic is automatically redirected based on predefined policies to minimize impact and the need for manual intervention.

Client traffic is sent to the location that will provide the very best application performance and client experience, tailored to the location of the client and the observed availability of each location.

Providing these services locally is a cost-effective alternative to providing these services using in-house resources or contracting with expensive hosted Domain Name Service (DNS) services that don’t provide the flexibility and control that you require. Services like company email, remote desktop environments, and other managed resources where user experience, high availability, and disaster recovery are mission-critical.

global server load balancing

How does Global Server Load Balancing work?

Let’s examine what happens when a client HTTPS request is sent to a website that uses global server load balancing. First, the main server obtains the client’s IP address and analyzes information about the client’s location. Simultaneously, the server performs health checks to assess the real-time performance and responsiveness of the servers. Finally, the main server forwards the request to the local DNS server that is nearest geographically or has the shortest response time. All of this happens behind the scenes within split seconds.

Benefits of GSLB

Besides the benefits mentioned above, here’s how GSLB can be profitable for your enterprise:

  • It boosts performance by sending traffic to the local DNS server, which is located closest to the client.
  • It helps with regulatory compliance by making it easy to comply with government regulations. It is beneficial for companies like telecommunication, defense, or healthcare that usually have strict rules. Since global server load balancers can serve local traffic, organizations can configure settings and set traffic forwarding preferences to comply with the rules.
  • It provides disaster management by keeping the service uninterrupted even during challenging times like power outages or natural calamities. This allows organizations to divert traffic to another location if one of the servers is unavailable.
  • GSLB can make maintenance a breeze. Moreover, when some of the servers are not functioning during migration or upgrade, the load balancer can simply divert traffic to available servers.

global server load balancing

How does Global Server Load Balancing reduce latency?

Even before an origin server overloads and stops fulfilling requests, high amounts of traffic to that server can still cause significant latency issues. A GSLB system can distribute that traffic among several different locations, ensuring that no single location is handling so many requests that it causes delay.

Additionally, GSLB can greatly reduce the travel time of requests and responses between users and servers. If a user is in Los Angeles and they are using a web service with a Paris-based origin server, then both the requests and responses will have to travel a very long distance, cut up into smaller travel segments called ‘hops’. This can cause significant delays in load time.

Using GSLB, a worldwide pool of servers ensures that each user can connect to a server that is geographically close to them, minimizing hops and travel time. In the example above, if the Paris-based company was utilizing GSLB, the Los Angeles user could connect to a server within 100 miles of their location, resulting in a much snappier user experience.

Conclusion

The stronger your network is, the more productive your workforce can be. Implement GSLB to optimize network traffic and ensure every user is sent to the most desirable server!