Azure Front Door

Not to be confused with backdoors, this service enables you to define, manage, as well as monitor the global routing for web traffic. You optimize for best performance and instant global failover, providing you with High Availability. Front Door allows you to transform your global, multi-region, consumer and enterprise applications in to a robust, high-performance personalized modern application.

Front door works at layer 7 or HTTP/HTTPS, and uses the anycast protocol with split TCP. Microsoft’s global network adds to this by improving global connectivity.

Wait, so should I toss traffic manager?

No. You really shouldn’t. You just have to decide what is the best solution for your needs. if you don’t have the requirement for TLS protocol termination, or per-HTTP/HTTPS application-layer processing, you can absolutely go ahead and use traffic manager.

If all you’re looking for is load balancing between servers in a region, you can use the application gateway. And for networl layer load balancing you can obviously use the Azure Load Balancer :).

It’s also possible you’ll combine all of these solution in your final solution, depending on what exactly you need.

Accelerating application performance

By using split TCP-based anycast, Front Door ensures that your end users are promptly connected to the nearest Point-of-Presence (PoP). The global network provided by Microsoft provides higher availability and reliability, whilst maintaining performance. Connectivity to the backend will be based on the lowest amount of network latency.

Smart Health Probes

High availability for your critical applications is provided by its smart health probes. Back-ends will be monitored for latency and availability, with instant automatic fail-over happening if a back-end goes down. Traffic will be directed to alternative back-ends, even during maintenance periods.

Multi-site hosting

With Multi-Site hosting you can configure more than one web-site on the same Front Door configuration. This allows you to be build a more efficient topology for deployments, by adding different web site to a single configuration. Depending on the architecture of the application you’re hosting, Front Door can be configured to either direct each web site to its own back-end pool, or have various web sites directed to the same back-end pool.

URL Rewrite

Front door allows you to rewrite URLs by allowing the configuration of an optional Custom Forwarding Path, constructing the request to forward to the back-end.

Protocol support

HTTP/2 and end-to-end IPv6 are both natively supperted. HTTP/2 allows you to use full-duplex communication between application back-ends and a client over a long-running TCP connection. This allows for a more interactive communication between back-end and client. That traffic can be bi-directional without the need for polling as required in the HTTP-based implementations. Unlike HTTP, the HTTP/2 protocol has a low overhead, and can reuse TCP connections for multiple request or responses.

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