With hours of lost productivity and profit as collateral damage, GoDaddy’s day-long DNS server outage illustrated the importance of DNS reliability for any company with a presence on the web.
DNS, or Domain Name System, refers to the Internet system that translates domain names into IP addresses. The DNS is often referred to as the phonebook of the Web because it translates the hostnames we choose into the IP addresses that computers can easily identify. The DNS is an essential component of the Internet – a fact that became painfully apparent on September 10, 2012 when GoDaddy’s DNS servers went down, taking a sizeable portion of the Web with them.
Several hours after GoDaddy’s outage the hosting company announced that they would be moving their DNS services over to VeriSign, a direct competitor. With this move, GoDaddy customer websites and email should be up and running again, but not without consequences for thousands of businesses.
For business owners, unreliable DNS proved disasterous as thousands of websites became unreachable for end users, cutting into both productivity and profit. To get a clearer picture of why this happened and what to do to prevent such outages in the future, I sat down with William Reigle, Senior Systems Engineer at SpringCM.
“Reliable DNS is extremely important for any company with a web presence that is critical to their business,” said Reigle. As we saw yesterday, “when DNS fails not only does a company’s marketing website go offline, but also its email as well as web-based services they provide to their clients.”
According to Reigle, “third party DNS services such as CloudFlare, VeriSign and UltraDNS not only provide DNS services but also provide critical redundancy, security services and even features to speed up your website; all for less than you think: often under $100 per month.”
Do you need third party DNS services?
First and foremost, “take notice of who is hosting your DNS and email records. If the service hosting those services does not have a geo-redundant infrastructure ask yourself how much it would cost your busienss to lose your web presence for an hour or a day. If the answer scares you then you should consider moving your DNS records.”
Fortunately, changing DNS and email record services is a quick and easy process, and many DNS providers have step-by-step instructions on their websites and will walk you through the change over the phone.
By building redundancy into your web and email system you can easily prevent financial and reputation loss that comes from website and email downtime.