Learning & Blog
Welcome to our learning and blog section. This section is more than just a bunch of pithy remarks about the industry, it is a collection of articles and information designed to help you. Perhaps help you decide between one solution or another, or decide between Total Uptime or another company. So go ahead, browse any of the categories to the right or start reading our most recent posts below.
Does Convergence Impact Uptime?
One of the biggest trends in data center infrastructure is convergence. Actually it has been happening for some time. Equipment footprint has been getting smaller for years. Functions that used to be handled by huge dedicated machines are now accomplished by modular cards. Specialized servers, switches, routers, and other network devices have been combined into multi-service boxes. Now with the advent of virtualization and the cloud, the footprint is getting even smaller. But with higher convergence comes a significant increase in complexity. And when complexity increases, availability usually suffers.read more
Website Down? Understanding Why
“The website is down again!” That can be pretty frustrating. In the heat of the moment, most of us don’t really care why it is down -- we just want back online. But the curious user may want to know more. What could make a web server unreachable? Why do they go down in the first place? To understand more, we should start with some basics.read more
Is the TCP/IP Protocol on the way out?
It’s pretty clear that TCP/IP is an integral part of any existing IT infrastructure. That clearly includes the cloud. The internet protocol links network components across any number of technologies. Routing protocols direct internet traffic. TCP ensures transmission reliability. TCP/IP is used both internally in the cloud as well within the supporting network infrastructure that may be transparent to the cloud environment.read more
The Foundation of Networking – It’s about Availability
As we look forward to even greater advances in technology, sometimes it helps to take a look back. Many of us take for granted the connectivity that we enjoy across a wide variety of applications. Sometimes it is seamless, and other times – well, we know that improvements are on their way. But the applications we use every day are undergirded by a whole array of technologies. And when these lower levels are out of service, then nothing works.read more
How the Availability of Big Data is Transforming the World
All over the world, companies are competing with one another in the race towards digital transformation. According to a report by Gartner in 2016, one-half of all CEO’s expect their industries to be substantially or unrecognizably transformed by digital transformation. It is a recurrent digital evolutionary process of embedding technologies into nearly everything around us in order to cultivate knowledge and innovation, turning ideas into value.read more
Why You Need Cloud Based Layer 7 Load Balancing Today
Keeping up with the pace of ever the changing world of IT today is a challenge. It can be like trying to drink from a fire hydrant. You can drown in the overwhelming constant barrage of information and technological advancement. For that reason, it is not unusual for today’s IT managers to be unfamiliar with many innovations that are fundamental for today’s enterprise. One of these overlooked areas is network load balancing.read more
Making a Case for Cloud and its Disruptive Benefits
Once again, society is on the cusp of witnessing another disruptive influence that has the ability to change the course of the business world. Thankfully, the phenomenon known as “cloud” (which includes computing, infrastructure-as-a-service, software-as-a-service and much more) has few doubting its abilities to disrupt the way we conduct business today.read more
The Essence of Uptime
Uptime is a key performance indicator (KPI). Some would say it is the key performance indicator, the sine qua non, of productive computing. If you can’t keep your system operational, you have nothing. None of the many functionalities – the bells and whistles – matter one whit if your customers can’t access your site or service. The expectation in the industry is for near 100% uptime.read more
EPO: Emergency Power Off or Extremely Probable Outage?
Have you ever thought about the necessity of EPO buttons in data centers? If you think they are required by law, you are incorrect. Sadly, many believe they are, including data center designers, and they still result in outages even today. We think EPO should be an acronym for Extremely Probably Outage.read more
Enterprise DNS - Is it really that important?
Your DNS servers are probably the most critical to your network operations. Imagine you were traveling within a foreign country you had never visited before and the area was totally void of road signs or traffic directionals. Imagine you had no map or GPS navigational system to guide you. Most likely the trip would be a disaster as you would end up seeing very little of the country at all.read more
Cloud Service Level Agreement Expectations
Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are essential in the IT business. IT managers should know what to expect from their service providers. You should fully understand any SLA before signing it – especially when it comes to uptime. Everyone who has been around IT support has heard of Service Level Agreements. As we consider what is expected regarding uptime in SLAs, it might be helpful to briefly have a look at what SLAs are and their purposeread more
Downtime is no Longer Acceptable
If you went to bestbuy.com and the site was unavailable, how long would it take for you to go to amazon.com or elsewhere to find what you wanted? On average, it’s less than 30 seconds; it used to be much longer, but our society has grown impatient. If you’re not available when customers are looking for you, they will move on.read more
What is The Cloud? A Technical Explanation
The Cloud – we hear that phrase thrown around a lot. It is obviously a special place because nearly every company wants to go there, probably because we hear how wonderful everything works in the cloud. Those who go there are promised a great deal of cost savings as well. No wonder everyone is talking about it.read more
What is DNS Tunneling?
