How-To failover Services using Azure Traffic Manager

We sadly just had another ISP failure at the company. Since we, like many others, work mainly from the home office, we had a problem. As we had not yet set up an alternative route to our terminal server, we could not access the company resources for the entire downtime which has caused some resentment among the colleagues 🙂 As usual, at best you learn from your mistakes, so we came up with a simple alternative.

We took a look at the Azure Traffic Manager and decided on this easy-to-set-up failover method. To do this, we created fully configured and working endpoints for our RDS on both our primary and secondary Internet lines (e.g. ts1.contoso.com and ts2.contoso.com). Of course, our colleagues could already access this second endpoint directly, but the Azure Traffic Manager simplifies this process by switching over in the occurrence of an error or ISP failure. In the best case, the colleagues only experience a jerky access, but can reconnect directly.

Traffic Manager Profile

In the first step we create a Traffic Manager Profile in the Azure Portal:

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Once we’re there, create a new profile using the assistant. After choosing the name, which also will be the URI to access your service. As routing method we will use “Priority”. This will allow us to create primary and secondary endpoints, prioritized e.g. by the strength of our ISP. All traffic will then use the primary connection but will failover when necessary.
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Traffic Manager Endpoints

As our profile is now available, we navigate to this newly created resource to add our endpoints:

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Here we can define the external endpoint and prioritize them:
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Probing Configuration

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After adding both endpoints Azure Traffic Manager immediately scans the status of the endpoints and routes the traffic as defined.

Failover RDS using Azure Traffic Manager

The resources could then be accessed using the DNS name of the Traffic Manager Profile.

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This is really a nice helper and is setup within minutes to add an extra layer of availability around your services. You can use the service for everything imaginable… Your Terminal Server as we did, your Azure Functions, VPN Endpoints or whatever.

... is a technical consultant and developer at Comsol Unternehmenslösungen AG in Kronberg/Taunus. Major tasks are the architecture and implementation of complex, usually cross-system applications in and around Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.

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