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I wish I could deploy a very low network latency webservice (running Linux).

I was thinking about distributing some instances amongst several dedicated servers (eventually VMs, but not the preferred solution) around the globe. Eg. one in Europe, one in Asia, one in South America and one in North America. Getting a dedicated server in each zone is easy and affordable.

My question is regarding the geolocation. Since the idea is to make sure every client requests the closest instance, I need to setup some configuration on the network level. I've seen providers offering DNS Anycast but these seem to offer plain DNS mirroring through opendns. Not what I need.

Questions arise :

  • I heard about anycast, but, as a dedicated server customer, will I be able to configure anything properly (since anycast is about OSPF, BGP, and DNS, and I guess I have no further access to anything like routers for example) ? If yes, would you recommend any Web pointers to a suitable HOWTO ? I found http://blog.patrickmeenan.com/2011/10/anycast-and-what-it-means-for-web.html, and it looks pretty straightforward (way too easy maybe!).

  • Does a "DNSses only" solution allow me to do the job ? Will it be as effective a an anycast solution ? Any pointer to an HOWTO ?

Thank you !

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1 Answer 1

What you want is GeoDNS.

GeoDNS allows different responses (IP addresses) based on geographic information.

There are many DNS providers that deliver this type of service.

It is up to you then to map the geographic locations to the specific servers you deploy.

In terms of anycast, that is a routing protocol that allows a one-to-many association. The packets can be sent to any member of a group of targets. There is nothing inherent in the protocol that says these targets must be closer in a geographic sense. As a protocol it is geographically agnostic.

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