Introduction to Google Cloud Load Balancing - Distributing Traffic

Google Cloud Load Balancing is a service that enables you to distribute incoming network or application traffic across multiple virtual machine instances or regions to ensure high availability, scalability, and reliability. In this guide, we'll explore the key concepts and use cases of Google Cloud Load Balancing and provide a sample code snippet for configuring a basic HTTP(S) Load Balancer using the Google Cloud Load Balancing API.

Key Concepts

Before we dive into the code, let's understand some key concepts related to Google Cloud Load Balancing:

  • Load Balancer: A load balancer is a managed service that evenly distributes incoming traffic to a group of instances based on predefined rules, ensuring that instances can handle traffic efficiently.
  • HTTP(S) Load Balancer: An HTTP(S) Load Balancer is used for distributing HTTP and HTTPS traffic to backend instances. It supports features like SSL termination, content-based routing, and global load balancing.
  • Backend Service: A backend service defines a set of virtual machine instances that will receive traffic from the load balancer. It includes health checks to ensure instance availability.

Sample Code: Configuring an HTTP(S) Load Balancer

Here's a sample Python code snippet for configuring a basic HTTP(S) Load Balancer in Google Cloud using the Google Cloud Load Balancing API. To use this code, you need to have the necessary permissions:

from google.auth import compute_engine
from googleapiclient import discovery
# Authenticate with Google Cloud using the default service account
credentials = compute_engine.Credentials()
load_balancer ='compute', 'v1', credentials=credentials)
# Define the project ID and load balancer configuration
project_id = 'your-project-id'
load_balancer_name = 'your-load-balancer-name'
backend_service_name = 'your-backend-service-name'
health_check_name = 'your-health-check-name'
# Create a backend service with health check
backend_service_body = {
'name': backend_service_name,
'healthChecks': [f'projects/{project_id}/global/healthChecks/{health_check_name}'],
'loadBalancingScheme': 'EXTERNAL',
load_balancer.backendServices().insert(project=project_id, body=backend_service_body).execute()
# Create a URL map with default route
url_map_body = {
'defaultService': f'projects/{project_id}/global/backendServices/{backend_service_name}',
load_balancer.urlMaps().insert(project=project_id, body=url_map_body).execute()
# Create a target HTTP proxy
proxy_body = {
'name': load_balancer_name,
'urlMap': f'projects/{project_id}/global/urlMaps/{load_balancer_name}',
load_balancer.targetHttpProxies().insert(project=project_id, body=proxy_body).execute()
# Create a global forwarding rule
forwarding_rule_body = {
'name': load_balancer_name,
'target': f'projects/{project_id}/global/targetHttpProxies/{load_balancer_name}',
'portRange': '80',
load_balancer.globalForwardingRules().insert(project=project_id, body=forwarding_rule_body).execute()
print(f'HTTP(S) Load Balancer {load_balancer_name} created in project {project_id}')

Replace `'your-project-id'`, `'your-load-balancer-name'`, `'your-backend-service-name'`, and `'your-health-check-name'` with your project ID, desired load balancer name, backend service name, and health check name. This code configures a basic HTTP(S) Load Balancer in Google Cloud.


Google Cloud Load Balancing is a critical component for ensuring the availability and scalability of your applications. By understanding the key concepts and using the provided code snippet, you can effectively configure load balancers to distribute traffic and enhance the performance of your services in Google Cloud.