UPDATE - December 2017: Before you get in to this blog - we've finally found a decent reason to use GSLB!

Anyone who has been watching Loadbalancer.org over the last few years will have noticed the things that we don't like :-). We've made it pretty clear that we don't like load balancing firewalls and we've also been pretty reluctant to turn our load balancers into a GSLB. Why? Because putting PowerDNS on a load balancer is a daft thing to do, that’s why.

So what do Loadbalancer.org recommend for a GSLB solution?

We think you should use a large and reliable cloud based service, from a decent provider who knows what they are doing with anycast and BGP.
You have plenty of cloud based GSLB providers to choose from:

Personally, we like Amazon Route 53. Why? Because it just works - It's simple, fast and cheap.
You can also easily combine Amazon Route 53 with our load balancers at the local cluster level for any extra application delivery requirements.

So what can I actually do with a cloud based GSLB?

A cloud based GSLB is simply a proper scalable DNS server network with built in server health checking and monitoring. I think we can all agree that the Amazon DNS network is scalable and fast as they clearly know what they are doing. The basic load balancing requirements most customers have from a GSLB are:

  • Active / Active load balancing: This is the sensible one - All servers available as long as they pass health checks
  • Active / Passive failover: This one can be used for failover from one physical site to another (if your application cant support active/active)

Either of these techniques can be combined with Geographic load balancing / least latency routing, i.e. use latency checks to ensure that a user from New York goes to one application cluster and a user from Paris goes to a different one. I know that sounds cool, but least latency routing has far more effect on your large static content like images and videos (which should be on your CDN Content Delivery Network such as Amazon Cloud Front).

What exactly is the managed GSLB service that Loadbalancer.org offer?

Loadbalancer.org is a little bit different to other companies

Obviously we try very hard to offer great application delivery software and support. However, we also give advice on other vendors you can use to ease your application delivery problems, or explain in great detail how you can implement your own solutions for free with open source software. We are not scared to say no to a sale if it doesn't suit our product, our people, or our ethos.

Because we are so different it enables us to offer what we call a 'concierge service', when you need a real partner to understand your problems and take responsibility, one of the services we can offer is to help design and manage your application delivery infrastructure, not only at the "local traditional load balancer layer", but also at the internet level, with GSLB, CDN, WAF etc.

Our concierge service doesn't suit everyone, and its practically invitation only, but why not ask for an invite?