Server Load Balancing makes sense for the SMB too
By BiztechAfrica – Feb. 28, 2014, 10:25 a.m.
Businesses within the small-to-mid size market may consider Server Load Balancing an investment that is just a little too far from reach and an unnecessary burden. The truth is that the business case for an investment of this kind makes sense and there are sound reasons for the decision maker in this market segment to commit says Desmond Pillay, Africa Sales Country Manager at KEMP Technologies.
Every year more and more business applications and services are deployed by businesses to enable their organisations to extend their customer reach and productivity.
Collaboration, Messaging and Unified Communication systems are also relied upon to offer instant access and real-time communication with physically dispersed workgroups.
The continuous availability of these ecosystems support the core functions required for these businesses to deliver services to their clients which ultimately contributing to their overall success and longevity. Many businesses in the SMB and mid-market verticals are faced with the decision of whether or not to invest in server load balancing technology. Some feel that their smaller size and number of resources precludes the technology as being a necessity. But is that really the case?
Business Continuity Risk
A facet of business continuity can be considered an organization’s ability to maintain operations and services when a disruptive event takes place. Small businesses should not view a business continuity plan as something that only large organisations need to consider – the risks to small businesses are actually greater. Industry studies have identified that 40% of small businesses who suffer serious disruption from natural disasters or datacentre failures without an appropriate business continuity plan in place never reopen after the event.
“Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) allows a backup data centre or cloud service infrastructure to cover the risk of your primary location experiencing a failure. In an evaluation of the cost, many GSLB solutions are being made available to the market at very competitive prices. If one considers the cost that could be incurred from data centre failures or outages, the decision is actually quite straightforward,” explains Pillay.
While there is definitely financial, time and effort commitments involved in deploying a comprehensive local and global server load balancing solution for an application infrastructure, this cost is dwarfed by the costs encountered when this action is not taken and unexpected outages are encountered.
According to some research the median average cost of data centre downtime rose 38% from 2010 to 2012 to a staggering $138,000. With the increase of data and reliance on data centre computing the risk only continues to grow. For this reason, organisations of all sizes do well to ensure that they have a well-developed and tested disaster recovery infrastructure and plan in place.
Recent Reduction in Complexity
In the past application delivery and load balancing technology platforms were in general, very complex and cumbersome to deploy and administer. Back in the “bad old days” setting up and running load balancers required hiring or having access to technicians that were part engineer, part magician and part time traveler because of the complexity and resources that were needed. This preconception has kept many smaller organisations with limited resources on the fence about embarking on load balancer implementation.
Advancements in load balancing technology along with the tools that some vendors are now providing such as application-specific templates, deployment guides and interactive wizards have greatly reduced the time investment and technical cycles required for the POC and Production deployment of server load balancing solutions. While it might seem hard to believe, the tasks and projects that used to require several days of training and several weeks of deployment can now be done in a matter of hours.
The reality of the market today is that server load balancing has matured and developed to a point that it is now economically available to businesses of all sizes even when limited budgets have to be accounted for.
The simplicity that has been architected into many modern solutions allow for expedient and hassle-free deployment making it viable for organisations with limited resources. While there is cost associated with the deployment of server load balancing solutions, the return is unmatched when compared with the challenges and financial impact of being unprepared for unplanned outages.