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August 3, 2017

DNS Redundancy at Global Scale

Given that delivering high scale, high performance online services is a core business requirement in the 21st century, it is not surprising that reliability and infrastructure engineers are taking a closer look at their DNS. As recent events have shown us, dual, or even triple, redundancy in your DNS network is becoming a core business goal for many organizations.

Adding redundancy into your DNS network holds challenges of its own in determining the structure that redundancy will take. Advanced traffic routing features available from managed DNS providers are addressing technical needs in the marketplace that the original designers of DNS did not anticipate, and that current contributors to the DNS standard have chosen not to address. Ensuring that these advanced features are accessible while making your DNS architecture more resilient requires a DNS system architected and managed by experts. Few enterprises have the technical depth and resources to do this really well.

Redundant DNS Configurations

A redundant DNS configuration means duplicating your DNS network. You have one or more DNS providers running distinct DNS configurations. DNS replication occurs within each configuration separately.

DNS configurations can be simple, but still leverage a secondary solution. In such cases a DNS zone transfer can be used.
A more advanced DNS configuration with additional traffic management rules may require an orchestration layer.

It’s worth mentioning that a critical success factor in any redundant DNS configuration is the quality of support and consultation the managed DNS provider can offer. The primary cause of DNS failure is, in fact, human configuration errors.

Redundant DNS Boosts DNS Availability

A managed system of DNS redundancy boosts DNS availability by:

  1. Removing the danger of exposure to a single point of DNS failure.

  2. Reducing traditional primary-secondary DNS redundancy vulnerabilities, where secondary zones can’t be changed if the primary becomes unavailable.

  3. Improving infrastructure resilience by hosting critical zones with multiple DNS configurations, ensuring continued service if one DNS configuration becomes unavailable.

Consider your redundant DNS investment as an insurance policy. It waits in the background ready to handle an unexpected, but planned for, unusual event.

NS1 and Men & Mice

Men & Mice software solutions boost business efficiency and growth by helping you manage and monitor your networks wherever they’re hosted: on-premises or in the cloud.

Men & Mice has joined forces with NS1 in improving the efficacy of external DNS redundancy. Magnus Bjornsson, CEO says:

“We at Men & Mice are very excited to be working with NS1, who are recognized as providing one of the best DNS and traffic management platforms in the industry. This partnership will help companies world-wide reinforce the most critical of the company’s IT assets, its network, by effortlessly enabling true multi-network DNS using Men & Mice xDNS Redundancy to replicate and synchronize DNS zones across multiple DNS service provider platforms.”

NS1’s Exclusive Redundancy Solution

NS1’s exclusive Dedicated DNS service provides a unique approach that solves the synchronization issues of disparate DNS solutions. Dedicated DNS is a fully managed DNS service, just like NS1’s Managed DNS and other top tier managed services. The difference is NS1’s Dedicated DNS is deployed on infrastructure controlled by the subscribing enterprise. The servers can be deployed in any or all of the following architecture choices: the enterprise data centers, on a public cloud, or a private cloud. Dedicated DNS infrastructure is not shared with any other customer. A well architected dual DNS reduces the risk of business losses due to DNS failure. It can also improve day to day end user quality of experience by reducing latency in DNS queries.

When selecting a solution, enterprises should evaluate the following:

  • Quality and track record of the managed service (latency, availability, global coverage)

  • Completeness and ease of use in the management system and APIs

  • Advanced traffic management capabilities

  • Quality of routine support and quality (willingness/ability) to provide consultative guidance

For more information on NS1’s dual redundancy solutions, download our white paper A Better Way to a Dual, Redundant DNS.