DNS Trust Manager 10-31-2023

Enhancing business continuity with DNS failover and secondary DNS

Mike Fleck
DNS Failover & Secondary DNS

Business continuity and disaster recovery are essential for avoiding disruptions to business-critical applications and eliminating single points of failure by meeting risk management and compliance requirements. Any outage or slowdown can lead to lost revenue, decreased customer trust and reputational damage.  

Authoritative DNS (Domain Name System) services include elegant solutions like secondary DNS and DNS failover to improve the availability and performance of critical applications. Let’s explore these two essential solutions, highlighting their roles and benefits in ensuring business continuity.

Secondary DNS

Secondary DNS focuses on ensuring redundancy and reliability of your authoritative DNS records. It involves using two separate DNS services: a primary DNS server to control your DNS records and a secondary that serves as a read-only copy.

The primary and secondary DNS services are active simultaneously, so you’re not only improving the availability of your DNS records but also increasing the number and locations of your nameservers.

Key benefits of secondary DNS

Using multiple authoritative DNS services can address compliance and internal audit requirements for redundancy and third-party risk management. This is especially important for organizations seeking compliance with SOC 2 or with application availability requirements specified in Service Level Agreements.

Because secondary DNS uses an active-active and not an active-passive architecture, it allows you to support more DNS query traffic, increase performance and improve reliability. The combined DNS networks can easily absorb spikes in traffic volume caused by peak retail periods or even DDoS attacks without disrupting or degrading service levels.

DNS failover

While secondary DNS addresses the availability of your DNS records, DNS failover amplifies investments you’ve made in application redundancy. DNS failover solutions continuously monitor the health and performance of your critical services. If a service is unavailable or too slow, the DNS failover system will automatically update your DNS records to direct traffic to a healthy instance.

The monitoring used to control DNS failover includes availability, response times and other performance metrics. When a monitoring system detects a failure or degradation in performance, it can automatically redirect traffic to an alternative healthy server or data center. This ensures that end-users are seamlessly routed to a working application instance, minimizing downtime and user frustration.

The benefits of DNS failover

By swiftly redirecting traffic away from failing servers, DNS failover improves the availability of your service, ensuring that critical applications remain accessible to users. Quick detection and automated response to issues mean less downtime, protecting revenue and your investments in solutions like load balancers and content delivery networks. DNS failover services that monitor and measure response times can also improve overall performance by steering traffic to the fastest instance, even when all instances are available.

Complementary solutions for business continuity

DNS failover and secondary DNS aren’t mutually exclusive; they complement each other to provide a comprehensive solution for business continuity required for risk management and compliance.

When combined, these solutions offer:

  • High availability: DNS failover ensures that users are always directed to healthy servers, while secondary DNS provides redundancy for your name records. 

  • Improved performance: DNS failover optimizes server selection, while secondary DNS enhances DNS query resolution speed by increasing capacity. 

  • Global reach: Together, these solutions enable businesses to deliver their services globally with minimal downtime.

By implementing these solutions, businesses can minimize downtime, improve customer satisfaction and maintain their online reputation, ultimately driving greater success in the digital world. Read these pages to learn more about DNS failover and secondary DNS or request a demo if you want to see them in action.

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