– Peter Melerud, co-founder and VP of product management at KEMP Technologies (www.kemptechnologies.com), says:

Whether an organization has an e-commerce site relying on web applications for revenue, or is a service organization dependent on information delivered through web applications, constant and continuous availability is a major concern. KEMP Technologies’ application delivery controllers and load balancers ensure applications are consistently and reliably accessible, and ensure users are never adversely affected by system, application, or site failures or scheduled maintenance. This article will explain the importance of load balancing for IT and data center managers.

With the volume of data that flows through networks these days, load balancing in enterprise data centers is not only prudent – it’s essential. Servers have to handle larger amounts of data, and with current networks, bottlenecks can occur during high traffic times, slowing down sites and hosted applications. For businesses, these snafus could mean lost customers and reduced productivity. Load balancing is the most effective way to keep uptime high.

The basic problem is simple: If a website or a hosted application crashes customers get frustrated and leave the site. That could mean literally millions of dollars flying out the window. So load balancing should definitely be a high priority.
IT managers need to maintain the right balance between features and capabilities, which means that they need to know their current and future requirements. Data loads are increasing each day, and IT managers have to stay ahead of the curve. Downtime can kill a company, and always seems to come at the worst possible time, so knowing traffic management needs can help prevent future headaches when the traffic spikes.
Load balancers can sense when data traffic spikes, and re-direct that traffic to less busy servers, while optimizing the performance of hosted applications. These solutions can help overcome the challenges IT managers face both today and in the future.

With all the solutions out there, it comes down to cost-effectiveness and value. Load balancing used to be solely the domain of massive enterprises with enormous IT budgets. But now we have to do more with less. Managers should understand exactly what features they need when getting a load balancer, such as whether it should be hardware-based or virtual. Some come with features users don’t need. In a tight economy, they need to make sure they’re not overpaying for their solution.

Both virtual and hardware load balancers provide solutions any size business needs. Data traffic will only increase, thanks to mobile devices and cloud computing. Demands on IT staff will also increase. So the better our networks can handle that data, the more profit and productivity we will see. And in this economy, that’s not a bad thing.