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I'm new to Azure (I've only worked with AWS), so please pardon me if this is naive.

I'm currently building an infrastructure which does the following:

  1. There is a pool of servers, where the number of servers is elastic based on some logic (say on load, where load is not just number of clients). I want to add/remove instances programatically using a master.

  2. The pool of servers host a web service, and I want outside clients to connect based on some criteria. I was thinking the master above could do the partitioning and client assignment.

Is this possible in Azure? Can I change the default load balancing to return a custom DNS address to the client?

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I think I understand the question, I'm just curious about what's driving the need for dedicated client instances. –  BrentDaCodeMonkey Jul 28 '12 at 3:01
    
@BrentDaCodeMonkey I'm building a new distributed infrastructure as part of a research project. –  Andy Jul 28 '12 at 3:04

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can do this in Azure:

There is a pool of servers, where the number of servers is elastic based on some logic (say on load, where load is not just number of clients). I want to add/remove instances programatically using a master.

This is called metering and automated scaling , read more in the Cloud Ninja site

You can also do this:

The pool of servers host a web service, and I want outside clients to connect based on some criteria. I was thinking the master above could do the partitioning and client assignment

> Can I change the default load balancing to return a custom DNS address to the client?

You can do pretty much anything you like if you use Azure VMs, on the other hand, I am not sure why you would want to do this, Azure already provides automatic, transparent load balancing for its WebRoles ¿Why do you think you can do better?

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thanks! I'll look at Cloud Ninja. When I provision a web/worker role, I'm hoping I can start it with a custom setting (like make it accept and process only messages with some specific pattern). I'm trying out a new partitioning scheme, that's why I don't want Azure's automatic load-balancing. –  Andy Jul 28 '12 at 3:43
    
Ok, if you found my answer valuable, please upvote –  Luxspes Jul 28 '12 at 6:36
    
Virtual Machines have nothing to do with the load balancer. If you really wanted to direct traffic to a specific instance, you'd need to run some type of request router (e.g. ARR). You cannot alter the Windows Azure load balancer, aside from implementing custom probes to decide when a Virtual Machine is available or unavailable. –  David Makogon Jul 28 '12 at 12:55
    
Depending on the type of workloads you're doing, one option for the traffic cop would be to use Windows Azure Service Bus and set up Worker Roles to listen for specific topics to come through, and even add filters to those topics (e.g. process messages that meet a specific criteria). You could front those Worker Roles with a set of Web Roles that merely accept the incoming request, set up the BrokeredMessage according to your processing rules, and send it into the SB for processing. –  Chris Koenig Jul 28 '12 at 22:33
    
Thank you all for your responses! –  Andy Jul 29 '12 at 4:11

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