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Don’t Build Your DNS Strategy on a House of Cards

November 16, 2020
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Heather Oliver is a Technical Writer for Constellix and DNS Made Easy, subsidiaries of Tiggee LLC. She’s fascinated by technology and loves adding a little spark to complex topics. Want to connect? Find her on LinkedIn.

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How much is one customer worth to you? How about thousands? What about your peace of mind? An inadequate DNS strategy could be costing you more than you realize. For instance, did you know that 46% of users won’t give a poor performing website another chance after their first visit? Or that just one hour of downtime can cost your company more than $100,000—and that’s just from a small-scale outage? Don’t Build Your DNS Strategy on a House of Cards.

Here’s the thing.

Not only does a slow or unreliable DNS configuration cut into profits, it also costs valuable time and causes an immense amount of stress for business owners and employees. It can also be harmful to your brand’s reputation—just ask Facebook or Virgin Blue Airlines

So, how can DNS catastrophes be avoided? Simple. By using multiple DNS providers.

Past research has shown that a significant number of domains affected by attacks and outages were using only one DNS provider. These outages could have been avoided by having secondary DNS configurations in place.

The old cliché of not putting all your eggs in one basket couldn’t be more true here. If you outsource your DNS management to only one provider and that provider goes down, then, you guessed it, so do you. If you choose a single provider, you want to be absolutely sure they have the resources to withstand an attack or outage. Don’t just take their word for it—research it yourself by utilizing sites such as SolveDNS or DNSPerf

For instance, DNS Made Easy and Constellix have a proven track record of 100% uptime. Not many other DNS providers can make this claim. We stand strong as a sole provider or play nice with others. It ultimately boils down to what solutions work best for you. Our goal is to make your life and your job easier! This holds true whether we’re your primary or secondary DNS provider.

Redundancy: With DNS, There’s No Power on the Dark Side. Build your DNS strategy. 

Perhaps the biggest reason for having multiple DNS providers is redundancy at every point of failure. The one thing you don’t want is for your website to go “dark.” And I’m not talking about aesthetics. I’m talking about the fear-inspiring Bad Gateway error.

dark side of dns

Anyone who’s experienced even a small hiccup with their network knows how damaging it can be. A hit to your brand’s reputation and loss of revenue from sales isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. Tack on loss of productivity and remediation efforts and the costs keep ticking. 

Again, all these problems can result from an outage lasting an hour or less! A major outage would be like being a Jedi in the middle of the Great Galactic War without a lightsaber—may the force be with you.

Redundant DNS setup

With a redundant DNS setup, you can have a primary and secondary DNS provider, or even two primary providers (primary/primary) with services such as Terraform and OctoDNS. These options distribute traffic to each provider, essentially making two or more name servers authoritative for your website. The obvious benefit here is that if one provider becomes unavailable, queries will automatically be sent to the secondary source with little to no noticeable effects for end users. Even during a DNS provider outage, you’re able to maintain 100% uptime with a secondary DNS.

When it Comes to  the Internet, the Hare Always Wins the Race

Another thing you need to think about when considering your DNS strategy is speed. The amount of time it takes queries to resolve can make or break the consumer experience. Zero to 60 in 30 seconds might be fast for a car, but when it comes to the internet, 30 seconds is a lifetime.

DNS helps with SEO and makes pages run faster

If your web pages are taking more than two seconds to load, you’re losing clicks and potential customers. What does this have to do with DNS? Everything! DNS is the phonebook of the internet. It’s what allows your customers to access your website. It’s hard enough to keep people engaged when they do reach your online content—but they have to get there first before you can capture their attention.

With multiple DNS providers, you can improve your site’s performance by configuring name servers to point to the fastest resources available.  If one provider fails to find a source quickly enough or if another provider has the answer to a query, this is a win-win for you and your customers. It’s also worth noting that servers will learn to prefer the fastest resource, regardless of whether it’s the primary or secondary. 

Work Smarter, Not harder With Multi-CDN Management

While not the same as having multiple DNS providers, implementing multi-CDN to build your DNS strategy can also improve your domain’s performance as it significantly increases your coverage. This tactic distributes content between two or more content delivery networks and steers the traffic to the server closest to the user. Having multi-CDN can not only ensure better uptime and performance, but it can make your job (and life) much easier by allowing you to manage everything in one place. 

However, CDNs are not invulnerable to outages or performance lags. That’s where having a strong DNS provider “team” really makes a difference.

“It doesn’t matter how big or small you are, there’s going to be outages in the cloud hosting platform … the internet is not a safe place,” says Steven Job, President of DNS Made Easy and Constellix. “It all comes back to Murphy’s law. If anything can go wrong, it will.” 

Steven Job

In other words, it’s all about DNS preparation and DNS strategy.

An easy way for you to be prepared and less stressed is by using a multi-CDN management service like Constellix’s Multi-CDN solution, for example. The reason to use multiple CDNs goes back to the “eggs in one basket” scenario. Even with Failover and round robin, or using DNS records to help direct traffic to the healthiest resources, is that if you only have one service you’re relying on, and that provider experiences an attack or an outage, you’re affected as well—no matter what protocols you have in place.

100% uptime with DNS

There’s no getting around it. If you don’t have a strong DNS foundation, downtime is inevitable and your network will fall like a house of cards. DNS is what keeps the internet running like a well-oiled machine. But you already know this...

The truth is you shouldn’t have to worry about DNS. But you should build your DNS strategy.

Partnered with the right providers and with the right DNS solutions for your business, and your domain(s) can benefit from a significant performance boost, withstand DDoS attacks, localized and regional outages, and DNS provider outages. In other words, while other domains go down in flames, you’ll be like McClane in Die Hard: “Yippe Ki Yay…”  

If you liked this, you might find these helpful:

For information on Constellix or DNS Made Easy products and services contact us. Our specialists will be happy to discuss your specific needs and work with you to find the perfect DNS solutions for your business.

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