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How Load Balancing optimises your file transfers

30 Apr 2024

Network bottlenecks that cause business downtime are the bete noir of corporate IT teams.
Businesswire found that 82% of companies experienced at least one downtime incident during the past three years… costing small businesses $660 per minute, and larger organisations $14,000 per minute.

Load balancing is a key technique for keeping network traffic flowing.

What is Load Balancing?
Load balancing is key to “clustering”, where multiple systems work together as a single unit to help ensure high-availability, scalability, and reliability.
It’s a technique which enables organisations to distribute workloads and network traffic across multiple servers or network interfaces in a computer cluster. Effective load balancing means that network traffic is always directed to servers which are “available”, should a particular server become overwhelmed or fail.
Balancing workloads optimises the performance of systems and applications –– for example, a managed file transfer (MFT) solution for exchanging data –– preventing bottlenecks and other efficiency-sapping impacts.

Why Load Balance for File Transfers?
Delays in sending files can have significant negative ripple effects throughout an organisation.
Incoming orders may not be received, or shipping may be delayed, leading to dissatisfied customers. Delayed financial transactions with trading partners may weaken an organisation’s supply chain. 
Load balancing helps organisations continue to operate ‘business as usual’ even when a system fails or is inundated with a heavy network workload.
Other benefits of load balancing include:

  • Scalability: Load balancers can help organisations adapt to growing and changing conditions and workloads without suffering adverse events. New servers can be seamlessly added to the cluster when more scalability is needed.
  • Performance Optimisation: Traffic is routed to the server most capable of handling a given request based on location or server health.
  • Redundancy: Organisations safeguard themselves, should one server become overloaded or fail, with load balancing enabling processing work to continue without interruption.

Using Middleware and Active-Active Framework for Load Balancing
A robust managed file transfer solution, such as Fortra’s GoAnywhere MFT, delivers critical load balancing and scaling when installed in a cluster. The solution’s load balancer, GoAnywhere Gateway, serves as both a reverse proxy and load balancer. When paired with Gateway as a load balancer, each inbound file server connection can be distributed to available systems in the environment.
MFT workflows performed in a clustering environment gain increased performance and throughput. If a system within a cluster fails, GoAnywhere Gateway automatically routes all new trading partner connections to the remaining systems in the cluster. For mission critical environments and processes, this is an “active-active” framework providing high availability.

Enhanced Security
GoAnywhere Gateway also provides an extra security layer when exchanging data. The Gateway keeps file sharing services such as FTPS, HTTPS, SFTP servers and any documents secure in the private or internal network. No additional inbound ports need to be opened, which helps organisations meet compliance requirements such as those for PCI DSS, SOX, HIPAA, GLBA, as well as certain privacy laws.

This round robin algorithm essentially works like this: For each new FTP, FTPS, or SFTP connection from a trading partner, the Gateway distributes that session sequentially to the next FTP/FTPS/SFTP server within the cluster.
HTTP/S, however, is a stateless protocol. It uses the round robin algorithm but will persist each connection for a time to maintain session integrity. HTTP/S sessions typically are only served by one HTTP/S server at a time.



If you’d like to discuss how your organisation can reduce downtime through MFT load balancing, please feel welcome to contact our Business Manager, Bradley Copson (mail to: ). He’s always happy to have an obligation-free discussion, explain how simply we can transition you from outdated software and approaches, and offer you a zero-cost Proof of Concept.

Generic Systems Australia

Your Local Experts in Secure Managed File Transfer

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