Call it paranoia. Call it being prepared. Whatever your stance, we are considering using more than one data center for dealnews.com. It is not a capacity issue. We can keep growing our current data center without a problem. But, stories of power outages and power outages we have experience have us wanting to explore the idea.
Here is the problem. No one in our company has experience with this. And, there does not seem to be any resources on the internet talking about this. Our problems are not so much with managing the data between the two. The problem is failover and how to deal with one data center being out. Here are some of the ideas that have been thrown on to the wall.
Round Robin DNS
This was the first idea. It seems simple enough. We have two data centers. We publish different DNS for each data center and traffic goes to each one. The problem here is that it is, well, random.
Global Traffic Management
There are devices that “balance” traffic across multiple different locations. But, I am unsure how those deal with outages at one of the locations. It seems like there is still one point of failure.
This is the biggest mystery to me. I know what it is. I know what it means. I have no idea how to deploy this type of solution. I understand that you can “move” your IP addresses with routing changes. But, that means running routers. Where are these routers? Does this happen at some provider? Is there a provider that handles this? Does that mean that all of our data centers are with one provider? I think one more peace of mind feature of this is that we would not be tied to just one vendor. So, if one vendor had major issues or there was some legal troubles (we lived through the dot come boom and bust) we would have security in knowing we had other equipment that was not affected.
Is there something else? Are we being way paranoid? Maybe it is not cost effective in the end. I/we have no idea really. Anyone out there that has knowledge on this subject?