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Web server redundency

Posted on 2012-03-14
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Last Modified: 2014-11-12
I have a windows 2008 web edition on my company office that does handle the website traffic, but from time to time the server gets very slow and the website.

That was caused by the number of access on our website and the current connection we have (6MB).

My question is, since we don't have the budget right now to upgrade to a new server and or the T1 lines... I would like to know if I can do a mirror from my local server to an EC2 server on amazon that I will only activate when needed.  Is that possible? So I would manually make the website live on the days and time I know the website will be busy.
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Question by:Medrise
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by:Dirk Kotte
Dirk Kotte earned 1000 total points
ID: 37721636
you can set two A-records (IP entries) to www.yourdomain.com within DNS.
with DNS Round robin  (default at some DNS servers) you have a simple load-balancing.
also the DNS send all IP's as answer to the DNS request.
Because the most current browsers can handle more than one dns answer and automatically use the second address if the server behind the first are not reacheble - this should be usable also with a deactivated server.
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shalomc earned 1000 total points
ID: 37729411
> if I can do a mirror from my local server to an EC2 server on amazon ?
yes.
You will have to install your web site on a windows instance in EC2, and bundle a private AMI out of it.

> I will only activate when needed
yes.
Your private AMI will be activated on demand. I strongly recommend that you use CloudFormation templates for the activation. To make it easier for your procedure, you can reserve an elastic IP but it is not necessary.

A key component, like mentioned by dkotte, is the DNS.
Amazon has its own DNS service (route 53) that integrates with the dynamic runtime configuration.

Assuming that you don't change your DNS service, you have 2 options:
1. Use an elastic IP and have a dual A record, like mentioned in the previous post.
2. Lower the zone's TTL to 60 seconds before the change, modify the A record to the EC2 address, and when done - return TTL to its normal value.

Another thing to plan is modifications to the web site. You need a procedure/script to refresh the content of the site that is activated on AWS prior to switch.
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