International distribution options with Microsoft Azure

This publish was co-authored by Dave Burkhardt and Sami Modak.

As a part of your cloud journey, crucial functions have to be deployed in a number of Azure areas to make sure excessive availability to your international buyer base. When reviewing Azure’s varied international visitors distribution options, ask your self, “Which choice is the perfect one for my software?”

On this weblog, you’ll study every international visitors distribution resolution Azure affords, and which resolution is the perfect one to your internet-facing cloud structure. At the moment, Azure affords totally different choices for distributing international visitors. Microsoft Azure Entrance Door is a content material supply community (CDN) service with software layer load balancing capabilities. Azure cross-region Load Balancer is a worldwide community layer load balancer. Lastly, Azure Site visitors Supervisor is a website title service (DNS)-based visitors distribution resolution. 

Choosing the proper international visitors distribution resolution

You’ll study three instance corporations—Contoso1, Contoso2, and Contoso3. For every firm, we’ll dive into their software’s state of affairs and resolve which international visitors distribution resolution is the perfect one for them.

Buyer state of affairs 1—wholesale distributor

Contoso1 is a big wholesale distributor that has areas all around the globe. Contoso1 has been going by means of a big technological transformation and has been migrating providers to Azure. One of many functions being moved to Azure is their backend stock administration software program. This software is answerable for offering customers with details about stock standing and updating stock data after a transaction has occurred. As a part of their migration the workforce at Contoso1 has strict necessities that have to be met by a worldwide distribution resolution.

  • First, all visitors sort will probably be layer 4 and should be served with ultra-low latency. As well as, the appliance requires a regional redundancy with computerized visitors fail-over within the occasion a area is down, to make sure excessive availability.
  • Second, the appliance requires a static IP handle that the appliance’s frontend will constantly ping.
  • Lastly, any updates made to regional deployments shouldn’t have an effect on the general backend stock software.

Given all the necessities laid out by Contoso1’s, Azure cross-region Load Balancer is an ideal resolution for his or her software. Azure cross-region Load Balancer is extremely optimized at serving layer-4 visitors with ultra-low latency. Moreover, cross-region load balancer gives geo-proximity routing, which suggests all Contoso1’s shops visitors will probably be forwarded to the closest regional deployment to them. Azure cross-region Load Balancer additionally gives computerized failover. Within the occasion considered one of Contoso1’s regional deployment is unhealthy, all visitors will probably be serviced by the following wholesome regional deployment. As well as, cross-region load balancers present customers with a static globally anycast IP handle, by which Contoso1 doesn’t have to fret about their IP handle altering. Lastly, Azure cross-region Load Balancer will permit Contoso1 to replace its regional deployments behind a single international endpoint with none influence on its finish customers.

Buyer state of affairs 2—social media firm

Contoso2 is a worldwide social media platform. As a social media website, they should serve each interactive and static content material to their customers across the globe as rapidly and reliably as doable. Most lately, as a consequence of Contoso2’s outstanding standing as a social media platform, they’ve skilled an outage with their on-premises hosted web site due to a DDoS assault. That mentioned, Contoso2 has the next strict necessities as they migrate to Azure:

  • A platform that may ship each static and dynamic content material to their shoppers across the globe with the utmost efficiency and reliability.
  • Capacity to route content material to each their cell and desktop customers as rapidly as doable.
  • Simply combine with Azure’s DNS, Net Utility, Storage, and Utility Gateway merchandise.
  • DDoS safety.
  • Cut back safe sockets layer (SSL) load on Contoso2’s software servers, and as a substitute course of SSL requests on the sting for sooner person expertise for Contoso2’s international purchasers.

Azure Entrance Door is a perfect resolution to allow accelerated and extremely resilient net software efficiency for optimum supply of static and dynamic content material across the globe:

  • Static Content material—Contoso2’s cached static content material will be served from Azure Entrance Door’s 185 international edge factors of presence (PoP) areas. To make sure the utmost efficiency and resiliency, Azure Entrance Door makes use of the Anycast protocol to ensure the Contoso2’s shopper’s requests are served from the closest international edge areas.
  • Dynamic Content material—Azure Entrance Door has an arsenal of visitors acceleration options. Shopper to Azure Entrance Door PoP visitors is once more optimized by way of the Anycast protocol. Though because it particularly pertains to dynamic workloads, edge PoP to buyer’s origin connections are optimized by way of break up TCP. This method permits the visitors to terminate the TCP connection to the closest edge PoP and makes use of lengthy residing connections over Microsoft’s international personal extensive space community (WAN) to cut back the round-trip-time (RTT). Moreover, within the occasion Cotoso2 deployed multiregional origin deployments, Azure Entrance Door makes use of well being probes to fetch content material from the least latent origin.

