Product Documentation

How GSLB Works

May 24, 2017

With ordinary DNS, when a client sends a domain name system (DNS) request, it receives a list of IP addresses of the domain or service. Generally, the client chooses the first IP address in the list and initiates a connection with that server. The DNS server uses a technique called DNS round robin to rotate through the IPs on the list, sending the first IP address to the end of the list and promoting the others after it responds to each DNS request. This technique ensures equal distribution of the load, but it does not support disaster recovery, load balancing based on load or proximity of servers, or persistence.

When you configure GSLB on NetScaler appliances and enable Metric Exchange Protocol (MEP), the appliances use the DNS infrastructure to connect the client to the data center that best meets the criteria that you set. The criteria can designate the least loaded data center, the closest data center, the data center that responds most quickly to requests from the client’s location, a combination of those metrics, and SNMP metrics. An appliance keeps track of the location, performance, load, and availability of each data center and uses these factors to select the data center to which to send a client request.

The following figure illustrates a basic GSLB topology.

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A GSLB configuration consists of a group of GSLB entities on each appliance in the configuration. These entities include GSLB sites, GSLB services, GSLB virtual servers, load balancing and/or content switching servers, and ADNS services.