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The recent massive outage at GoDaddy (a popular domain registrar) highlighted a problem commonly found in many network and Internet configurations. The lesson learned? Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.DNS, or domain name server, translates domain names into IP addresses. The short version is this:

When you type google.com into your web browser, one of the first things that happens is a DNS server translates google.com into a numerical address that computers and networks use. Your computer does not actually use google.com, it uses the underlying IP address. This is a “behind the scenes” event that most people aren’t aware of.

When DNS is unavailable, as was the case during the massive GoDaddy outage, many sites were unavailable because browsers (and email systems) were unable to use GoDaddy’s DNS to translate the .com into the required IP address.

It is best practice to use more than one DNS server for your domain. The idea is simple – if DNS server “A” is unavailable, DNS server “B” will kick in and prevent a service interruption. However, if all of your DNS servers are with a single provider, and the entire provider fails, your domain can be temporarily knocked off the Internet. This is what happened earlier this week when all of GoDaddy’s DNS servers stopped responding.

If you consider your website or email to be mission critical (and who doesn’t these days?), your domains should have at least 4 DNS servers split across two completely different providers. This means that even if both servers at provider “A” go down, provider “B” is still available and you stay up and running. This takes a bit more work to setup, but in the event of a massive failure like what we witnessed with GoDaddy – it is worth it in the end.

Is DNS with your domain redundant? Most people don’t think about or understand DNS until it doesn’t work. Contact us for help configuring your DNS in the most redundant manner possible.