Load Balancing Azure has definitely made a massive impact in the network industry especially when we’re talking about controlling concurrent web traffic requests in a controlled, cost-reliable, efficient, and fast manner.
Certainly, a lot of websites nowadays get high traffic volume from client requests. If you happen to land on a slow, crash-prone site, it will not just waste your time but will also test your patience.
That’s exactly the reason why Azure introduces their load-balancing solution. This article provides the overview, features, types, and pros and cons of integrating Azure load balancing as opposed to not using one.
What is Load Balancing in Azure and what is its purpose?
Such technology is a product of Microsoft Corporation which operates at Layer 4 or commonly known as the Transport Layer of the OSI model. It’s defined as the contact point of clients.
By evenly distributing incoming network traffic across multiple servers and background resources, it acts as a “traffic cop” which ensures high throughput and latency.
With this, it will not only provide quality services but will ensure a scalable and efficient resource. This goes to show that this will help optimize a site’s performance in so many ways we can ever imagine.
What are the key features of Azure Load Balancing?
Of course, aside from its main purpose, we should also be looking at its key features. What makes it great and exciting? How will it improve my service performance?
These are just some of the exciting elements that make Azure load balancing an ideal network and traffic solution for your service. It's very important to determine and study each feature to make the most out of Azure load-balancing services.
What types of Load Balancers are available in Azure?
Currently, there are 2 types available for the Azure load balancing option.
An internal load balancer is basically one type that loads traffic within your virtual network. This is ideal when you’re handling and managing internal services.
Another type is called an external load balancer which promotes its service to an internet endpoint and is usually the one responsible for handling external traffic.
When opting for both types, Azure provides a basic and standard SKU that has its own capabilities and limitations.
Make sure to check out every available option before making any commitments to produce great results in the long run. I highly suggest you determine the requirements and narrow down your choices to what suits you best.
Difference between Basic and Standard load balancing in Azure
Here’s the tricky part. Since every service has specific needs, it might not be enough to simply go with what’s trending and useful for most services.
Azure has basic and standard options that you might want to dig deeper into.
Basic Load Balancing
By default, the basic load balancer option is open and available on the internet. Since it's basic, it only offers limited features and services that might not be ideal when working in production environments.
On the good side, it is completely free to use. This could be perfect if you simply want to check and test out how load balancing works.
Standard Load Balancing
As opposed to basic, standard load balancer has a wide array of features to offer. But since we’re talking about more capabilities, you might also expect to spend money.
While the first option is completely charge-free, one cannot say the same thing with the standard. Azure apparently offers pricing differences and SLA for their standard solutions.
Again, I really suggest conducting extensive research and carefully evaluating every solution. You might also want to consult an expert first before making your final choice.
Regardless of what option fits your needs, take features and limitations into account. Besides, there are so many things to consider (price aside) before arriving at an answer.
How to create an Azure Load Balancer?
This is definitely something you shouldn’t miss. If you find this network solution an interesting addition to your service, listing down the features might not just be enough. You need to know the tricks of the trade.
Learning the fundamentals is one thing. But being equipped with the right and useful information is another. By absorbing some useful hacks and tips of Azure Load Balancer, you’re guaranteed to save a lot of time and keep you stress-free too.
Create your Azure account
An active subscription is required after creating your account. Sign up for free and explore some demos and FAQs regarding the services before you commit.
Create your virtual network
Having a virtual network is fundamental for hosting not just your virtual machine but also your load balancer. I strongly advise you to go through the step-by-step process and take your time following each procedure.
Essentially, going through the proper configuration and setup from the first step down to the last part ensures that your load balancer will work and produce results. If the entire process of creating a virtual network seems foreign and overwhelming, it’s smart to seek help.
Consult an expert, especially when changing the settings and configuration of your virtual network for better and error-free implementation in the long run.
Build the load balancer
If you’ve already settled your virtual network and there are no significant errors, the most important step follows.
Creating your load balancer entails significant steps because you’re not only configuring the frontend IP addresses, but you’ll also be dealing with the backend pool and a lot more.
Not to mention, you’ll also be deciding on the subscriptions and other details. When adding load balancing rules, it’s crucial to configure the right value in each setting. Determine what ports, protocols, and IP versions to establish.
Additionally, determine which setting to enable and disable before completing the setup.
Establish your NAT Gateway
A NAT Gateway is often created when introducing outbound internet access for your resources within the created virtual network. Adding NAT gateway configuration often ensures that your resources are not only secure but also scalable and reliable to operate.
Build your VMs (virtual machines)
When setting up a virtual machine, Azure provides default outbound access if your VMS doesn’t have assigned public IP addresses. On the other hand, the default outbound access IP is disabled when your VM has an IP address.
For proper settings setup, study the SNAT (source address network translation) to gain more ideas with VMs and outbound access.
Install the IIS (Internet Information Services)
Finish the setup by installing the IIS.
Of course, after completing all the necessary steps, you will have to test whether your load balancer is working or not. Run a test using public IP addresses and make sure to troubleshoot any errors that might exist while testing.
What are the pros and cons of using Azure Load Balancing?
Obviously, choosing an option would only be more satisfying if you keep everything in check. Weigh the pros and cons and assess which is well suited for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
The load balancing solution of Azure is situated on the Transport Layer of the OSI model. It’s where it performs its job.
If you’re looking for a solution that balances traffic within virtual machines while ensuring that resources are easily available across zones, creating a load balancer can make a huge difference.
If APIs are already incorporated into your services, then you’re definitely familiar with how this works. Azure load balancers introduce APIs that have important roles in defining how resources will behave.
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) is where you provision network and storage components along with the needed VMs.
An Azure load balancer is essential for IaaS applications since they will need the load-balancing solution to ensure that resources are balanced within a virtual network.
PasS (Platform as a Service) provides controlled hosting environments to deploy applications without networking or a virtual machine resource. But PasS in Azure’s load balancer provides the right solution within your chosen region.
It goes without saying that the Azure load-balancing option is impressive. It greatly contributes to great network and traffic control which are key factors for top-tier service performance.
But like with any other networking solutions nowadays, it really pays to be smart and critical with your decisions. I suggest making comparisons with different solution providers before spending your money.