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Load Balancer and Cloud Hosting


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Hey guys,

I am needing to get redundancy out of my system. I know there is a load balancer option under administrator system level > settings > general > system > load balancer address ... But there is not really any documentation from what I have seen that shows how to do this. Ideally I would want to run my PBX in a cluster. Each system is synced in real time and when a call is made it uses the closest PBX to establish the connection. And if for some instance a node in the cluster goes down it won't affect the calls. And when that node comes back online it just syncs back with the other nodes and goes right back into production without any missing CDR records. I'm not a huge fan of the built in failover feature in the PBX. I much rather have it working in a clustered environment. Is this sort of scenario possible to accomplish with Vodia? And if so what is the best way to go about doing this sort of setup? 

I have thought about setting up a proxmox cluster with 3 hosts / nodes and have high availability with a ceph cluster for the PBX VM. This should allow the PBX VM to live migrate over to another node in the cluster incase of failure. Which would be fine. But I would be limiting my resources to just a single system at that point. And basically this would give me 2 active standbys for failover. Not my favorite approach to it. I much rather actually get to use the hardware that I'm paying for and have the ability for all of the nodes in the cluster to be used simultaneously.

If it makes a difference I am currently hosting my PBX on Vultr. But I am open to change and would like to also hear others thoughts and opinions on what they are using. Price isn't my biggest concern. I'm more focused on reliability and performance. Also I am based in US, Texas. So providers with datacenters in my area are preferred.

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The load balancer is not helping you with redundancy. It is used for routing incoming requests to the right server. The load balancer can be behind a firewall or NAT, which is useful if you are remote managing PBX on customer premise. That is what the load balancer address in the settings is for. The other way to use the load balancer is to route incoming calls from a trunk provider that must send all calls to one IP address to the right PBX, based on the DID. Today, usually you have a trunk registration for each tenant, which eliminates that use case. Because the PBX is on a public IP in these cases, the refresh interval can be generous and this generates only very little overhead. 

As for redundancy, you'll get usually everything you need from the virtualization of your server. Most of the time, data centers offer that without even telling you. Unless you order a bare bone, modern datacenter software automatically deploys instances on hardware without you having much visibility on it, including the possibility to move the service to another server if the underlying hardware should fail.

What is important is that you take periodic snapshots of the data. It also does not hurt to take automatic snapshots of the whole virtual machine either. Anyhow, the snapshot of the working directory in a location out of the data center is key for geographical failover, e.g. if your whole datacenter goes offline and there is a need to resume operation somewhere else. In that case, your data backup will be very valuable.

The cost for running the PBX should be almost negligible. If you put let's say a hundred tenants on a system and let's say you pay one hundred dollar for the instance, your cost per tenant is one dollar. This is a magnitude cheaper than the cheapest instance you can get for single tenant systems, which will suffer from quality problems because those cheap instances share all their resources with hundreds of foreign web services running on the same CPU. It is better to choose a more solid instance with a dedicated CPU core and use it entirely for your hosted PBX.

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