The IT world is full of abbreviations – from 2FA (2-factor authentication) to XaaS (everything-as-a-service). If you want to ensure continuity and user-friendliness in the challenging environment of the hybrid cloud, you cannot avoid another trend acronym: “GSLB“. This abbreviation stands for “Global Server Load Balancing” at the network level. However, the technology simplifies disaster recovery and supports high availability across different locations.
GSLB according to the DNS protocol is considered to be quick and reliable. Responses are almost real-time – an ideal option for applications that require high data center availability for disaster recovery.
As companies GSLB, they still face the challenge of quickly and reliably delivering applications to multiple locations while ensuring latency in DNS resolution, so it is advisable to use load balancing at the network level – including “Edge DNS-GSLB” called.
The digital infrastructure does hard work every day. It provides the responsiveness and availability that business applications rely on that are located in a wide variety of data centers (on-premises, in private or public clouds) and that are accessed from worldwide locations. The Gartner analysts study “Why Organizations Choose a Multicloud Strategy” found that 81 percent of respondents are currently working with two or more cloud providers. This means: Modern IT teams have to guarantee reliability more than ever in an ever-growing multi-cloud environment to keep business-relevant workflows going.
Load balancers and application delivery controllers (ADCs) are now well-known tools for balancing server loads. While ADCs distribute traffic within a single data center, the strength of the Global Server Load Balancer (GSLB) is that workloads are distributed across multiple data centers or locations.
Global server load balancers, which are integrated into recursive DNS servers and are used at the edge of the network, ie “at the edge” (Edge DNS GSLB), take this approach to a new and more sophisticated level. Benefits include simplified deployment, improved user experience, more robust applications, and, what may be very important for some companies, optimized disaster recovery plans (DRP).
This means that they are more fully and better prepared for potential system failures and can, therefore act more relaxed. The combination of DNS and GSLB functionality on one server significantly reduces capital expenditure and operating costs and simplifies the rollout in the entire company infrastructure.
By implementing GSLB in recursive DNS servers, traffic routing decisions for applications can be made geographically closer to the user and thus enable native localization. Since GSLB can be used at remote locations, the reliability is additionally strengthened. At the same time, the possibility of error detection on data center, WAN, server, and GSLB failures improves.
Large system failures at well-known companies repeatedly make it into the global media, as they can bring about numerous negative side effects such as damage to image and loss of sales. Incidents such as Google’s November 2019 cloud outage are rare but show that even the largest players in this area are not invulnerable.
DNS-based edge GSLBs can significantly minimize the impact of such an interruption since business-relevant data traffic can be seamlessly routed to a previously defined and configured backup data center at another location. Also, by adding IP Address Management ( IPAM ) capabilities, companies can manage both their cloud and on-premises applications from a central repository. For network administrators, GSLB facilitates system recovery at the network level in all three central steps of disaster recovery, preparation, testing, and activation.
Changing the configuration of DNS records for multiple applications can turn out to be a confusing and complicated matter that also involves various sources of error. Edge DNS GSLB provides support here; because the technology approach can be used to prepare the respective failure scenario and, in a next step, simplify activation.
Global server load balancing at the network level, which is linked to an application repository, enables preparation at the server level, which is used in the event of a system failure. Administrators can plan and work out the priority defined in the Business Impact Analysis (BIA) for the changeover of each application without any stress.
By relying on DNS to prepare for a system failure, IT teams prevent the entire network from being disrupted when testing their disaster recovery plans. You can easily test a DRP scenario at a pilot site and apply your recovery strategy on only one Edge DNS GSLB server without affecting other sites. This means that you can substantiate that your approach is robust and reliable and that user access to applications will not be affected.
With just one click and using the Edge DNS GSLB approach, the configuration defined in the preparation phase can be implemented in an emergency. During the disaster recovery phase, the DNS configuration on all servers is automatically changed by switching the management status of the nodes per application priority. The application traffic is also routed to the services located in the backup data center.
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