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Are there any third-party companies that provide a single IP address which is load-balanced over two IP addresses owned by the end customer? We are based in the UK.

I need to provide a solution to my customers where they can have geographically dispersed high availability for IP traffic. Without requiring them to have the infrastructure and headaches of getting these BGP configurations implemented by the potentially differing ISPs.

This traffic is IP address based and DNS based failover isn't possible (before you ask ;).

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UDP? TCP? Protocols with a state (TCP) are complicated to load-balance with BGP... Query/response protocoles based on UDP (like the DNS) are simple to load-balance, with BGP anycasting. –  bortzmeyer Sep 18 '09 at 7:19

3 Answers 3

Very similar to this question. Out of curiosity, I do have to ask why DNS failover is not an option?

But, from a routing perspective, presenting only one ip address severely limits your options...either BGP or possibly one of the MPLS based solutions some ISPs offer.

edit: The short and long of this is that to provide any sort of failover, you either need some sort of round-robin or presence detection/redirection. With only one IP and putting aside DNS as an option, your options are BGP, where you will likely need to have at least a /24 to advertise your own space, or have the same ISP at both locations who is willing to advertise this for you (still some fault tolerance issues here); or, accept connections on your single IP address and then handle the load balancing on the backend. This is doable by setting up a front end server or adding some SLB hardware.

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The devices used to communicate in this solutions are very basic and don't have any DNS client. So unfortunately it will only work using IP addresses. –  Garry Harthill Sep 17 '09 at 22:07
    
You've got devices that are capable of BGP but can't resolve DNS? Now I'm really curious...what kind of hardware are we talking about? –  Greeblesnort Sep 18 '09 at 21:37
    
I think I need to explain this a little better. The device itself is a mobile device communicating over GPRS and has no DNS client functionality to it communicates to one IP address. This one IP address it communicates with needs to be as resilient as possible. So the devices isn't handling the BGP routing but the IP address it connects to does. We have this arrangement working on our own production environment but would like to package this solution for our customers. Is there a company out there which will handle the failover of this IP and pass the TCP connection to the customers backend. –  Garry Harthill Sep 22 '09 at 11:01
    
I'm sure there are others, but I've been using ultraDNS for a while now with very few complaints. However, we just recently contracted to use their SiteBacker service and haven't yet implemented it. This is a "cloud" version of DNS failover with some rudimentary probes. As these types of services go, they're not very expensive. –  Greeblesnort Sep 23 '09 at 4:23

Are there any third-party companies that provide a single IP address which is load-balanced over two IP addresses owned by the end customer?

No. While it is not impossible to make something like this, for most uses its not a good solution. I have never seen any service like this.

I need to provide a solution to my customers where they can have geographically dispersed high availability for IP traffic.

Is there a Pointy Haired Boss in this somewhere? Seriously, TCP geo-distribution is hard and usually best left to large companies with strong technical skills. UDP is much easier as Anycast will generally work well for stateless communication, but it's still not exactly easy.

I think the best general answer is don't do this. Or at least provide more information about the data flow, and what your most important needs are.

You could talk to some of business-to-business oriented network providers, like Level 3, Verizon et cetera. They can implement multi-site high-availability for you, on their network infrastructure. But it will be on their IP address ranges, not yours, and it won't be cheap.

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We have this TCP BGP configuration for our own production environment already. I am just wondering if there is an easy way to point our customers to a company that can handle this for them if they don't have the technical skills themselves. –  Garry Harthill Sep 22 '09 at 11:55

Geographically dispersed redirection or more likely selectivity is going to be pretty hard once you say no BGP and no DNS.

IP only addressing is a maintenance nightmare anyways. So, I will offer you this link to a bunch of my materials:

http://edgedirector.com

look in the "reading room"

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