DNS tunneling is a misuse of DNS. Domain Name Servers (DNS) have been called the internet’s equivalent of a phone book. Rather than remembering an IP address with up to twelve digits, you just need to know the domain name associated with the IP address. DNS tunneling attempts to hijack the protocol to use it as a covert communications protocol or a means of data exfiltration. It is a broadly overlooked security threat.read more
Digital Realty / Telx Atlanta Power Outage
On July 12th a major power event occurred at the prominent carrier hotel at 56 Marietta Street responsible for network interconnections for a significant portion of the southeast including over 60 carriers and over 100 telecom providers. The incident occurred during planned power distribution upgrades and created quite a number of issues for both regional and national organizationsread more
The Need for Increased Availability is Now
Our predictions for the last half of 2017: Ransomware will keep evolving, the rise of IoT will pave way for increased DDoS Attacks, IPv6 Traffic will continue to grow exponentially, Machine Learning and AI will be applied to enhance security, and the need for increased availability is now.read more
The True Costs of Downtime for IT
Downtime is a dirty word in the IT business. Unplanned outages are unacceptable and should not be tolerated. In a universe where customers expect services to be available 99.999% of the time, any time your IT service offering is down is costly to your business. And the true cost of downtime may be more than you realize.read more
5 Ways to Increase Application Availability
A service provider that offers software-as-a-service or another cloud-based solution should understand what customers are looking for and what compels those very customers to choose an off-premise, “cloud-based” solution vs. the more traditional on-premise, self-hosted solution.read more
Multi Site Exchange DAG Failover - Solving WAN IP Availability
When deploying a high availability Microsoft Exchange environment with a Database Availability Group, Total Uptime can help you ensure WAN IP availability for external networks, including the all-important mobile, of course.read more
Multihomed ISP Link Availability Challenges
While managing outbound connectivity through more than one ISP is a breeze today since so many firewall vendors offer multi-WAN failover capability, properly managing inbound connectivity is still a challenge that many organizations have not yet resolved.read more
8 uses for Cloud Load Balancing or Failover
As we talk to people during the week, we periodically make suggestions for using Cloud Load Balancing or Failover that are often met with surprise, such as “Oh, I didn’t know it could be used for that”. So we thought it might be helpful to compile a list of 8 potential uses. Of course, it works with just about everything under the sun, but maybe this list will give you some ideas.read more
Load Balancing and Failover Between AWS Regions
Yes! It really is possible to distribute traffic between regions on AWS EC2. But only with Total Uptime’s highly superior Cloud Load Balancer. Not only does Total Uptime offer the ability to distribute traffic between AWS regions, we also give you the ability to load balance and fail over from any data center or cloud provider to any other provider! Our solutions help our customers deploy applications across multiple vendors, ensuring redundancy, resiliency and availability.read more
Explosion in Downtown Los Angeles Disrupts Data Center Operations
On Thursday night August 20th, 2015, a blast occurred in the basement of 811 West Wilshire Blvd. in downtown Los Angeles taking out an on-site power station leaving 12 buildings in the area without utility power for much of Friday, as reported by ABC News and other sources. The outage significantly affected major network provider Level 3 Communications, LogMeIn, major data center providers Internap and Equinix and several other companies...read more
Load Balancing Droplets from Digital Ocean
We recently helped a customer who had dozens of virtual machines (called Droplets) from Digital Ocean spanning multiple countries. Digital Ocean doesn’t have a load balancer, but even if they did, he was looking for a way to load balance traffic in each of 3 geographically diverse regions all without having to use DNS. He was using round-robin DNS to distribute the load among the group of servers, but it wasn’t working anywhere near the way he wanted it to, often distributing load unevenly.read more
Reroute or redirect IP traffic from one data center to another for disaster recovery
Many organizations have a business continuity or disaster recovery plan and have even implemented multi-data center redundancy with servers and other critical infrastructure at a separate location to that of their primary site. But the challenge every organization faces is how to easily and seamlessly redirect traffic from one site to another when disaster strikes.read more
Apple Suffers $32 Million Dollar DNS Outage
Yes, even the biggest and best organizations can suffer tremendous losses due to something as simple as a DNS issue. Unless you are immersed in DNS and it is one of your core competencies, it is easy to make a mistake, and that may be what transpired at Apple.read more
