Editor’s note: This post is a follow-up to the announcements we made on 6/16/2014.

A powerful load balancing solution can improve your application’s response to the dynamic nature of user traffic. In fact, last year we demonstrated how you can serve 1 million requests per second instantaneously and affordably using Google Cloud Platform Network load balancing within a cloud region.

If you have a global user base, however, server utilization, availability, and performance can vary across regions. Traditionally developers have addressed this issue by configuring DNS-based load balancing, but that can be complex to maintain, inaccurate, and slow to respond to changes in load. We have developed a better way to load balance.

On Monday, we announced Cloud Platform HTTP Load Balancing, the world’s most scalable offering for load balancing traffic over groups of compute instances across multiple regions. It uses network proximity and backend capacity information to optimize the path between your users and your instances, and improves latency by connecting users to the closest Cloud Platform location. If your instances in one region are under heavy load or become unreachable, HTTP load balancing intelligently directs new requests to your available instances in a nearby region. Because your entire app is exposed via a single global external IP address, you can avoid the complexity and problems associated with configuring DNS-based load balancing; all you need to do is add a DNS record pointing to the global IP address.

HTTP load balancing is built on top of the same world-class infrastructure that powers Google’s own services such as Search, Gmail, and Youtube. Like Network load balancing, it uses the global Google network and doesn’t require pre-warming. Furthermore, HTTP load balancing filters out TCP SYN flood attacks. You can also route user requests to different backend groups based on host and URL path prefix.

Finally, using Google’s HTTP load balancing can help reduce costs. With cross-region support you only need to pay for one load balancing forwarding rule instead of one per region for your app. We're also simplifying pricing by offering unified, region-free rates:

HTTP load balancing is in limited preview. You can read more about it in our documentation and sign up to be one of the first to try it now. Network load balancing remains generally available.

Happy load balancing!

-Posted by Gary Ling, Product Manager