Load balancing is a networking technique that distributes a workload over many different servers in order to maintain performance and avoid overload. This type of networking increases the liability of a website or web portal to remain live even under intense pressure from high traffic or other causes.

Amazon estimates that its site speed is directly correlated with revenue. To be exact, each 100ms in faster page loads result in a 1% revenue increase.

The Benefits of Load Balancing:

  • Boosts the servers’ performance
  • Optimizes server utilization
  • Ensures no individual server is overwhelmed

Load balancing can also be referred to in the DotNetNuke context as web farm configuration.

DotNetNuke Enterprise Distributed Load Balancing

The web farm configuration that DotNetNuke initially supports involves two or more front end web servers (“web-heads”) whose IIS website root directories are mapped to a common UNC share on a remote file server. The UNC share contains the application source code as well as any static content for the individual sites. Each web server connects to a remote database server for dynamic application content. This configuration allows any of the web servers to be removed from the farm without interrupting service for the web users browsing the sites.

The primary supported method above will provide the best reliability in terms of keeping files in synch among the machines in the farm. However, in some alternative configurations the servers may be configured to use file replication services. In this case, there is no central file server. Instead, each web server has its own IIS directory mapped to a local folder. This configuration requires a slightly different setup in DotNetNuke that is detailed below.

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