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Four ways Traffic Manager can help your business

We have helped many customers to establish geographically redundant systems, establishing multiple synchronised copies of their business systems to ensure minimal downtime in the event of the loss of functionality at any one location.

Once more than one copy of a business system is available, the problem arises of how to direct traffic to the preferred datacentre.

Up until recently, customers either had to accept some downtime and add manual steps for a failover process, or use a third party product to automate the traffic flows. Now the functionality previously served by third party systems can be delivered and managed from Microsoft Azure Traffic Manager.

Traffic Manager resides in Microsoft's Azure cloud service.  It probes the health of multiple endpoints and directs customer requests to the preferred datacentre.

Here's how it can work: Traffic Manager is configured to check the health of all copies of your business application and to make the relevant IP Address available to client requests. A DNS CNAME record is created to direct customer requests for your application towards the IP provided by Traffic Manager.  When customers request your application, they get directed to the healthy endpoint.

If Traffic Manager's probe to a site that fails for any reason (e.g. the web server crashes,) the node will be marked as unhealthy and all requests will be directed to the remaining node.

Traffic Manager monitoring site health and failover

The example described is the most basic application of Traffic Manager’s functionality. We see Traffic Manager help our customers in a number of scenarios:

  • Traffic Manager allows three options for traffic routing, failover (as described in the example above,) performance or weighted round robin.
  • Traffic Manager can improve the user experience of your application by directing users to the closest datacentre to their location, with reduced network latency.
  • Traffic Manager can be used to easily mark a datacentre as unavailable to allow maintenance to happen on individual locations without solution downtime.
  • Traffic Manager can be used to monitor endpoints anywhere; whether all are hosted by you/your hosting partner, or if functions are delivered from Azure.

Contact us if you think that Traffic Manager might be a suitable solution for your system.

Posted by: Daryl Green, Cloud Solutions Consultant | 08 March 2016


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