What is Multi-cloud load balancing?
Multi-cloud load balancing is a strategy for distributing traffic across multiple cloud platforms to improve the availability, scalability, and performance of a web application or service. While implementing multi-cloud load balancing can provide several benefits, it also presents several challenges, including integration, security, cost management, performance, and governance. To address these challenges, it is important to use a load balancing service or cloud-agnostic load balancer, implement security measures, monitor performance, and establish governance policies. By addressing these issues, you can effectively implement multi-cloud load balancing and maximise the benefits of using multiple cloud platforms.
Below, are several of the benefits of using multi-cloud load balancing:
- High availability: By distributing traffic across multiple cloud platforms, the risk of a single point of failure is reduced. This can help ensure that your application remains available even if one of the cloud platforms experiences an outage or other issue.
- Scalability: Multi-cloud load balancing allows you to scale your application horizontally across multiple cloud platforms, which can help you handle sudden spikes in traffic or sudden increases in demand for your application.
- Cost savings: By using multiple cloud platforms, you can take advantage of the different pricing models and cost structures offered by each platform. This can help you reduce your overall cost of running your application.
There are several ways you adopt implement multi-cloud load balancing, including using a third-party load balancing service, implementing your own load balancing solution using tools such as HAProxy. You may even choose to use a cloud-agnostic load balancer such as AWS Global Accelerator.
Challenges Across Clouds
Multi-cloud is a new landscape that organisations are having to navigate. As with undertaking any new IT strategy, there are several challenges that can arise when using multiple cloud platforms, this can include:
- Integration: Integrating applications and services across multiple cloud platforms can be complex and time-consuming. This can be especially challenging if the platforms use different APIs or have different security models.
- Security: Ensuring the security of data and applications across multiple cloud platforms can be difficult. This may require implementing additional security measures, such as cross-cloud encryption, to protect data as it is transmitted between platforms.
- Cost management: Managing the cost of using multiple cloud platforms can be challenging. This may require careful planning and monitoring to ensure that you are taking advantage of cost-saving opportunities and not overspending on unnecessary resources.
- Performance: Ensuring consistent performance across multiple cloud platforms can be difficult, as the performance of each platform may vary. This may require implementing additional performance monitoring and optimisation measures to ensure that your applications are running smoothly across all platforms.
- Governance: Establishing and maintaining governance policies and procedures across multiple cloud platforms can be challenging. This may require coordinating with multiple teams and stakeholders to ensure that policies are being followed consistently across all platforms.
Application Delivery and Security
Application delivery and security are the most important considerations when implementing multi-cloud load balancing. A load balancing service, such as AWS Elastic Load Balancer or Google Cloud Load Balancer, can help ensure that traffic is distributed evenly across your cloud platforms and that your application remains available and performant. These services also often include security features, such as SSL termination and DDoS protection. A cloud-agnostic load balancer, such as AWS Global Accelerator or F5 BIG-IP, can help ensure that traffic is routed to the optimal cloud platform based on factors such as performance and cost. These load balancers can also help improve application security by encrypting traffic and protecting against DDoS attacks. Implementing security measures, such as encryption and authentication, can help protect your application and data as they are transmitted between cloud platforms. There are additional security measures you should also consider implementing, such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems, within each cloud platform to protect against external threats.
Legacy hardware-based load balancers no longer meet the requirements of day-to-day operations in many organisations. Managing app security, monitoring performance, and operation management are other challenges constantly being faced in the cloud. It can all be overwhelming, enlisting specialists such as Towers Associates and our subject matter experts, you can be ensured that your adoption and integration of multi-cloud load balancing project is de-risked.