Furthermore, Azure Entrance Door additionally has SSL offload capabilities which might enhance efficiency additional. As well as, Azure Entrance Door is extremely optimized for HTTP and web-based functions. With Azure Entrance Door, prospects are outfitted with varied layer 7 routing options. These options permit prospects to use enterprise routing and superior routing inside Azure Entrance Door. For instance, Azure Entrance Door can route requests to cell or desktop variations of Contoso2’s net software based mostly on the shopper system sort. Further examples embrace SSL offload, path-based routing, quick failover, caching, and extra.

As we speak Azure gives end-to-end options for each facet of software administration. Azure Entrance Door gives seamless integration with different Azure providers comparable to DNS, Net App, and Storage. These integrations permit prospects to simply create highly effective net functions constructed utilizing the mixing of a number of Azure providers.

Lastly, Azure Entrance Door gives built-in assist for varied safety merchandise to assist shield prospects’ net functions. For instance, prospects can safe their origins with layer 3, 4, and seven DDOS mitigation, and seamlessly allow Azure Net Utility Firewall safety.

The following Image shows Azure Front Door connected to two backend regions, an active region, and a standby region. Within each region, there is an Azure Web app that is connected to various Azure services (Function App, SQL, Cosmos DB, and Azure cognitive search.  In addition, the image also showcases how static content is cached at the Azure Front Door level, which help with performance and reliability.

Buyer state of affairs 3—sustainable vogue retailor

Contoso3 is a big retail retailer centered on sustainable vogue objects. Contoso3 has a big on-line presence and has traditionally been internet hosting all their functions on-premises. Nonetheless, given the benefit of the cloud and Azure, Contoso3 has begun migrating their functions to Azure. One among these functions is their on-line retailer platform. Because the workforce at Contoso3 is evaluating totally different Azure international visitors distribution options, they’ve outlined a number of necessities that should be addressed.

  • First, the workforce at Contoso3 will probably be doing a rolling migration the place a part of their software will stay on-premises and the opposite half will probably be hosted on Azure. Any viable resolution ought to be capable of direct visitors to on-premises servers to assist this rolling migration plan.
  • Second, latency is crucial for Contoso3 and shopper visitors must be routed to wholesome endpoints in a well timed method. 
  • Lastly, the answer wants to have the ability to direct customers to the right backend sort based mostly on their geographical location. Contoso3 caters to a variety of consumers and infrequently has clothes objects particular to sure geographical areas.

With all the necessities acknowledged prior, Azure Site visitors Supervisor could be the optimum resolution for Contoso3. With Azure Site visitors Supervisor, customers can add on-premises servers within the backend to assist burst-to-cloud, failover-to-cloud, and migrate-to-cloud situations. As well as, Azure Site visitors Supervisor gives computerized failover and multi-region assist, which all end in visitors being served with low latency. DNS title decision is quick, and outcomes are cached. The pace of the preliminary DNS lookup will depend on the DNS servers the shopper makes use of for title decision. Usually, a shopper can full a DNS lookup inside roughly 50 ms. The outcomes of the lookup are cached at some point of the DNS time-to-live (TTL). The default TTL for Site visitors Supervisor is 300 seconds (about 5 minutes). The Site visitors Supervisor may also assist Contoso3 with their geofencing wants, particularly with the geographic routing characteristic. This characteristic will permit Contoso3 to direct customers to the right backend occasion based mostly on their geographical location.

The following image shows Azure Traffic Manager connected to three endpoints, where each backend endpoint is in a different region. When a user issues a DNS query with Azure traffic Manager, the DNS response is the endpoint closet to the user's location. A user can then directly connect to the endpoint given by the DNS response.


The next part discusses widespread use instances for every load balancing resolution, and what every resolution is optimized for.  

  Azure Entrance Door Azure cross-region Load Balancer Azure Site visitors Supervisor
Site visitors sort HTTP/HTTPS TCP/UDP DNS
Routing insurance policies Latency, precedence, spherical robin, weighted spherical robin, path-based, superior http guidelines engine Geo-proximity and Hash Primarily based Geographical, latency, weighted, precedence, subnet, multi-value
Supported environments. Azure, non-Azure cloud, on-premises Azure Azure, non-Azure cloud, on-premises
Backend Sorts Azure Utility Gateway, Azure Load balancer, Azure Site visitors Manger Azure Load Balancer Azure Utility Gateway, Azure Load balancer, Azure Site visitors Supervisor, Azure Entrance Door, Azure Cross Area Load Balancer
Session affinity X X NA
Web site acceleration X NA NA
Caching X NA NA
Static IP NA X NA
Safety DDOS, Net Utility Firewall, Non-public Hyperlink Community Safety Group Azure Useful resource Logs, Azure Insurance policies
SLA 99.99% 99.99% 99.99%
Pricing Pricing Pricing Pricing

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