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Google's HTTP(S) load balancer has cross-region load balancing. But that's not a useful case for me (and tons of people I'd argue) because I have servers in unmanaged groups that need low latency communication among them. So I need to load balance unmanaged instance groups across ZONES e.g. zone-a unmanaged group, zone-b unmanaged group, and zone-c unmanaged group. What am I missing? Is this VERY basic use case not supported by Google?

BTW, the servers are in unmanaged groups because they MUST have slightly different configurations. Please don't tell me it's time to move to AWS...sigh

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    Create an unmanaged group in each zone and add to the HTTP load balancer. Have I missed something that you have tried that does not work? – John Hanley Jun 22 at 19:22
  • That doesn't work because Host and Path rules can only have a single backend with rules that are left blank. I have no host and path rules. All traffic should go to any of the backends. BUT, the console won't allow you to set multiple backends with empty Host and Path rules. – sts Jun 23 at 23:27
  • I just created an HTTP load balancer with one backend with two unmanaged instance groups, one in each zone. I did not need to specify any rules. I had no problems. What issue do you have? Perhaps you are trying to create multiple backends? You only need one backend to which you add the instance groups. – John Hanley Jun 24 at 0:42
  • That did it! Thank you! Yes, I was creating multiple backends. Now per your idea, I created just a single backend that has multiple unmanaged groups that are in different zones. It works. – sts Jun 25 at 19:22
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Add instances from a single region to the instance groups of this HTTPS load balancer. The cross region example's backend service spans regions, yours does not have to.


Whether regional, zonal, or unmanaged instance groups are practical depends on what these "slightly different configurations" are.

For an equal number of instances in each zone: one regional managed instance group (MIG) in the desired region. Multiple instance templates are possible with additional regional MIGs, but instance counts are evenly spread across zones.

If you must have different number of instances or instance templates: several zonal MIGs in the same region.

If you must manage the lifecycle of instances and don't like auto healing or scaling, unmanaged instance groups.

  • Sorry your answer makes little to no sense. Maybe Google can share some wisdom on this bewildering limitation. The root of the problem is that Google does not allow unmanaged groups across zones. Then they don't allow multiple blank rows on Host and Path rules. Managed groups are not an option at all in my case. – sts Jun 23 at 23:50

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