No one bats an eye when you say that DNS is everywhere, but if you claim that DNS is a powerful tool that is an essential part of your cloud strategy, you may raise a few eyebrows. Historically viewed as a passive part of the IT stack, DNS is undergoing a revolution of sorts, with major Internet properties turning the “phone directory of the Internet” into the front line orchestrator of their cloud infrastructure and operations.
If you are considering how to best utilize DNS to execute an effective cloud strategy, here are some important points to keep in mind:
Use the capacity you have – Excess infrastructure leads to excess costs – but not having enough capacity to operate at peak times creates an unacceptable situation from a performance, availability, and user experience perspective. IT professionals can leverage DNS to automatically reroute traffic based on real time network and application metrics. By doing so, they can utilize existing distributed infrastructure capacity during peak times or reduce capacity during slower times, ultimately saving hard dollars and staff time.
Failover and disaster recovery – Everyone knows that for every minute your website or application is down, you lose money. DNS can minimize the negative impacts of unplanned outages by automatically rerouting traffic based on real-time server and application metrics. While many organizations have some kind of failover and disaster recovery mechanism in place, DNS allows you to move the response plane outside of the data center. This gives you far more options and better tools when you need to fight a fire. By addressing failover and disaster recovery at the DNS level, you are also not tied to a single Infrastructure as a Service vendor or data center, and you can manage this critical function from a single-pane-of-glass.
Infrastructure as Code and continuous delivery – By the end of 2015, nearly five billion connected “Things” will be in use, a 30 percent increase from 2014. All of these “Things” are applications – big and small – that need to make it to market at an ever-increasing pace. To keep up, organizations have adopted continuous delivery as a way to rapidly build, test, and deploy applications. The concept of Infrastructure as Code has also emerged as a means to automatically spin up infrastructure anywhere, anytime. For many organizations, however, DNS is still a manual step in the process, but it doesn’t have to be. Automating DNS configurations into your continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code initiatives builds incredible efficiencies into your architecture and delivery processes, helps reduce errors caused by manual configuration, and makes the cloud even more scalable.
DNS is often taken for granted, but it is a truly fundamental component of an effective cloud strategy that many IT leaders overlook. The speed, power, and flexibility of an application can be greatly improved or hindered with DNS. With the advancements that have been made to DNS and traffic management technology, IT leaders need to reevaluate their approach to DNS as it relates to their cloud strategy.
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