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application load balancing

Enabling More Efficient Application Load Balancing

Optimizing application load balancing isn’t the principal benefit of network microsegmentation, but it significantly helps applications in a network operate at peak performance 

Application load balancing distributes incoming network traffic or application requests across multiple servers or resources to ensure efficient utilization and high availability of the application. Application load balancing further prevents any single server or resource from being overwhelmed by traffic, which can lead to performance degradation or application failure.  

Organizations can implement application load balancing as hardware appliances or software-based solutions. Organizations often use application load balancing in front of web servers, application servers, databases, and other resources to evenly distribute incoming requests among the available servers. Application load balancing is a critical component of modern, high-traffic web applications and services because it helps ensure a smooth user experience and enables efficient resource utilization. 

In this post, we’ll go over why application load balancing is an essential function for network administrators. We’ll also explain how network microsegmentation can help organizations optimize application load balancing efforts.  

Key Benefits of Application Load Balancing  

  1. Consistent application performance
    By distributing traffic across multiple servers, application load balancing ensures that each server operates in the most efficient way possible, reducing the risk of overloading and improving response times for users.
  2. High availability
    Application load balancing automatically reroutes traffic to healthy servers if one server fails or becomes unavailable. This redundancy ensures the continuous, high-performance operation of the application.
  3. Scalability
    Using application load balancing, organizations can easily add or remove servers and gain the flexibility required to scale resources up or down based on demand.
  4. Health monitoring
    Application load balancing often performs health checks to monitor the status of servers. They can automatically remove or redirect traffic from unhealthy servers until they are back in a healthy state. 
  5. SSL termination
    Application load balancing handles SSL/TLS encryption and decryption, offloading this resource-intensive task from the backend servers and improving overall performance. 

How Network Microsegmentation Contributes to Improved Application Load Balancing 

Network microsegmentation enables organizations to divide their network into smaller, isolated segments to enhance security and control network traffic. Organizations use it primarily for cybersecurity and mitigating the damage caused by external and insider threats. Environment  microsegmentation does, however, indirectly contribute to improving application load balancing.

Here’s how: 

  • Reduces network congestion
    Dividing the network into smaller segments helps reduce the broadcast domain and the number of devices within each segment. This reduces network congestion and decreases the chances of “collisions”, which can positively impact application load balancing and contribute to optimizing performance. 
  • Isolates application traffic
    Microsegmentation enables network administrators to define specific security policies for each application or service and ensure that critical applications receive the necessary network resources and bandwidth. Administrators can also configure load balancers to prioritize traffic for critical applications. These efforts isolate application traffic and support application load balancing requirements. 
  • Enhances security
    Microsegmentation restricts communication between segments and prevents unauthorized access. This reduces the risk of malicious traffic that could negatively impact application load balancing. 
  • Improves traffic engineering
    By segmenting the network, administrators can improve traffic engineering and control. They can direct application traffic through specific paths, optimizing application load balancing and ensuring efficient utilization of network resources. 
  • Isolates faulty applications
    Microsegmentation can isolate problematic applications from the rest of the network. This isolation prevents faulty applications from affecting the performance and load balancing of other applications. 

Microsegmentation alone is not likely to provide the complete application load-balancing functionality your organization requires, but it can complement and enhance application load-balancing strategies in a well-designed environment. Helping optimize application load balancing is just one of the benefits that microsegmentation provides in a network environment. Here are TrueFort, we help our customers leverage microsegmentation in many ways; limiting the impact of insider threats, preventing the spread of ransomware, securing containers, establishing zero-trust best practices, and more. See for yourself how this can help your organization. 

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