Why Static IP Address Hosting is a thing of the past

Affino HostingAmazon CloudAmazon EC2CNAME RecordsEC2Elastic Compute CloudElastic IP AddressesHost HeadersLoad-BalancingModern Hosting DynamicsServer Auto-RecoveryServer Scaling+-

We still get fairly regular Client requests to accommodate a single static IP address for an Affino site, which is just not compatible with modern hosting dynamics - as I will endeavour to explain how and why this is the case.


The Age of Elastic Cloud Computing

We have used Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) from its earliest days - it is the underlying base to all our work, our solution Affino runs on it, and so do all the ancillary technologies we need to make use of for the complete hosting services we provide, as well as our core business services.


Most Affino customers benefit from at least one of the following hosting services:

  • Auto-Recovery - this means if one or more servers are struggling at high capacity or have encountered some sort of overload, then the system will create new server instances on-the-fly while it downgrades and removes the impacted ones from active duty
  • Auto-Scaling - this is when server/s are under heavy load, and the system triggers additional servers to be activated to share the peak traffic load as well as the higher processing requirement; once the peak load has past the servers scale back down to the standard nominal level
  • Load-Balancing - this is where the traffic / load is distributed over two or more servers to provide additional stability, as well as more dynamic situation response and smoother scaling

Only higher levels of hosting will include auto-scaling and load-balancing. Standard shared server hosting makes use of auto-recovery alone.


All of the above scenarios require the launching of new servers onto new IP Addresses - as the incumbent problem IP Addresses are simultaneously deactivated and deprecated. Under modern conditions you would be very lucky if a single IP Address lasted a whole week. Modern dynamics include memory clear-ups and automatic routine system management processes which occasionally require server re-starts within those procedures. So it is an absolute must that a range of IP Addresses be available for rapidly dynamically and automatically organising those servers on-the-fly - this is what the Amazon EC2 does in tandem with our own systems.


How Modern Affino Hosting Works

Instead of using a single IP Address, Affino uses a system of host headers and core domains applied to grouped server farms. Each customer’s Affino Licence will have its own Affino designated core domain which you will be asked to point your own Domain CNAME record/s at. Affino then associates the two together using a system of host headers which ensure that the incoming domain traffic is routed through to the correct server instances. The system very rapidly figures out which are the healthy and responsive server IPs which can take traffic, and which ones need recovery, scaling or balancing - depending on service levels agreed.


Every time a new Client Domain needs to be added, it will need its CNAME record to be pointed at the correct corresponding Affino core domain. Affino Technical division will also need to be notified so that the new domain can be added as a host header to enable traffic to pass through to the correct Affino / server instances.


If you have any further queries about any of these points, please pop a question into the comments below.

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