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We've got a website visited by users mainly in the USA and UK. The site will be run on servers in both these locations.

We would like to use a DNS service to direct users to the nearest server, but can't find any. Does anyone have an recommendations for solutions. A cheap, hosted solution would be preferred as we would rather not run our own DNS servers.

Cheers!

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closed as off topic by voretaq7 Feb 2 '12 at 3:40

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5 Answers

Wikipedia use a PowerDNS with Geobackend to serve clients from the closest server.

I have a similar service running for my http://static.natalian.org site. I want it in order to serve large HTML5 video files efficiently between my servers.

To set it up is quite easy. I setup A records like so:

   eu.static.natalian.org 88.198.3.35
   us.static.natalian.org 67.205.62.95
   *.static.natalian.org 67.205.62.95

Then for static.natalian.org I set a CNAME to the third party GEO PowerDNS service running at natalian.geo.blitzed.org.

The rules for how it maps onto country codes can be found from:

   rsync -v rsync://rsync.blitzed.org/geo-maps/natalian .

To scale further to Asia, I would rent a server in Korea and I would rsync the data and setup an Apache vhost to serve static.natalian.org from the new Korean IP, say 143.248.5.130. Then I would simply add:

   as.static.natalian.org 143.248.5.130
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Another one to checkout is Zerigo GeoDNS zerigo.com/docs/managed-dns/setting_up_geodns –  Ivan Oct 10 '12 at 1:18
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Here are two reasonably priced DNS service providers that offer Geo targeting: http://edgedirector.com/ and http://www.geoscaling.com/

The second one seems more inviting and better organized. I have not tested either of these services.

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I tested edgedirector and it works very well –  Niels Brinch Nov 6 '12 at 9:42
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Here is a forum topic on it. Many providers are mentioned.

http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=857871

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How accurate do you need it to be? If you can live with a little coding of your own, more-or-less accurate location resolution, and giving a redirect response to browsers that hit the "wrong" server first time around, then you could use the freely available "CeoLiteCountry" database to handle it yourself. I've got it on a list of ThingsToConsider for one of my planned projects.

It is in the Debian repositories (http://packages.debian.org/lenny-backports/geoip-database) which implies it is in fact properly "free" in many regards (though you might want to check the to make sure the license(s) are compatible with your project's codebase and direction).

Using a good managed DNS-based solution would be easier though, if the cost for a reliable enough provider is within your budget, but this might be a viable alternative.

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How about setting one up for us please David? mail-archive.com/debian-devel@lists.debian.org/msg257190.html –  hendry Jun 30 '09 at 22:45
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UltraDNS and Akamai can provide this service, however they are very expensive. I settled on using DNSMadeEasy which have DNS servers on both coasts, as well as europe.

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DNSMadeEasy is also expensive... GeoDns for 1 record with them ends up costing over $700 / year. –  user109204 Feb 2 '12 at 3:28
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