I found in some conversations this week that there is a lack of understanding of the differentiation between Azure Traffic Manager and Azure Load Balancers. The two platforms are extremely important to creating a highly available architecture within Azure. These concepts were dealt with well in the Azure networking session and high availability session at Ignite.
Azure Traffic Manager.
The job of Azure Traffic Manager is to route traffic globally based on flexible policies, enabling an excellent user experience that aligns with how you've structured your application across the world. Traffic Manager has several different policies:
- Latency. Direct to the "closest service"
- Round Robin. Distribute across all services
- Failover. Direct to backup if primary fails
- Nested. Flexible multi-level policies
Azure Load Balancer
The job of Azure Load Balancer is to direct traffic inside a region. This is combined with Azure Traffic Manager, where traffic manager routes interior to a region between virtual machines. If you combine the two you get global traffic management combined with local failover.
A few changes announced at Ignite include the ability to support multiple IP addresses and reserved IP addresses. These both add the necessary components to support some complicated scenarios.
Happy load balancing!