TL; DR: Loadbalancer.org has been helping businesses keep their websites up and running since the ecommerce boom began in the early 2000s. Over the last 15 years, Founder Malcolm Turnbull has grown the company to provide nearly 15,000 deployments. While other balancers have come and gone, Loadbalancer.org has differentiated itself with its honesty, responsive customer service, fair prices, and high performance. Load balancers may not be new technology, but many organizations that previously shifted to virtual solutions are coming back to the hardware for its superior reliability.
Loadbalancer.org Founder Malcolm Turnbull is the first to admit that load balancers aren’t a trendy technology. They have nothing to do with AI or augmented reality, and they aren’t being constantly updated to make them bigger and better — because most perform well already.
But even though load balancers aren’t a hot topic, they’re practically a requirement for many industries, including retail, government, and healthcare. Websites — and their hosting providers — rely on load balancers to handle traffic properly, keep pages running, and satisfy customers.
“High availability is a fundamental need, so people need load balancers,” said Malcolm.
With load balancers providing so much performance reliability, working with the right one can also make a big difference. And Loadbalancer.org differentiates itself from the competition by offering a refreshing approach in the industry.
“We tell the truth,” Malcolm said. “Our sales pitch is that you don’t want to blow up your system even once in 10 years and — especially if that’s a government entity or an airport — that’s a good sell.”
While its reliability has undoubtedly been tested, the Loadbalancer.org has proved itself time and again with nearly 15,000 deployments around the world since its founding in 2003.
And the company doesn’t try to sell clients tools they don’t need. Instead, Loadbalancer.org custom-builds most of its products in the United States to sell directly to its customers — a model that makes the products more affordable.
But it’s Loadbalancer.org’s zero downtime promise that brings peace of mind to its customers. The product’s layer 4-7 load balancing capabilities help it make informed decisions about traffic, allowing the company to promise a high level of uptime.
Malcolm said that is central to the company’s mission and philosophy.
“The load balancer must not break — ever,” he said.
Developed by an Engineer Following his Passion
In the early 2000s, Malcolm saw a need for a reliable load balancing service. Back then, the ecommerce market was just beginning in earnest, and the website for which Malcolm worked was struggling to handle its customer load. On certain days, the site simply couldn’t deal with the volume of customers navigating its pages.
“One of our events was Valentine’s Day where we would ship out thousands of red roses,” Malcolm said. “We just could not handle the load.”
When he looked into the load balancers available at the time, he found them much too expensive, especially for the limited budget his company had available.
Instead of recommending his company overpay for a load balancer, Malcolm created his own. From the beginning, the product worked effectively by using open-source software and incorporating scalable technology.
Malcolm said his foray into the world of load balancing also allowed him to follow his passion for development. After seeing its success, Malcolm realized he could sell his product, so he developed Loadbalancer.org.
“I was an engineer trying to scratch an itch, so I built the website,” Malcolm said.
The early days of Loadbalancer.org weren’t easy, however. As he was starting the business — and he and his wife were expecting their first child — Malcolm was diagnosed with leukemia. Over the year he was in the hospital, his wife outsourced work on the business so it could continue to operate while Malcolm underwent treatment.
Luckily, Malcolm recovered and was motivated by his illness and his family to grow the business into what it is today. Now, the company has 40 staff members around the world — from Vancouver, Canada to Romania — and has been highly successful under Malcolm’s direction.
Promising Years-Long Reliability and High Availability
Two other ways Loadbalancer.org sets itself apart are by selling directly to customers and offering a high level of support. Without a distribution channel, the company can not only provide more competitive pricing but can also provide customized solutions.
“We’ve got a niche with a lot of technology, including with customers like Lockheed Martin and Toshiba who are creating systems that must never fail for 10 years,” said Malcolm. “We help them with that. That’s our model.”
In addition to those companies, Loadbalancer.org works with clients in the medical imaging, object storage, print management, video streaming and finance industries — among many others. API integration and autoscaling make the product useful for automatic deployments.
Scalability is a significant part of Loadbalancer.org’s mission, which is why it offers global server load balancing.
Another reason that the company can offer reliability at an affordable price is the open source software it deploys helps keep developing costs down.
“The main bit we develop is our web interface. We actually give the codes back, and we work nicely with open source developers,” said Malcolm.
The open source developers also receive feedback about the software’s performance on Loadbalancer.org. They use that information for future development.
Effective load balancers must also incorporate security that can prevent customers from getting hacked. Loadbalancer.org provides both DDOS attack protection and web application firewalls.
“There’s been a demand for web application firewalls. You have to work with the vendor for several weeks to come up with a plan for how to keep them from being hacked,” Malcolm said.
Shifting Trends: Seeing a Move Back to Hardware
Malcolm has come a long way from worrying about the limited options available for his ecommerce website 15 years ago. Load balancers may not be a trendy technology, but the large-scale shift to virtual has created new opportunities for Malcolm’s business. Now, especially in industries with high uptime demands, organizations are moving back to the reliability, and security, of load balancing hardware.
“Everyone started moving to virtual and cloud. Before that shift about five years ago, the market was half hardware, half software,” Malcolm said. “Now, hardware is picking up steam again. Many of our current customers deal with medical imaging and large storage systems.”
According to Malcolm, factors that contribute to the shift back to hardware include problems that arise from cloud infrastructure as a service.
“Cloud storage companies are making a lot of money effectively creating a hybrid system — with some information in the cloud and some in hardware,” Malcolm said. “You still need to have hardware on site. If you’re running a hospital, you can’t have everything up in the cloud. You still have to have hardware somewhere.”
As hardware continues to rise in popularity, Loadbalancer.org is prepared to meet that demand by offering a fail-safe to cloud systems.
“We can load balance anything — from ecommerce websites to SharePoint,” Malcolm said.
With Loadbalancer.org celebrating its 15th anniversary, Malcolm is looking forward to the next 15 years:
“New and exciting opportunities come up all of the time, but if they don’t fit with our core priorities, we won’t pursue them,” Malcolm said. “The first 15 years got us a great product, a great staff, and loyal customers. Who knows what the next 15 years will bring?”