Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My situation is fairly simple and, I guess, it's encountered fairly often. I have several projects which all look pretty much the same - a single project consists of:

  1. Static content servers - there are a couple of decent CDN solutions that solve this problem
  2. Frontend HTTP servers - which should get incoming requests, distribute them across backend servers, get the answers and post it back to users
  3. Backend HTTP servers - scalable, properly distributed across the globe
  4. Database servers / NoSQL servers / whatever stores the data

The problem here is (2) - frontend servers. We're using multiple technologies to provide fault-tolerance and load-balancing with frontends, namely:

  • DNS round-robin & DNS zone switching - not really that good at load balancing, very slow to recover after a failure (i.e. switching of DNS zones takes at least 15-20 minutes in practice even with 1-minute TTL)
  • BGP switching - fairly expensive, takes lots of organizational efforts (i.e. getting at least /23 block of IP address), not really practical to switch between more than 2 paths
  • BGP anycasts - basically, also fairly expensive and complex
  • Switching between servers in the same datacenter using VRRP/CARP at the router - most viable alternative, but not really fault-tolerant due to a single datacenter being SPoF

Come to think of it, I thought that there must be a ready-made SaaS solution for this problem. What I dream of for our next project is to make it this way:

  1. Create backends, deploy them across the globe, have their IPs ready
  2. Buy a domain name
  3. Sign up for an external service that will:
    • Provide me with IP(s) that I will point my domain name to
    • Have a guaranteed web servers listening at these IP(s) all the time
    • Monitor my backends
    • Forward requests that it gets to a least loaded working backend (ideally, adjusting load balancing policy using some geographical / network latency principles)
    • Get response from a backend and send it back to the user

I did my homework and found out that there are several load balancing SaaS solutions available:

I wonder if anything else exists that might make my dream deployment a reality? May be I'm wrong and such thing does not exist? Or I'm just searching for a wrong term and there's already another widely-accepted term for such a service?

share|improve this question

closed as not constructive by Michael Hampton, John Gardeniers, Greg Askew, Magellan, HopelessN00b Dec 3 '12 at 11:47

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I'd google "global load balancing" or "global traffic management".

There's a few products out there from the usual players...



share|improve this answer
Thanks for a suggestion! From what I see now, both Akamai's and F5's solutions are not really what I'm looking for - they basically offer a DNS-based switching, which is slow and can be done manually without any organization hassle. I'm looking for a service to provide me a permanent IP that would forward traffic to/from my real servers in several datacenters. – GreyCat Nov 30 '12 at 23:48

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.