The process of distributing a load across multiple resources. For example, traffic can be distributed across multiple circuits to multiple switches or routers and, therefore, across multiple physical paths in order to mitigate issues of network congestion and enhance overall network performance. Or, competition for computational resources can be mitigated if a computing load is distributed among multiple processors. Local area network (LAN) segmentation can reduce congestion and, therefore, improve overall network performance through the application of routing bridges, switches, and routers that variously restrict traffic to physical segments and distribute traffic across multiple physical paths. See also network management and traffic.
The even distribution of processing across available resources such as servers in a network or disks in a storage area network (SAN). Load balancing might split incoming transactions evenly to all servers, or it may redirect transactions to the next available server as needed. See clustering.