In a nutshell, the Domain Name System (DNS) acts as a phone book that allows you to easily find the IP address that is associated with a particular domain. For example, it is much easier to remember “example.com” than it is “126.96.36.199” (IPv4) or even “2606:2800:220:6d:26bf:1447:1097:aa7” (IPv6). This is critical functionality that every internet user depends on, often without even realizing it. DNS is likewise a critical part of any hosting provider’s services. It does little good if your web servers and email servers are online if your DNS servers are not. Your domain will not be functional.
It is for this reason that we provide a geographically redundant DNS cluster for all of our clients to use. In the past it was common for all of a domain’s services (web, email, etc.) to be hosted on a single server. As such, it didn’t matter too much if the DNS was also hosted on this same single server because it was largely a case of it all being online or not. Today, though, it is very common for users to host their websites, email, and other services in different places. The most common, of course, is hosting email off site with Google (Gmail) or another such provider. If you’re using a hosting provider that hosts DNS on the same server as your website, then you will lose all services if your website goes down since the DNS will not function. This is why it is important to host DNS separately and redundantly such that an outage like this does not occur. This prevents a website outage from turning into a complete domain outage. Continue reading