Enable IPv6 with Cloud Load Balancing
As the global pool of IPv4 space continues to diminish every day, organizations are looking to deploy IPv6 at an ever increasing pace. But sometimes it's just plain difficult, especially when it requires a complete overhaul of your local network. Some organizations can implement dual-stack just fine, but for other organizations who host websites or applications at third party providers such as AWS EC2 and the like, IPv6 may not an option just yet.read more
Significant Growth Predicted for Hybrid Cloud
In a recent Computer World article, Technology Business Research shared their prediction for cloud growth in 2015. 33% growth rate for private cloud, 25% growth rate for public cloud and a whopping 50% growth rate for hybrid cloud all when compared to 2014 data.read more
Significant Cloud Outages of 2014
There is no question that the cloud is imperfect. Whether your business uses public, private or a hybrid cloud, outages happen all the time and are a part of life. At Total Uptime, we know this fact quite well, and that’s the primary reason we created our Cloud Networking solutions. Here are some of the biggest cloud outages of 2014 that disrupted service for millions around the world.read more
Internet Outages Today?
If you heard or felt Internet outages today, it wasn’t just you. It seems many end-users were filing complaints on downdetector.com for a vast number of unrelated ISPs. From our global vantage point, we could see that the Internet of things was acting strange.read more
Primary DNS or Secondary DNS?
A frequently asked question at Total Uptime is whether to use our cloud DNS platform for Primary DNS or Secondary DNS. Prior to answering that question, we should probably first define the difference between the two, and then the benefits of choosing to use Total Uptime for one over the other.read more
Cloud Based Routing and Networking
One of Total Uptime's largest assets is our global cloud platform, deployed in dozens of datacenters around the world with incredible cloud based routing capacity. This platform gives our customers the ability to control and route traffic between the client and the datacenter, in the middle of the Internet. As you can imagine, this provides a tremendous amount of power and control for customers that they probably never had before.read more
VPN Load Balancing and Failover with two ISPs
A common SSL or IPSEC VPN configuration scenario is one like we've shown in the (simplistic) diagram below. A corporate office has two incoming ISP connections, each with their own range of IP addresses. Clients or sites have VPN connections to the corporate office to access back-office devices in the LAN. The problem arises when the primary router or ISP goes offline. VPN tunnels that are configured using a DNS name don't fail over until DNS is updated, which is something our DNS Failover solution can nicely solve. But what about connections that rely on static IP addresses. I know Cisco ASA point-to-point VPNs require a fixed IP address, which is not uncommon amongst VPN hardware vendors. So what do you do in that case?read more
Dual WAN Link Load Balancing - for Inbound Traffic
A common inquiry we receive is whether or not any of our solutions have the capability to automate switching inbound traffic between common office WAN Internet connections, such as DSL, Cable and T1 lines. The quick answer is “absolutely!” Total Uptime Failover solutions are perfect for automatically failing inbound traffic over these types of WAN links if your organization has something that needs to be accessed externally, like a Remote Desktop server, mail server, web server, VPN or almost any IP accessible device.read more
Our Cloud is Different Than Yours
A day doesn’t go by where we are yet again annoyed with how flippant organizations are in using the word “cloud” for what appears to be a marketing hype. Take Western Digital and their My Cloud product for which I have seen many TV commercials as of late. It is simply a personal cloud storage device. What’s really “cloud” about it? Other than the fact that you can access it remotely, nothing! It gives honest, legitimate cloud providers like Total Uptime a bad rap.read more
The Top 5 Things to Look for in a DNS Service Provider
At Total Uptime, we’re often asked how we compare to other DNS service providers. Since every business has a different set of requirements, we thought we’d compile a list of the top 5 reasons some of our customers have chosen Total Uptime Cloud DNS vs. other solution providers who may also offer DNS services. Evaluate these items against your own criteria to determine what’s most important to your organization.read more
Heartbleed Bug / Vulnerability
We’ve been receiving a lot of inquiries regarding the Heartbleed Bug, a vulnerability in the popular Open SSL cryptographic software library. Simply put as described at heartbleed.com, “The Heartbleed bug allows anyone on the internet to read the memory of systems protected by the vulnerable versions of the OpenSSL software. This compromises the secret keys used to identify the service providers and to encrypt the traffic..."read more
5 Things We Do That AWS Route 53 Does Not
