Certifications / Cloud

Cloud Load Balancing Explained

Cloud Load Balancing Explained
Follow us
Updated on December 19, 2023

Quick Definition: Cloud load balancing is a technique that distributes incoming network traffic across multiple servers or resources to ensure optimal performance. When done well, it prevents overloading servers, enhances scalability, and improves the user experience

In its simplest form, cloud load balancing is a way to spread the load of service between multiple nodes in an information system. Imagine it like an employee standing in front of a bank of checkout registers, directing customers to the closest cashier with the shortest line. 

Conceptually, cloud load balancing works like load balancing in a local data center. This article focuses on the products and capabilities of Google Cloud, but other cloud platforms have similar functionalities. 

What is Cloud Load Balancing?

If you understand what a load balancer is, you’ll understand how cloud load balancing works. In those sections, we’ll explain some of the features Google Cloud Physical network (GCP) offers for its cloud load balancers. 

Let’s say you have a popular website. Each time a person visits that website, multiple requests are made to your web server from those visitors’ computers. Your web server can only hold so much horsepower, though. It’s like trying to fit a stack of drywall into the back bed of your 1980s Datsun pickup. It won’t go anywhere. Your web server is that Datsun in this analogy, by the way, and like that Datsun, it doesn’t have powerful enough hamsters to make it move.

What if you could tie a bunch of Datsuns together, though? Surely, you can muster enough power to get that drywall home if you do that, right? The short answer is yes. In this example, the load balancer is the rope holding those Datsuns together. 

A load balancer splits up the workload between multiple computers. There are a bunch of ways a load balancer works. For instance, it could operate in round-robin mode. Each new request is sent to the next computer in line. But at the end of the day, the load balancer does its best to keep the load equal amongst all connected computers. Cloud load balancing works the same way. 

An Overview of Cloud Load Balancing

In this video, CBT Nuggets trainer Ben Finkel helps you better understand cloud load balancing and explains how it can help you manage networks better.

What are the Benefits of Using a Cloud Load Balancer?

Using a cloud load balancer offers two primary advantages. The first is high availability. High availability is built-in due to the nature of how load balancing works (by using multiple nodes that are redundant by nature and not configuration). The other advantage is highly performant services. In this case, think of a load balancer like a Stripe 0 array but for networking. 

There are other secondary advantages to using load balancers, too. Because these load balancers are located in the cloud, they can send traffic to the network's edge instead of making visitors traverse continents. 

What does that mean? Think of a CDN that sends copies of your website to different nodes throughout the world. When someone in Germany wants to load your website from the United States, that visitor doesn’t need to send data from the U.S. back to Germany. Instead, it can access that data directly from a CDN node in Germany. That eliminates thousands of miles from the trip those data packets must take. 

Because a cloud load balancer is in the cloud, each load balancer endpoint can be in different parts of the world. GCP offers these features, too. 

Fail-over is also built-in. Just because your web server is in the cloud doesn’t mean the cloud can’t stop working. If your cloud load balancer transports traffic to different regions within GCP, your web server won’t be affected if a region goes down. GCP lets you create load balancers regionally or globally, too.

Want to Learn More About Cloud Load Balancing?

But wait, there’s more! We’ve barely scratched the surface. GCP cloud load balancing is like an onion (the vegetable kind, not a router…); it has layers. There’s so much more to know. The only way to learn all the features that cloud load balancing offers is to dig into it. 

Are you ready to learn more? CBT Nuggets has training specifically designed to teach cloud networking in GCP, so get started right now! 


By submitting this form you agree to receive marketing emails from CBT Nuggets and that you have read, understood and are able to consent to our privacy policy.

Don't miss out!Get great content
delivered to your inbox.

By submitting this form you agree to receive marketing emails from CBT Nuggets and that you have read, understood and are able to consent to our privacy policy.

Recommended Articles

Get CBT Nuggets IT training news and resources

I have read and understood the privacy policy and am able to consent to it.

© 2024 CBT Nuggets. All rights reserved.Terms | Privacy Policy | Accessibility | Sitemap | 2850 Crescent Avenue, Eugene, OR 97408 | 541-284-5522