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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?

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

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1 Answer 1

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

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

Akamai http://www.akamai.com/html/solutions/gtm.html

F5 http://www.f5.com/it-management/solutions/global-load-balancing/overview/

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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

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