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Load Balancing | @CloudExpo #BigData #Cloud #CyberSecurity #AI #ML #IoT

The Pokeman Go launch is a perfect case study for why businesses need to go with sophisticated load balancing systems

Pokeman Go has been a raging success. But its launch was marred by frequent downtimes and dropped connections. In a recent chat at the Google Cloud Platform Next Conference, Niantic CTO Phil Keslin talked about the “hair on fire” experience where the team had to firefight and upgrade key components on the live production system in order to handle the unexpected surge in new users joining in.

Among the various upgrades made to the system, Niantic had to replace the network load balancer with a much more sophisticated HTTP/S load balancing system that could handle a larger overall throughput and offer faster connections. Keslin says that this timely upgrade made it possible for his team to launch in Japan without an incident although the number of new user signups at this point was triple what it was during their earlier US launch.

The Pokeman Go launch is a perfect case study for why businesses need to go with sophisticated load balancing systems for their business infrastructure. It is not just about unexpected user traffic surges though. Load balancers are also extremely vital in providing the first row of defense against DoS and DDoS attacks. Besides, load balancing systems also perform other vital functions like increasing redundancy and avoiding network congestion.

Picking the Right Kind of Load Balancer
There are various ways to implement load balancing for your system. Round-robin DNS implementations for example, associate one domain name to multiple IP addresses and the clients may pick any of these servers to connect. Server side load balancers avoid letting the client know about the multiplicity of server connections in the backend. This way, the client continues to reach out to an access server which in turn connects to one of the several backend servers. The other way to do this is by providing each client with their own access server and thereby reducing the load upon access.

Picking one of these various implementations is not easy and can only be done after knowing the exact client access circumstances and load requirements. If you are a bootstrapped small or medium business with only a handful of access points and your core objective is to reduce downtimes, the best way to start load balancing is a round-robin implementation. Such a system does not require any specialized hardware or software and can mostly ensure that your system works fine without dropped connections.

On the other hand, if you are Niantic and want to be equipped for unexpected traffic surges, then a good way to go about this is to bring together client-side and server-side load balancing systems to create redundant access points and server points that can ensure a truly distributed network that can withstand high levels of surge.

But no matter how sophisticated your systems are, they inevitably come with a surge capacity; the maximum amount of traffic that your network can take at any given time. This is exactly what happened in the case of Pokeman Go. The actual network traffic happened to be almost five times the demand that Niantic had estimated under their worst case scenario. Increasing redundancies can make your system fail-proof but will also raise the cost of managing operations. This is ultimately the cat and mouse game that businesses need to play with users as well as DDoS attackers during times of surging traffic.

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With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

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Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expensive intermediate processes from their businesses.

FinTech brings efficiency as well as the ability to deliver new services and a much improved customer experience throughout the global financial services industry. FinTech is a natural fit with cloud computing, as new services are quickly developed, deployed, and scaled on public, private, and hybrid clouds.

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More Stories By Harry Trott

Harry Trott is an IT consultant from Perth, WA. He is currently working on a long term project in Bangalore, India. Harry has over 7 years of work experience on cloud and networking based projects. He is also working on a SaaS based startup which is currently in stealth mode.

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