Improve Site Speed with CDNs, Load Balancers
Keeping your online store open for all hours is standard operating procedure. Shoppers demand it.
They also demand a compelling user experience, fast-loading pages, intuitive navigation, and a worry-free and secure checkout. If they experience a glitch in any of these, shoppers will likely abandon your site.
Research from our company, Incapsula Imperva, suggests that visitors will wait just five seconds for a web page to show on their screen. Once visitors leave a site, 68 percent will never return.
Importance of Site Speed
Content Delivery Networks
Slow load times mean lost customers. The first step in achieving a fast site is to pick a reliable content delivery network.
A CDN improves a site’s speed and performance by caching content on servers that are closer to visitors. A visitor in the U.K., for example, would experience faster load times if a site’s web server is located in the U.K., versus, say, in the U.S.
Content delivery networks are the engines of the Internet, moving large amounts of data and images. The distributed nature of CDNs helps to move the content quicker and more efficiently, making a CDN essential for any high-traffic site that hopes to attract global consumers. Ecommerce sites with many products, images, and supporting collateral can improve site speed with a reliable CDN.
But latency issues aren’t the only things a CDN can solve. CDNs also offer website security. Deployed at the edge of your network, a CDN acts as a virtual high-security barrier that prevents attacks on your website and web applications. This makes a CDN ideal for blocking distributed denial of service attacks — before they reach your site.
Load balancing is a technique that spreads traffic and workload across multiple servers. Incapsula load balancers support its content delivery network and customers’ data centers.
Load balancing minimizes downtime during critical traffic spikes, such as during the holidays, and conserves resources during off-peak times.
Load balancing also increases overall computing efficiency and boosts performance. And by distributing network traffic across a system of load balancers, sites can scale for high traffic.
Once the load balancing system is in place, all requests to the application come to the load balancer first and are then redirected according to the administrator’s preferred algorithm.
This algorithm controls the distribution of incoming requests to the network of servers. There are various methods to accomplish this.
In this scenario, the load balancer simply runs down the list of servers, sending one connection to each server in order, and starting at the top of the list when it reaches the end. It’s the most basic load distribution technique.
Weighted round robin.
This is similar to round robin method, but uses a predefined weighted system for each server. Given that most companies use servers that are uniform in their processing power, a weighted round robin distribution serves no real purpose.
This method transfers the latest session to the server with the least connections at the time of session initiation. This method is advisable in an environment where server capacity and resources are uniform.
Weighted least connections.
This method is identical to least connections, except that servers are selected based on capacity, not just availability. It presumes that server resources are not uniform, which is not the case for most enterprise configurations.
Least pending requests.
Least pending requests is the emerging industry standard. It selects the server with the least active sessions based on real-time monitoring.
How to Choose
Consider the key characteristics, differences, and benefits of today’s load balancing technologies. This includes cloud load balancers, which offer a scalable, cost-effective solution for businesses using hybrid or cloud computing environments
Incapsula Load Balancer — Incapsula LBaaS — is a subscription service that provides maximum coverage for visitor traffic. It provides maximum visibility into visitor traffic. HTTPS requests to each server are monitored and analyzed immediately. This guarantees the highest performance and optimal resource utilization. In addition, dashboards provide up-to-the-second traffic visibility, to detect potential problems before they hurt performance.
Incapsula LBaaS offers real time, 24/7 server health and performance checks (to prevent downtime) and supports all in-datacenter and cross-datacenter high-availability scenarios. This includes continuous monitoring to ensure traffic is always routed to an available web server.
The Incapsula global CDN accelerates load times, enhances security, and acts as a dedicated load balancer for websites and applications. Traffic on Incapsula CDN is distributed across worldwide data centers according to user-defined algorithms.
Using Incapsula CDN, ecommerce sites will improve their shopping experience, resulting in more transactions, more sales, and more customers.
For more information on Incapsula, load balancing, and specific solutions to your ecommerce site, please visit us at Incapsula.com.