Configuring Traffic Manager

Configure Traffic Manager to distribute Azure websites

Before you can use Traffic Manager to distribute load to two or more Azure websites, you must create those websites in different locations and deploy identical website content to all the sites. Both content and configuration should be identical on every website you use in a Traffic Manager set.

Having completed the deployment, complete the following tasks to configure Traffic Manager:

  1. Add a CNAME record to DNS. The CNAME record should be registered in the publicfacing DNS system within your usual company domain name. The CNAME record should forward users to the domain.
  2. Create a Traffic Manager profile. The profile will store all the subsequent settings.
  3. Configure a DNS Prefix. Choose a unique prefix within the trafficmanager .net domain. You must ensure the CNAME record forwards users to this fully-qualified domain name.
  4. Choose a Load Balancing Method:
  • Failover. All traffic is forwarded to the first endpoint unless that endpoint is offline.
  • Round Robin. Traffic is distributed equally between all endpoints.
  • Performance. Each request is forwarded to the nearest endpoint to the client. This increases performance because, with endpoints located around the world, the website can be served from a location close to the user.
  1. Add Endpoints to the Traffic Manager Profile. Each endpoint is an Azure website in a different physical location.
  2. Configure Monitoring. Traffic Manager polls each endpoint in the profile to confirm that it is online. You can use TCP or HTTP for this monitoring. If you use HTTP, you can specify a page that the Traffic Manager will request each time. You must ensure this page exists for each endpoint in the Traffic Manager profile.

Traffic Manager Best Practices

Follow these best practices to ensure the best resilience from Traffic Manager:

  • Use a unique Traffic Manager prefix. All Traffic Manager profiles must have a fully qualified domain name within the DNS domain. Ensure you choose a unique prefix that is not already in use. The portal indicates clearly when your chosen prefix is not unique.
  • Take care when changing the DNS TTL value. This value determines how often the web browser’s local caching name server will query Traffic Manager for the IP address of the endpoint. When you change any endpoints in a profile, it may take up to this time for changes to reach all clients.
  • Endpoints should all be in the same subscription. You can add endpoints to the Traffic Manager profile in a different subscription, such as a partner organization’s subscription. You can also add endpoints that are external to Azure. However, Traffic Manager will not automatically remove external endpoints from the profile if they are deleted. You must delete them manually.
  • Only production endpoints can be used. You cannot add staging slots to a Traffic Manager profile.
  • Name endpoints clearly. Traffic Manager profiles can include many endpoints; administrators may confuse them if you do not ensure the endpoint names are systematic and include the endpoint’s location.
  • Make endpoints consistent. If the content and configuration of all the endpoints in the Traffic Manager profile are not identical the response sent to users may be unpredictable.
  • Disable endpoints for website maintenance. Website maintenance operations, such as update deployment, can be achieved without interruptions in service because other endpoints can take over. To enable this, disable the endpoint you want to maintain before beginning your administrative actions. All traffic will be forwarded to another endpoint until you have finished and re-enabled the endpoint.