One of the best things that you can do today to prepare for the holiday rush is to put a Cloud Load Balancer in front of your cloud configuration. You want to do this now because in order to route traffic through your load balancer there will be some downtime associated with setting up the DNS and allowing it to propagate. There’s no time like the present to take care of this so you can take advantage of all the benefits the load balancer can give you in the holiday season.
The holidays seem to have the same effect on our server configuration as it does with our households. For example, for most of the year my kitchen table and chairs work to serve dinner to my family. However, when the holidays come and my house is jam packed with guests, we have to set up additional tables and chairs (some in the living room) to accommodate all the guests. Furthermore, you want to make sure certain family members sit together and that the kids have their own table. The load balancer does something similar for your server configuration.
As traffic flows into your site, the load balancer is really good at making sure that it goes to the right place. For example, if you have two web servers, the load balancer will ensure that one of them doesn’t get overwhelmed with traffic. It will route the traffic to the appropriate web server to make sure that the visitor gets the content as fast as possible. Much like separating the kids out to their own table, you can also set up rules to route different types of traffic to different servers.
Interested in finding out more to help you prep for the holidays? Check out Joseph’s white paper now. You can also view his previous post where he gives tips on tuning and testing for the holidays. In his next (and final) post, he talks about serving a static homepage off of the Content Delivery Network (CDN).