Most people don’t start thinking they need a “load balancer” until they need a second server. But even if you’ve only got one server a “load balancer” can help with availability, with performance, and make the transition later on to a multiple server site a whole lot easier.

Before we reveal the secret sauce, let me first say that if you have only one server and the application crashes or the network stack flakes out, you’re out of luck. There are a lot of confusedthings load balancers/application delivery controllers can do with only one server, but automagically fixing application crashes or network connectivity issues ain’t in the list. If these are concerns, then you really do need a second server.

But if you’re just worried about standing up to the load then a Load balancer for even a single server can definitely give you a boost.