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September 27, 2017

DNS Enhances Your Online Gaming Experience

Online gaming is a global industry that’s rapidly moving from console-based gaming to mobile gaming, where the business model is often “free to try, then pay to play.” As an online gaming provider, you are aware that the cost to acquire and convert every customer - about $50 each - (Liftoff, 2017) heavily depends on the ability of your network to ensure each customer receives the best gaming experience possible.

DNS is central to your player’s experience. DNS determines where on the network your player is sent to receive game content, patches, and downloads. From the player’s point of view everything should be instantaneous and effortless, which is why you rely on global CDNs with multiple points of presence (POPs) to ensure content is as close as possible to the player’s location for easy access.

Did you know that DNS can do more to enhance your player’s experience? Current managed DNS technology gives you the ability to direct players to the best choice among multiple CDN providers and multiple cloud instances, the closer the content is to the players, the better their gaming experience. This is called proximity based DNS, or geolocation based routing, where users are routed to the closest CDN or cloud instance based on their physical location.

However, there are limits to the effectiveness of using only geolocation based routing to get your players connected. Conditions on the internet are highly dynamic. The situation frequently occurs where the internet route to the physically closest POP is congested or suffering excessive latency or packet loss. It may be faster to route your user to a POP on their provider network rather than to the physically closest POP. Another thing to consider is that GeoIP databases are not always accurate. The result can be players being sent to a POP that is actually quite far away, degrading their game experience.

Gaming providers need intelligent DNS traffic management that takes into account real-time conditions on the network and at the delivery nodes, cloud, or CDN. By using real user measurements (RUM), you gain the ability to route users onto the lowest latency or highest bandwidth paths based on real-time traffic. To complement this, your DNS solution should also be aware of real time conditions at the delivery nodes – whether the node is available, how many connections it is currently servicing, current available capacity, and so on. An effective DNS routing solution needs to include both static and dynamic telemetry comprising geolocation, network performance, delivery node availability, and capacity.

NS1’s Managed DNS is designed from the ground up to enhance your players’ online experiences. Using geolocation routing, real-time telemetry data, and access to RUM network information, NS1’s intelligent DNS can ensure your players the best experience possible when connecting to your network.

For more information on how DNS can enhance your players’ experience, download our white paper for online gaming.