Total Uptime’s DNS Service along with our DNS Failover solution are often compared to Amazon Route 53, and for good reason. Organizations are increasingly looking for a reliable DNS provider in light of frequent outages at various Domain Registrars like Network Solutions. IT experts understand that because DNS is the first link in the chain, it must be the most robust component, even before adding redundant servers or datacenters, especially for...read more
Moving DNS zones from another DNS provider to Total Uptime
DNS domains (called “zones”) can be moved from any platform to Total Uptime’s DNS platform easily and without impact to end users. In this article, we will outline the steps required to ensure a smooth, zero-impact migration.read more
When bad DNS really messes things up
According to the Wall Street Journal, and other sources, the Internet was severely disrupted in China for several hours on January 21st as a result of DNS issues. While the true cause of the DNS issues appears unknown...read more
Downtime costs $7900 per minute, on average
The cost of datacenter downtime has increased more than 40% for many companies over the last 3 years, according to a recent study by Ponemon Institute, sponsored by Emerson Network Power. The report analyzes 67 datacenters...read more
What are the key differences between DNS FAILOVER and CLOUD FAILOVER so I can better understand which one is right for my application?
The Similarities: Both solutions require that you tell us what the IP address(es) are for your ‘real servers’. That way we know how to alter DNS or route traffic when one or more servers go up or down. These IP addresses must be publicly accessible, not private. Also, both solutions use the same type of...read more
Google and Amazon reveal their secrets of scalability. What is yours?
We read an interesting article recently published in IT World entitled "Google, Amazon reveal their secrets of scalability". Joab Jackson, who wrote the article, provides information received at various talks by Google and Amazon on how they engineer their IT infrastructure for scale.read more
SPF Records - creating and testing
As a DNS service provider, we frequently receive requests from customers who need assistance with understanding and creating SPF records. This short article outlines a few helpful steps that will hopefully make life easier for some. First, what is an SPF record anyway?read more
Microsoft releases Windows Azure Traffic Manager
I came across an interesting article recently at IT World entitled Microsoft adds load balancing as Azure availability stutters. The unfortunate part of the story is that Azure storage and SQL services suffered a 1 hour outage at all regions, but the positive news was that Microsoft is trying to catch up to Amazon Web Services by now offering a Load Balancer. We’ve always agreed with this type of technology...read more
Load Balancers – an important component for disaster recovery
We recently read, with great interest, an article in CIO entitled How load balancing is playing a bigger role in tech transitions. John Moore takes a real-world IT DR scenario, discussing traditional load balancers and today’s more sophisticated Application Delivery Controllers and how they are helping organizations implement disaster recovery strategies or generally increase application availability.read more
Network solutions DNS outage
Sadly, the folks at Network Solutions had a DNS issue today. Below are a couple of tweets we saw. From the buzz on the Internet, this is not well received given the significant DNS outage they had back in July.read more
Creating active/passive Failover Configuration with Cloud Load Balancing
Are you looking to create an active/passive server failover configuration using our Cloud Load Balancer? It’s easier than you think. This video will walk you through the entire configuration process, taking a standard active/active load balancing scenario and changing it to active/passive, active/active/passive and even active/passive/passive with a tertiary failover group setup.read more
Creating and Managing Monitors
In this video we’ll dive deeper into Monitors. Monitors are an essential component of our platform because they give you the power to accurately detect when your servers are up or down. This information is then used with Load Balancing or DNS Failover to properly route traffic.read more
The importance of an audit trail – tracking DNS changes
In our most recent cloud platform update, we added a new feature that gives our customers an audit trail of every DNS change that has been made. We’ve appropriately called it the “Change Log”. This long-anticipated feature can be found in its own tab in the Account section of the management interface.read more
Round Robin DNS Load Balancing
Round Robin DNS is a fast, simple and cost effective way to load balance or distribute traffic evenly over multiple servers or devices. Total Uptime Cloud DNS fully supports round robin DNS on all record types except CNAME. DNS allows you to create multiple records with the same host name but a different destination. By doing so, you quickly and easily load balance traffic amongst all of the records you have created.read more
How DNS Failover Works – an Infographic
Want to quickly understand how DNS Failover works? We’ve created an infographic that explains it in a few simple steps… plus a detailed look at our user interface.read more
DDNS – Dynamic DNS Service – Hype?
