Azure Traffic Manager – Design & Configuration

Azure Traffic Manager – Design & Configuration

Azure Traffic Manager allows you to route traffic to a specific endpoint based on the routing policy configured. Specific endpoints include – 

  1. Azure VMs
  2. Web Apps
  3. Cloud Services
  4. External end-points (Public IPs)
  5. Non-Azure Endpoints

Azure Traffic Manager is a Global service and is not tied to a region  unlike other Azure services. See below

It is important to know that Azure Traffic Manager doesn’t work like Load Balancer or Application Gateway but routes the traffic just like DNS or performs policy based routing as per the configured rules

How Azure Traffic Manager works

1. User browser tries connecting to application endpoint which DNS resolves via CNAME to traffic manager endpoint

2. User browser then tries connecting to traffic manager, traffic manager then checks its policy & returns the healthy endpoint DNS name that is closest or best node as per the policy configured.

3. User browser then connects to endpoint returned by traffic manager & accesses the application. Simple!

Type of Traffic Manager configurations –

Priority Weighted Geographic Performance
 Works in Active-Passive way. Traffic is routed to specific endpoint only while it is active otherwise routes traffic to less priority nodes Traffic is routed to multiple nodes but based on the their weight which could be equal or the way it is defined in the policy. Routes traffic based on the geographic location set by the user for the specific endpoint such as Europe, US, All world for the Azure, External, Nested endpoints  Routes traffic to the closest endpoint based on network latency. Useful when the endpoints are setup in multiple geographies

Azure Traffic Manager – Sample deployment architecture

In the above Architecture, we have deployed Traffic Manager with Geographic policy configured that is configured with nested traffic manager endpoints. The nested or regional traffic managers may be configured with Performance or geographic to point traffic to closest application endpoint.

The regional traffic manager can have Application Gateways as their endpoint as well to provide extra security to the applications

Azure Traffic Manager – Configuration

Let us now see how to configure the above architecture on Azure. We will have – 

  1. One Global Traffic Manager
  2. Two Regional Traffic Managers (US & Europe)
  3. Applications hosted for US & Europe regions

Global Traffic Manager is configured with “Geographic” routing method & is set to perform health check on TCP port 80

Now click on Endpoints. You would see two endpoints configured for US & Europe regions. 

Europe endpoint is degraded because either the application is not running on Port 80 or firewall is not configured to allow traffic on port 80. For US endpoint both application & NSG is configured correctly

Configuration of one of the endpoints – It is a nested Traffic Manager profile where traffic is routed to another traffic manager & is configured for North & Central America regions.

Below is the configuration of one of the Nested Traffic Manager. The endpoint here is Azure Endpoint which is pointing to Public IP address of one of the Virtual Machine in the region


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