Could you give us a little more detail about what you are trying to do?
If you are a web hosting company, yes there are advantages to having servers in multiple areas of the country.
If you are web site owner, doing this can be a very technical job and it becomes expensive to manage the 2 sites and make sure DNS is operating properly.
I hope I am permitted to say this: though we do offer such a service, I am actually intervening to correct what has been said because it is not quite accurate.
The first possibility of spreading your site is where you have a copy of your site on a server at a different location and you use nameservers at a third location that will sense a problem and switch to your backup. There are a few hosts who will offer this economically even on a shared hosting basis. It can be extremely simple to operate requiring occasionally updating the copy (for example we do it between UK and US datacentres, but even just using different datacentres no matter how close is probably more than adequate protection). Iif you run critical updating databases synching with the copy is an issue that needs taking into account.
Another possibility is that your are actually spreading the load among different live versions your site, which is a little more complex to acheive correctly, though there are a few products on the market specifically for the job. This is something that a few hosts do internally in the same datacentre locaton, and I am not aware of how many hosts offer it through different locations. By the way - if you are practical with DNS, you can also do this yourself by hosting with two different hosting companies (believe it or not you don't even need nameservers advertised as being capable of "load balancing"). In this case you would most certainly have to handle the synching yourself.
Last edited by TLN1; 04-14-2005 at 05:07 PM.
The Living Net (R)
UK-based High-Reliability Web Services Since 1999
Fully-Managed Dedicated and Shared Server Solutions
Geographical Redundancy Specialists
I do sharewares and I do several mirror sites (at the moment, one in the US East Coast, West Coast and Central) located around the US and at the same time I am using DNSMadeEasy DNS Services which does site monitoring and failover switches.
When everything works fine, I offer my clients the option to download from a site nearer them which in theory should mean faster downloads. It also helps balance up the load so one site would not get overloaded.
With the DNSMadeEasy Monitoring and Failover service, if one of the site fails, it will automatically switch to the next available mirror site.
This allows my users full access to the sites no matter which URL they use because it would always be available even if one is down. They will not sense a thing.
I am looking at the possibility of additional mirrors in Europe and Asia