Choosing the right DNS hosting is an essential part of ensuring that a site provides the best experience for its users. Website owners are often aware of what they need from their web hosts, but picking the right DNS hosting provider from the plethora of competing web hosting companies and specialist DNS hosts can be something of a head-scratcher for business-oriented people.
We’re going to take a look at the services that the best DNS hosting providers offer. Readers can use this checklist to compare the available services and come to an informed decision.
Just as with web hosting, uptime is key. Businesses looking for DNS hosting should take note of both historical uptime levels and Service Level Agreements.
For example, a DNS hosting provider might boast about its 99% uptime and guarantee that in its SLA. However, 99% uptime means a downtime of about three and half days in the year.
Downtime measured in minutes and seconds is preferable, which are represented as 99.999% — so-called 5 nines — and greater uptime. DNS Made Easy has a historical uptime of 99.9999% (six nines), which translates to just over 30 seconds of downtime in the average year.
One of the reasons that some companies have significantly better uptimes than others is that they run a highly redundant infrastructure. Failures in one part of the network are quickly handled by a failover system that routes requests to other servers. This redundancy ensures that end-users of the system never even notice that there was a failure. The DNS service will continue uninterrupted.
DNS suffers from latency if the servers are geographically distant from the users. If DNS requests have to be routed to the other side of the globe and then back again, significant round-trip lag times are introduced that can cause multi-second latencies.
The best way to overcome this limitation is with an IP AnyCast network. IP AnyCast networks put the DNS servers in many different locations across the world so that DNS requests are always routed to the nearest server rather than having to traverse the globe.
Many hosting companies outsource their networks because of a lack of in-house talent and expertise.
For businesses this means that their DNS provider is actually a middle-man standing between them and the company that manages the hardware. DNS hosting clients should instead look for a hosting company that owns and runs its own networks; it’s a way of guaranteeing that they really know what they are doing, have expert staff on hand, and are directly responsible to their customers for maintaining their networks and service levels.
Potential clients should be on the lookout for a DNS host that understands the security issues and has firewalls, intrusion detection services, DDoS mitigation strategies, and access policies in place. They should also be happy to answer questions about their security provisions.
Although many web hosting companies include DNS services as part of their packages, the support offered for DNS hosting can leave a lot to be desired. Choosing a fully managed DNS hosting solutions will ensure that clients aren’t on their own when it comes setting up DNS hosting and resolving issues.
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