I interested in learn more about network load balancing. I'm fairly proficient in networking but have never implemented any sort of load balancing to my knowledge.
I'm interested in:
Popular theory, monitoring a current network for implementation(tools used for multiple platforms) and where is it best to monitor from (server, client, or network hardware), also the hardware/software you use or recommend to implement it.
Looking at it from a security standpoint, can it be defensive, can it be offensive, can it be exploited and possible preventions of exploitation.

Sort of along the same lines I'm also interested in prevention of DDoS.(Related really only in the fact of controlling bandwidth.)
Is it better to use specific hardware devices or some sort of software to assist in prevention. What's the theory behind it? Change IP's and update DNS entries, point the traffic to nowhere, or inform your ISP and let them handle it?
How bad does a DDoS get? Can it be simulated properly in a local environment with 2-4 machines?
How to best simulate a DDoS? Would the diagram below work well or is it possible the hub could get overloaded before the switch and wouldn't work properly?

H|--- Switch --- LAN
u|--- Attacker
b|--- Attacker

Thanks in advance,