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  • Are you still using Primitive Rules for GSLB?

    Nagaraj Harikar
    • Validation Status: Validated
      Summary: In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses face an increasing number of challenges when it comes to managing their web traffic. One of the biggest challenges is ensuring that users are seamlessly directed to the optimal location, regardless of their geographical location or network conditions. To address this challenge, businesses have traditionally relied on static algorithms or primitive rules in Global Server Load Balancing (GSLB) solutions. But is this still the best option?
      Has Video?: No

    The limitations of static load balancing 

    Traditional GSLB solutions rely on DNS-based load balancing to direct users to the closest available server. However, these solutions have a number of limitations.
    First, they lack the ability to accurately measure geolocation and network latency, which can result in suboptimal routing decisions.
    Second, they do not provide visibility into network congestion, micro outages or other factors that can impact performance.
    Third, they require manual configuration and maintenance, which can be time-consuming and error-prone.

    Need for real-time data and insights: In today's fast-paced and rapidly changing internet condition, there is a growing need for real-time data and insights that can help organizations to make better decisions. Internet state data from real users can help to provide this type of information, by enabling the collection and analysis of data in real-time.

    The benefits of modern GSLB 

    Modern GSLB solutions, such as the one offered by NetScaler, leverage advanced technologies to overcome these limitations. For example, Intelligent Traffic Management (ITM) uses real-time network analytics to optimize traffic routing decisions (Figure1) based on actual network performance, rather than just geographical location. This ensures that users are always directed to the best-performing server, regardless of their location.



    Figure1: ITM optimized algorithm to improve your application performance

    In addition, ITM provides real-time visibility into network performance and congestion, allowing businesses to proactively address performance issues before they impact end-users. They also automate configuration and maintenance, reducing the risk of errors and freeing up IT resources for more strategic initiatives.

    Multi-CDN use-case

    Multi-CDN global server load balancing (GSLB) with ITM (Citrix Intelligent Traffic Management) is a solution that enables organizations to provide a high-performance, highly available, and scalable user experience for their global customers. This solution leverages multiple content delivery networks (CDNs) to distribute user traffic across the best-performing CDN based on real-time data and performance metrics.

    With ITM, organizations can define GSLB policies that automatically route user traffic to the optimal CDN or the origin server based on factors such as user location, network conditions, and CDN availability. This approach helps to ensure that users are always directed to the optimal data source, reducing latency, improving the user experience and save cost.

    Here's how multi-CDN GSLB works:

    • A user requests content from a website or application that is delivered by a CDN.
    • The DNS query for the website or application is directed to the NetScaler ITM.
    • The NetScaler ITM uses its geographic and network-aware load balancing algorithms to determine the most optimal CDN or Origin Datacenter for the user based on their location, network conditions, and other factors.
    • The NetScaler ITM returns the IP address of the optimal CDN to the user's device.
    • The user's device sends the request for the content to the CDN with the returned IP address.
    • The content is delivered to the user's device from the CDN.
    • As shown in Figure2, If CDN2's E2a edge becomes unavailable, the NetScaler ITM automatically redirects the user to the next optimal CDN1 E1b edge to ensure continuous delivery of the content. 


    Figure2: ITM optimized multi-cdn high availability 

    Figure3: ITM ensuring business continuity for its users during Azure global outage (Jan 25th 2023).




    Traditional algorithms in GSLB solutions have been a mainstay of web traffic management for many years, but they are increasingly being supplanted by more modern and advanced solutions like NetScaler ITM. By leveraging real-time network analytics, providing visibility into network performance, and automating configuration and maintenance, modern GSLB solutions offer a more effective and efficient way to manage web traffic in today's complex digital environment.

    If you're application is deployed across multiple datacenters, it's time to consider upgrading to this modern solution. Contact NetScaler netscaler-itm@cloud.com today to learn more about how our Intelligent Traffic Management solution can help you optimize your web traffic and deliver a superior user experience.


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