Whether you’re a small startup, SME or large enterprise, if you’re a high-growth company you have aggressive targets to outpace the market. Your investors, employees and customers expect your business to sustain rapid revenue growth, and nothing should get in the way of that. To keep up the pace, your IT systems must be agile. When it comes to the critical task of load balancing that keeps your website and backend systems up and running, a software-based solution is the best way to ensure IT agility to support your business growth.
In the past, a load balancer was only available as a hardware appliance. Enterprises paid a large sum upfront for a new box, physically installed it in front of their servers and hired a team of specialized engineers to maintain the device over many years. However, most businesses today are adopting agile DevOps methodologies in pursuit of rapid growth; hardware load balancers are incompatible with this approach.
Unlike a hardware appliance, a software load balancer can be installed in a matter of minutes and is easy to maintain and upgrade. It doesn’t require specially trained technicians, which means anyone on a DevOps team can use the software. It can scale as your business grows, supports more flexible licensing models and is easy to deploy anywhere in the world. That all adds up to a more efficient, flexible and cost-effective way to do load balancing with the same – or better – performance as traditional hardware solutions.
There are many advantages, but here are the top three benefits of a software-based load balancer, especially for high-growth companies.
1. Easy Scalability
When your business grows, you will have more external traffic coming into your server environment and more internal traffic across your network. Hardware load balancers are relatively difficult to scale to meet changing demands: you can only scale up in large increments based on the capacity of each appliance; you have no choice but to over-provision capacity to meet peak demand because you cannot scale up or down dynamically; and you must also find additional rack space, manage power requirements and route new network connections.
A software load balancer can scale easily to match your growth: you can provision more capacity with a few clicks, and to save even more time you can automate the scaling process by leveraging a management and orchestration platform. A software load balancer helps you to avoid complex IT operations planning and become more agile, giving you an advantage over your competition.
Your business is growing rapidly, but it’s not easy to predict your IT infrastructure requirements for the next five years or even the next five months. You need flexibility across your business and IT operations. Investing in a hardware load balancer is a sunk cost that is typically written off over five years; any upgrades incur additional investment. Allocating resources under these conditions, you risk overpaying for unused capacity or facing continual upgrade costs if you don’t buy sufficient capacity upfront. This cost structure is inflexible and doesn’t provide for the agility that modern fast-growing companies need.
A software load balancer with a pay-as-you-go or subscription licensing model reduces CAPEX outlay and avoids sunk costs. This reduces risk, frees up budget for other business development areas and removes potential constraints on your business’s growth.
3. Simple Global Expansion
As a fast-growing company, you’re likely to be expanding into new markets in other parts of the world. With hardware load balancers, you would have to hire or dispatch engineers to physically install and maintain hardware appliances in various geographic locations – a slow and expensive process.
Software load balancers can be deployed in any data center environment anywhere in the world. Snapt, for example, runs on any virtual machine platform, bare metal, containers, public or private clouds, as well as any existing Linux installation. If your growth plan involves launching your products or services in new territories, you can deploy a software load balancer remotely to keep your local website up and running without any local engineering resources.
Software load balancers are inherently agile and can keep pace with the fastest growing businesses. By choosing a software load balancer, you can adapt quickly to changing traffic patterns, sidestep the constraints and risks of CAPEX investment and leapfrog into new global territories with ease.
Snapt’s software ADC is a Layer 7 load balancer with a lightweight architecture that handles any TCP traffic and can deliver more than 100,000 Layer 7 requests per second on a 2 vCPU system, making it ideal for agile and high-growth businesses.
To see Snapt in action, book a demo or try it for free today.