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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Azure Load Balancer
3.
Features of Load Balancer
3.1.
Load Balancing 
3.2.
Port forwarding
3.3.
Application agnostic and transparent
3.4.
Automatic reconfiguration
3.5.
Health probes 
3.6.
Outbound connection
4.
Creating Azure Load Balancer:
5.
Frequently Asked Questions
5.1.
What is a load balance in Azure?
5.2.
What are the varieties of Azure load balancers?
5.3.
Does Azure charge for a load balancer?
5.4.
What are the three types of load balancers?
5.5.
Why is a load balancer used?
6.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Azure Load Balancer

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Introduction

You may have heard of many cloud-providing companies with different features and characteristics. Some essential features of the cloud include maintaining the cloud, distributing the cloud, managing and accessing servers, and flexibility of portals. We use a load balancer to manage the traffic on websites or applications. Let’s learn about the Azure load balancer in this article.

Azure Load Balancer

Load Balancer can be used for managing the traffic that has been generated to your website or product. The load balancer is one of Azure's most significant features that helps distribute the incoming traffic to the pool of VMs(Virtual Machines). It helps to stop the traffic routing to a failed virtual machine in the pool. A load balancer is used to improve the performance and responsiveness of applications and prevent server loads. The load balancer is used between client and backend servers to manage the traffic and improve application performance.

Azure load balancer

The above picture describes the load balancer distributing the traffic from the CoAP Client using a load balancer. It is distributing the traffic among the virtual machines. 

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Features of Load Balancer

There are many features of load balancer that help in

Load Balancing 

The azure load balancer will use a 5-tuple hash consisting of 

  • Source IP, 
  • Source port, 
  • Destination IP,
  • Destination port, 
  • Protocol


We can configure a load balancer role within itself to generate the source port and source IP address for the traffic.

Azure load balancer

Port forwarding

The load balancer also has a port forwarding feature, where we have a pool of web servers to which we don't want to associate a public IP address for each server in the pool. To perform any maintenance activities, you need to RDP into those Web servers with a public IP address.

Port forwarding

Application agnostic and transparent

The load balancer doesn't directly interact with the transmission control protocol (TCP), User Datagram Protocol(UDP), or the application layer. We can route the traffic based on Unified Resource Locator(URL) or multi-site hosting to go for the application gateway.

Automatic reconfiguration

The load balancer can help reconfigure itself when we scale up or scale down the instances. If we add more virtual machines into the backend pool, the load balancer will automatically reconfigure and scale-up; similarly, the load balancer will scale down when removing a few VMs.

Health probes 

The load balancer can recognize the failed VMs in the backend pool and stop routing the traffic to the failed virtual machine. It will recognize the failure using health probes. We can configure a health probe to help determine the health of the instances in the backend server pool.

Health probes

Outbound connection

The outbound connection flows from a private IP address in the virtual network to the public IP addresses on the Internet, which can be translated to a frontend IP of the load balancer.

Outbound connection

Creating Azure Load Balancer:

  1. Log in to the Azure portal with your credentials. If you don't have an Azure account, you can create one according to your preferred subscription.
  2. Now go to the Azure portal, click on create a resource, search for the load balancer, and click on it.
  3. Now you can create a load balancer and fill in all the required details like name, region, type, and resource group.  
  4. Now click on review+ create, and review the important things like public IP address, public address name, and availability zone
  5. You will be redirected to a review page where you can check all the details you filled in and then click on create.
  6. Your load balancer has been created.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a load balance in Azure?

A Load balancer distributes the load (incoming network traffic) evenly across a group of backend resources or servers. It distributes the incoming traffic to the pool of VMs(Virtual Machines) and helps to stop the traffic routing to a failed virtual machine in the pool. 

What are the varieties of Azure load balancers?

There are two varieties of Azure load balancers: 

  • public load balancers
  • internal load balancers, also known as private load balancers. 

Does Azure charge for a load balancer?

Azure doesn't charge for the load balancer services but doesn’t provide the primary Virtual Machines. So we have to pay for a subscription to use the Virtual Machines.

What are the three types of load balancers?

The three types of load balancers are 

  • Application Load Balancers
  • Network Load Balancers
  • Classic Load Balancers

Why is a load balancer used?

A load balancer is used to improve the performance and responsiveness of applications and prevent server loads. The load balancer is used between client and backend servers to manage the traffic and improve application performance.

Conclusion

We have discussed the concept of Azure Load Balancer in this article. You can now explore load balancer by logging into the portal. 

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