Load balancing is a critical issue in handling coldfusion servers. It is basically done by both hardware and software resources. Using load balancing hardware is the most sophisticated way to handle coldfusion server and it is very useful in handling the application on server in complex client - server architecture.

Hardware based load balancing software generally behaves like an intermediator. It routes all the requests coming to your web server through its IP address. A load balancing hardware uses the combination of the complex algorithms by which it determines that which web server is free to complete the request of client browser.

The determination of the server is done via HTTP polling. There are many user agents residing on the server which respond to the load balancing hardware based on the following parameters - CPU usage, memory usage, vital machinery statistics etc. On the basis of all these parameters, it is decided that which server is most available all the time and browser request is fulfilled.

Setting up load balancing hardware in a network cluster is fairly complex in itself because network administrator needs the good knowledge of TCP/IP configuration settings. There are the following advantages and disadvantages of the load balancing hardware -

advantages -

true distribution of load balancing on server resources.
removes automatic failure condition of the systems.
more reliable and better performance.
enables single URL mechanism to handle all machines.

disadvantages -   
more expensive than software load balancing software.
has a single failure point.
set up and administration requires advanced networking knowledge.

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