It seems there is a lot of demand for DDNS – Dynamic DNS Service. If you pop “DDNS” into Google, you’ll be surprised with the listing of articles you’ll find (including a Wikipedia one) describing what dynamic DNS is and how it can be beneficial to you when hosting servers behind IP addresses that frequently and randomly change. We even found an entire list of DDNS providers, many of which offer the service for free. So that begs the question…read more
A Hosted DNS Server Service – Is it right for you?
Running a high-availability hosted DNS Server Service is not a trivial task. DNS is vital to the operation and success of the Internet yet it is an often-overlooked component that is usually taken for granted. What seems so simple on the surface can create so many issues when it malfunctions. In this article we discuss hosted DNS in more detail.read more
IT DRP – What is your IT Disaster Recovery Plan for DNS?
When designing an IT DRP (Information Technology Disaster Recovery Plan), businesses need to seriously consider the services that they offer internally and externally in order to determine which are the most important to the success of their organization. Rather than taking the approach of “everything must remain online”, which can be extremely costly and oftentimes an insurmountable goal technically and financially, listing all of the services in order of most important to least important will help with implementing a plan of attack.read more
Secondary DNS – A Viable Backup Solution?
With GoDaddy’s unfortunate DNS outage on September 10th, we received an enormous number of inquiries about our DNS services. A frequently asked question was whether or not Total Uptime could provide secondary or backup DNS services for disaster recovery. The quick answer is “yes”, we can definitely provide this commonly implemented DNS backup solution, but we thought it would be helpful to post a quick article to answer the question in a little more detail: What is Secondary DNS, and what are the benefits and drawbacks of using it?read more
GoDaddy DNS Outage
It seems GoDaddy had a very serious DNS issue affecting who knows how many customers around the globe for 4+ hours on Monday. CNN and other news sites report that it was an attack and WIRED discovered that GoDaddy even switched their domain to start using their competitor Verisign’s DNS service, which is an embarrassing move. We really don’t like seeing any of our competitors attacked, and if that is the case, we hope they determine the root cause to better mitigate anything similar in the future.read more
How Cloud Load Balancing works – an Infographic
Want to quickly understand how Cloud Load Balancing works? We’ve created a nifty infographic that explains it in a few simple steps… plus a detailed look at our user interface.read more
AT&T Suffers DNS Outage
Ironically after writing a blog post earlier today commenting on how ISPs are not the best organization to handle DNS because it is not their core competency, AT&T suffered a significant DNS outage that affected many customers across the United States for many hours...read more
Cloud-based DNS outperforms in-house systems, study shows
We came across an article today that was written almost a year ago in Computer World that we all found interesting (and affirming of what we do). A new vendor-sponsored study of the 1,000 biggest websites quantifies how much better third-party managed service providers are doing at operating DNS services across the Internet than enterprises that run this critical network service themselves.read more
What Should and Should Not be called Cloud?
We read a great article last month on wired.com called Top 5 Things The Cloud Is Not. It’s rare we see an article like this that helps define what should and should not be called ‘Cloud’, so when we do see something, we like to call attention to it.read more
GEO DNS – A Quick Start Video
In this Quick Start Video, we’ll give you a basic overview of GEO DNS and how you can use it to direct visitors to different IP addresses based on their origin geography. Coupled with DNS Failover and Cloud Load Balancing, GEO DNS is an extremely powerful tool as part of Total Uptime Technologies’ complete Cloud-Based Traffic Management Platform.read more
Cloud DNS User Interface – A Quick Start Video
In this video we provide an overview of the Cloud DNS functionality within our Cloud Management Portal. Learn how to create domains manually and via the import tool, copy domains, assign Zone Transfer pools, plus a brief overview of DNS Failover, GEO Zones and Monitors.read more
Failover Design: DNS Failover vs. Cloud Failover
When implementing a failover solution, the most common questions we receive are: How can we architect a failover solution for our application? How quickly can we failover from the primary site to the secondary site? How quickly can it fail back when the primary comes back online? Is there a way to prevent automatic failback when I have database synchronization to do? To answer these questions, we need to better define the two failover solutions that Total Uptime offers so you can determine which may best fit your application or desired handling of failuresread more
A DNS Failover Service – Is it right for you?
