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Fault-tolerant Web hosting on a shoestring

May 11, 2007, 02:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Alaric Snell-Pym)

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"When a Web server's hostname has more than one A record, a Web browser will end up being given one IP address from the list at random. So if you set up two identical servers, about half of the requests will go to each. This is great for load balancing, but if one of the servers goes down, then about half of the requests will be routed to the broken server, and just fail.

"However, you may be able to get around that issue by taking advantage of the fact that DNS servers are required by specification to fetch all the server IP addresses (stored as NS records in the DNS), and try them in turn until one succeeds. So if one server's down, clients will automatically try another until they find one that works."

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