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There is no doubt that the complexity of managing IT continues to grow. Transaction volumes are ever-growing, applications are interwoven with Web services, and workers are adopting the newest mobile devices-du-jour. The impact of social media and the Web continues to vex IT security managers. Then there's the case of enterprise software, which runs the business. Enterprise software technology has become a staple of large organizations over the last 20 years, but there's no evidence that managing these systems is getting any easier for CIOs and IT managers.
When quality guru Walter Deming said, "We can no longer live with commonly accepted levels of delays, mistakes, defective materials, and defective workmanship", he was also talking about creating and designing systems for customers (online businesses) that were capable of growing and expanding with the acceleration of that business. I.E. anticipating and going beyond the needs of the business "as it is now".
Way too many system designs are presented to SMB's that lack a very valuable tool that is crucial to preventing losses from "delays, mistakes and defective workmanship". Especially when the business grows faster than anticipated.
A Server Load Balancer
Inexpensive, prudent....and Deming-like. Even outside of New Mexico.
Indeed, this Publication has spoken highly of Server Load Balancers!!
Just my opinion.
By suggesting that a Server Load Balancer is a cheap option to resolve the issue, it sounds to me like you have already decided where the problem is without really knowing.
I have seen real world applications experience performance problems which were already load balanced. If the load from users is not the problem, how will a load balancer help?
There is more focus today on getting an application written as quickly as possible, rather than writing an application to run as quickly as possible. Poor code affects the utilisation of servers - both where the code is running and other servers that utilise that code through web services/SQL etc. Find the root cause of the problem and fix it, and you may find that those under utilised servers may suddenly become more utilised!
Before the Load Balancer can become useful the application must work reliably.
When the app is working the users will come. When the users come, traffic/user volume can become an issue.
High volumes cause slowdowns and breakdowns. Thus the load volume becomes an issue unless you over supply with extra hardware, bandwidth and servers - quantity and quality.
A Good Boy scout is prepared. But today even the Boy Scouts have an issue with money. They make do with what they have which most of the time is not lots of money.
And NOBODY throws ANYTHING away.
INEVITABLY, SMB'S buy a couple of new servers for the anticipated extra load. But JUST AS INEVITABLY SMB's keep using the older servers as well.
A good, inexpensive server load balancer like those offered by KEMP Technologies, F5 or Loadbalancer.org enables the Boy Scout to mix the powerful new tools with the old standbys saving money while offering larger capacity for getting the users to the app they need.
Just my opinion.