I currently have a server deployment in which Pound is being used as a reverse proxy (HTTPS -> HTTP) in front of a single server instance. I'd like to add a second instance on a different host that acts as a hot-spare in the event that the main instance is down for any reason. I don't want any traffic whatsoever directed to the second server instance when the first instance is up.

From the documentation it seems that adding a second BackEnd entry into the Service block in pound.cfg will cause pound to monitor and load-balance between the two hosts, but I'm not seeing any options that would let me control how pound load-balances, or more specifically, instruct pound to only use 'host 2' when 'host 1' is down.

Is it possible to do this using pound? If not, are there any other open-source tools that would be better suited to this use-case?

1 Answer 1


Found the option I was looking for. The Service block can also contain one or more Emergency entries for hosts that should only be used if all preceding BackEnd nodes are down, which is exactly what I want.

Some good reference material is available here: https://calomel.org/pound.html

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