Over the years, DNS Failover has become a very popular service primarily due to the fact that it is relatively inexpensive and fairly easy to deploy and manage. But is it the right solution for your organization? In this article, we’ll outline what DNS failover is and provide an overview of the benefits and appropriate uses for this type of technology.read more
Account Management – A Quick Start Video
Watch this video to understand the functionality found in the Account section of the Total Uptime cloud management portal. Here you'll learn how to modify company information, add/edit and delete users, create roles & security groupings, alert lists and much more.read more
Configure Cloud DNS Failover in 2 minutes – A Quick Start Video
Here is a Quick Start video showing you how to quickly set up an initial configuration for Cloud DNS Failover in our web-based management console. Learn how to create a new Failover Pool, add two servers to it with a PING test monitor and assign it to an existing ‘A’ record within an existing zone file.read more
Cloud Load Balancing user interface – a Quick Start Video
Here is a Quick Start video showing you how to quickly set up an initial configuration for Cloud Load Balancing in our web-based management console. Learn how to create a new Pack configuration with a Default Server Group and two web servers. Add a ping monitor to test server availability and configure load balancing using the Least Connections method.read more
What is IP Anycast, and How Does it Work in the Cloud?
One of the most important aspects of the Total Uptime Cloud Platform is the underlying IP Anycast architecture. Without it, we would not be able to deliver a 100% uptime SLA and the level of performance our customer’s demand. In this article, we’ll explain what IP Anycast is (just called “Anycast”) and how we use it to deliver performance, reliability and uptime to our customers.read more
AWS Route 53 DNS… How does it compare?
DNS is the critical first link in a Website’s ability to load quickly for its users. Cloud solutions don’t mean much if your DNS system isn’t giving you great performance and the level of granulized control you need. High performance and granular control have always been focal points for our business here, and the existing demand for such quality services points to the importance of utilizing a full-service cloud enabling vendor.read more
North American companies give cloud the most business
IT market research firm Gartner says interest in data center services is high around the world, but the market structure, dynamics and maturity are quite varied. In North America, hosting (42 percent) and cloud IaaS have achieved the highest level of client adoption, while the markets in the rest of the world are dominated by data center outsourcing (80 percent).read more
Security… Getting to the Bottom of “Cloudphobia”
Cloud solutions have gotten a bad rap. They have incredible potential to minimize a business’s IT infrastructure, scale to meet rapid demand, support mobile workers, and cut costs, but they have also gained the reputation of being a risky investment. Many people are just not ready to trust a third party to secure their confidential data.read more
Why a Web Application Firewall
IT managers are faced with many difficult decisions today. The demands of performance, security, and economics are difficult to reconcile, and are only getting more challenging with the increasing number and complexity of internet attacks.read more
Making Cloud Computing what it Should Be
I recently read an interesting article by InformationWeek detailing the Top 10 complaints about Cloud Computing by IT professionals. This article brings to the forefront the fact that cost, security, and performance are still the main concerns in Cloud Computing. It also paints the picture of why our work in the space is so important and points towards part of our mission at Total Uptime Technologies: to differentiate ourselves from those so-called Cloud Computing offerings that really have no “cloud” behind it at all.read more
A Primer on the Domain Name System (DNS)
In the early days of the Internet, humans and other computers located the few massive interconnected computers the same way: by their numeric Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Soon, the impracticality of memorizing all these numbers became obvious and a rudimentary naming scheme was developed. A central repository of names and their associated IP addresses was created and maintained in the form of a plain list.read more
What is a DNS Server?
You want to know what a DNS server is and what DNS does? Quite simply, DNS is what makes the Internet work. Seriously!read more