Many Network administrators at times get tangled in the conceptual difference of Load Balancing and Load Sharing. Prima facie, both may be thought of as one of the same thing, however as we drill down, the terms tend to differ. So let’s differentiate how both Load Balancing and Load Sharing concepts differ from each other and where are they used.
Load balancing is more of dynamic technique of distributing the load across 2 or more links while Load Sharing works by statically splitting the traffic types and then distributing the load across multiple links. Though we understand that dynamic load distribution will be more efficient on equal load distribution. While Load Balancing utilises round robin or maximum connections etc. to distribute traffic, Load sharing 1st splits the traffic based on source or destination IP/Mac address etc. and then distributes traffic across links. IGP protocols are best example of load balancing traffic across 2 or more links , GLBP is another good example. eBGP is the best answer which uses Load Sharing mechanism for incoming traffic by utilizing AS- Path attribute.

Below table gives simple comparison of both the concepts – Load Balancing vs Load Sharing


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