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I'm trying to find out if anyone has successfully created Virtual IP's in Amazon's EC2 cloud. I need to set up some load balancing but without Virtual IP's I can't see how I could handle failover scenarios. I would be left with a single point of failure.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can't use virtual IPs in the Amazon cloud. The nodes are fundamentally unstable: over any significant period of time they are not guaranteed to stay up.

Instead, you make sure your data is retained by keeping it on EBS volumes or S3, use Elastic Load Balancing for fault tolerance if a node goes down, and Cloud Watch to automatically recreate nodes when they fail.

Cloud computing just isn't the same as regular computing if you go with Infrastructure-as-a-Service. If you don't want to use these products and work at this level, you can always develop apps using services like Google AppEngine or Elastic Beanstalk.

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Just to emphasise: Your servers WILL fail at some point. Design for it. With elastic load balancing, you "register" your servers with the LB (rather than configure your LB for the servers) and the load is split between them. When one server (or a whole group of servers!) goes down, they're removed from the LB pool. – Rafiq Maniar Jul 25 '11 at 16:13
Yes, i'm not worried about the data portion. I have the databases already set up to recover from a problem with those servers crashing. I'm well aware that the servers can have problems, I've been using these services for the past year and have seen many issues with the hardware. Not really a big deal most of the time. The problem is I haven't gotten ELB to work correctly with MSMQ, this is the part that i'm struggling with the most. – bwight Jul 25 '11 at 16:29

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