Azure Traffic Manager is an Azure service that provides a load balancing for your applications at the DNS level. It offers a highly efficient approach to traffic routing that combines end-to-end application health checks, intelligent DNS, and global load balancing into a single platform.

Azure Traffic Manager not only supports Azure-based services but also non-Azure based services. Therefore, it does not matter where you have your application whether it is on premises, Azure, or any other cloud.

Main features ^

If you're wondering what's unique about Azure Traffic Manager, check out the following reasons:

  • Azure Traffic Manager ensures redirecting every received request to a healthy node. Therefore, in case one of the nodes is down, it will failover the traffic to another node.
  • Clients will enjoy a lower access time to the application, which will redirect them to the nearest node or the fastest node in response. As a result, if you have clients around the world, you do not have to worry, since it will provide the best access experience to them.
  • If you have multiple nodes, and you would like to maintain or replace any of these nodes, you do not have to worry about the downtime, since the service will direct the requests to other nodes. Therefore, the client will face no downtime.
  • Microsoft offers Azure Traffic Manager for a reasonable price.

Routing methods ^

At the time of writing, Azure Traffic Manager supports six routing methods:

  1. Performance: This method routes the traffic to the fastest responsive node.
  2. Priority: This method routes the traffic to a specific node if the node goes down.
  3. Weighted: This method routes the traffic based on the weight assigned to each node.
  4. Geographic: This method routes the traffic to specific nodes based on the source location.
  5. Subnet: This method routes the traffic to a specific node based on an IP address range specified for the end users.
  6. Multivalue: This method routes the traffic to a specific number of nodes you can define, and all nodes will respond at the same time. This improves reliability in case the service did not handle the client request successfully.

Endpoints ^

The term "endpoints" refers to the nodes across which the traffic load balancing occurs.

There are currently three types of endpoints:

  1. Azure endpoints: This type is for Azure services, and it supports the following ones:
    1. Classic platform-as-a-service (PaaS) cloud services
    2. Web Apps
    3. Web app slots
    4. An Azure public IP (attachable to Azure VMs or Azure Load Balancers)
  2. External endpoints: This type is for public IP addresses or services hosted on premises or on any other cloud platform.
  3. Nested endpoints: This type is for sophisticated scenarios where you have a large environment and want to use different types of routing methods.

Create an Azure Traffic Manager profile ^

To create an Azure Traffic Manager profile, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Azure Portal > All Services and search for Traffic Manager profiles.
  2. Click on it, and it will open a new blade where you can click on Add to create a new profile.
  3. Then you will have to fill in some basic information, as shown below:
    Create an Azure Traffic Manager profile

    Create an Azure Traffic Manager profile

  1. Next, click on Create.

Configure endpoints ^

In the next step, you add your endpoints. In this article, I'll walk you through the process of adding web apps located in West Europe and the Central US to load balance the traffic between them.

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  1. Navigate to the Traffic Manager profile > Endpoints.
  2. Click on Add, which will open a new blade where you can specify the configurations that will fulfill your needs, as shown in the following figure.
    Adding an endpoint

    Adding an endpoint

  1. Next, click on OK. Then do the same steps again for your other endpoints.
  2. Finally, you can check all the endpoints you have added and their current monitoring status on the endpoints blade.
    Endpoint status

    Endpoint status

Conclusion ^

Azure Traffic Manager is a great service that allows you to distribute traffic to your endpoints with different routing methods using the Azure infrastructure that covers many areas across the planet.

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