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Load Balancers in the Cloud

With the cloud, solutions that were once only affordable to the largest organizations are now cost effective solutions for small and midsized businesses. Cloud load balancers are one of these things.

While most people associate load balancers with large, complex configurations, they can be indispensable, even if your cloud configuration consists of a single server. There are two reasons to have a load balancer in front of any cloud configuration.

Single IP for Entire Configuration

The cloud is elastic and you have the opportunity to spin up and down servers on the fly. However, each time you do this you will receive a new IP address that you will have to make sure is configured for your application or website.

Having a load balancer placed ahead of your configuration gives you a single IP that you can point your DNS to for the entire site. This IP will never change as long as the load balancer is there.

This affords a number of advantages to your Rackspace Managed Cloud support team. Since you have a single IP, we can go behind it and add or remove nodes easily without worrying about DNS propagation. This means that the downtime you faced in the past due to changing IP addresses is completely neutralized.

Routing Traffic

Cloud load balancers can easily distribute traffic throughout your configuration, making sure no single server is over burdened, causing performance degradation or downtime. This is particularly important for customers who want to leverage the agile nature of cloud configurations. Having the ability to scale your configuration horizontally or make other architectural changes at a moments notice can translate into significant technical and fiscal advantages for customers of all sizes.

Check out Joseph’s previous video where he discussed the Managed Cloud support offering at Rackspace. You can also watch the next video where he talks about caching your cloud configuration. Learn more about how the Managed Cloud offering can support your business.

About the Author

This is a post written and contributed by Joseph Palumbo.

As a founding member of Rackspace's Managed Cloud Support Team, Joseph spends half of his time teaching customers about the Cloud and the other half learning about the Cloud from them. When he's not in meetings, he can be found presiding over cultural happenings around the Rackspace office, discussing support innovation with other 'Fanatics' and wishing paper documents had a built-in search function.


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