Microsoft releases Windows Azure Traffic Manager

I came across an interesting article recently at IT World entitled Microsoft adds load balancing as Azure availability stutters. The unfortunate part of the story is that Azure storage and SQL services suffered a 1 hour outage at all regions, but the positive news was that Microsoft is trying to catch up to Amazon Web Services by now offering a Load Balancer.  We’ve always agreed with this type of technology… something that allows you to route traffic from one location to another in order to mitigate outages. No provider can guarantee 100% uptime in a single datacenter, no matter how much they might want to, and a tool like a traffic manager is an essential component to ensuring uptime and availability.

The ironic part of the story is that even if the load balancer were available prior to the November 21 outage, it would not have helped in this situation because the outage for Microsoft was global, according to IDG News Service’s Mikael Ricknas. The other unfortunate element is that the Windows Azure Traffic Manager is DNS based. While there is a place for DNS-based traffic management, just like our very own DNS Failover solution, it seems a little simplified for Azure. Why do they not offer a network-based load balancer like AWS? Perhaps just like Amazon, they don’t have the ability to route traffic between regions or different availability zones, which makes a load balancer far less effective than it could be. We’re not quite sure.

But even if Windows Azure Traffic Manager was a real load balancer, it still wouldn’t deliver the level of control businesses deserve. Just like Amazon, it would be limited to routing within their network. At Total Uptime, we believe that businesses deserve a traffic manager that is provider-independent, that is, something that can route traffic from one datacenter to another, regardless of the provider/vendor or datacenter. A solution like that provides a high level of control.  If that’s what you are looking for, then consider our Cloud Load Balancer. It is extremely easy to use, it is everywhere and redundant, and it puts you in the driver’s seat.

Prevent your next outage now!


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