Sharing The Load
by Andrew Kessler
Mar. 27, 1998

Every Webmaster's dream is to have a successful site; one that get's lots of hits and has a steady stream of visitors. But when your site reaches the state of critical acclaim and the visitors start hitting your site en masse, your server can be brought to its knees.

There are a few simple things that Webmasters can do to reduce the risk of a server crash when it reaches its limit. The first, and most obvious solution, is to add another server and have them share the load of incoming traffic. By working some black magic with DNS and IP addresses, you can then control how server requests are handled by multiple machines.

Another solution is to add a specialized router in front of your servers to help regulate incoming traffic. Incoming traffic will be received by the router, which then determines the load and availability of each server, and directs the request as needed.

Taking a look at these two solutions, Andrew Kessler from Cisco Systems, examines how to use DNS and a load balancing product to control incoming traffic to your site. In a third part that will run next month, he will examine how to balance the load between servers that are in different geographical locations.

Load Sharing with DNS
See how configuring your servers using the Domain Name System (DNS) allows you to balance the load between servers with a minimal amount of effort.

Balancing the Load with Cisco's LocalDirector
Another way to regulate traffic to your servers is to place a specialized router in front of them as a means of load balancing. Here Andrew examines the features of Cisco's LocalDirector.