Leading Causes of Downtime
IT systems go down for a lot of reasons. Some downtime causes are obvious, while others take some time to understand. And still others are just plain comical. In this article we’ll have a look at different approaches to assigning blame for outages, and we’ll offer a short list of our own. The concept of downtime applies to so many different arenas in the world of IT, and trying to compare them one-for-one doesn’t always work. Let’s start by having another look at what we mean by downtime.read more
Is Liquid Cooling Worth The Risk?
Water and computers don’t mix, right? So why would anybody want to try to cool computer equipment with water? Lots of reasons. But the first thing you think, of course, is this: “Will it leak?” Well, probably not -- but we’ll get into that. You should know that water and computers are definitely not mutually exclusive. In fact, you might be amused to learn about a 1940s computer that was powered entirely by water. We’ll tell you more about it at the end of this article. But first let’s deal with the matter at hand.read more
Can Too Much Redundancy Impact Availability?
Good design is one of the keys to system success, but overengineering can bring it all down in an instant. After unabashedly extolling the virtues of redundancy in a recent article, we thought we would ask the next logical question: Is it possible to have too much redundancy?read more
Selecting the Right Monitors for Your Website
Website monitoring is all about verifying and tracking the uptime, functionality, and performance of a website. There are many ways to accomplish that. It can be done with fully developed software using a graphical user interface (GUI), or with simple instructions in a command-line interface (CLI).read more
Redundancy: When Too Much is Just Right
Redundancy is indispensable in the world of information technology. Of course, redundancy is not welcome in every aspect of life. But in information technology or aviation engineering, that can be a very good thing.read more
Proactive IT Maintenance to Minimize Downtime
The next catastrophe could be just around the corner, but if you prepare for it, you might be able to avoid it altogether. If you don’t have a robust proactive maintenance program for your IT environment, it may just be (in the vernacular) an “accident waiting to happen”.read more
Top 6 Tools for DNS Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting never ends. Problems in network computing can happen at many different levels. One technology that every internet user depends on is DNS, which stands for domain name system. A domain name is an alphanumeric designation for an IP address. DNS servers are the databases that manage the hierarchical domain name system. Sometimes these servers are not configured properly. That’s where the DNS troubleshooting comes it.read more
What Went Down in 2017
The internet is replete with Top Ten lists and other rankings. But the criteria for distinguishing between #1 and #10 is often no more than personal whim. So with the caveat that these are not necessarily the worst or the biggest, we’ve decided to list and describe some of the most interesting outages in the world of cyberspace in 2017.read more
Why Ransomware is a Threat to Availability
Ransomware has vividly shown how truly devastating a ransomware attack can be upon businesses and organizations that rely on an omnipresent connection with their customers, users and partners. This is why high availability and disaster recovery solutions are so imperative today. A ransomware attack is indeed a disaster that can take an organization offline and out of commission.read more
Does the Cloud have a Layer 1 or Layer 2?
The focus has changed in recent years from ensuring connectivity to maintaining the availability of our applications. Since these virtual machines now reside in the higher layers of the OSI model, they can be maintained through software defined networking and other cutting-edge technologiesread more
Hybrid Cloud. Hybrid IT. Hybrid Availability.
There is a lot of talk about hybrid these days when it comes to IT. For the past five years or so, the Hybrid Cloud has been a hot topic as organizations are now open to hosting their digital services and data beyond the walls of the datacenter perimeter. Recently, the new approach of managing IT within the enterprise, called Hybrid IT, has come to the forefront.read more
Minimize risk. Maximize availability.
Businesses take risks. It comes with the territory. But that doesn’t mean that an enterprise should push blindly forward, ignoring the potential threats to availability and ultimately its success. Risk assessment is essential to understanding the territory and blazing the trail ahead. And risk mitigation is the key to controlling those factors that endanger IT uptime. It all starts with a framework.read more
Root Cause Analysis to Maintain Uptime
Root cause analysis is an excellent tool for keeping your IT infrastructure healthy. You may need some in-depth troubleshooting to correct an ongoing issue. Or you may be tasked to do a postmortem on a problem that is already resolved. RCA is also a very good approach for dealing with intermittent issues. Whatever the situation, root cause analysis can be your best friend if you are trying to keep an IT service up and running well.read more
Server Hardening for Security and Availability
Server hardening is a necessary process. And it’s a never-ending one. From the moment you pull the machine out of the box (or create it in the virtual environment), it pays to be thinking about security. But server hardening can do more than keep your machine safe. It will help with performance, and it can even play a part in keeping your machine online and available.read more
Decrease Downtime with Change Management
Service providers do everything they know how to avoid downtime. Generally the best practice is not to touch a live network. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But change is inevitable, and eventually every network or system will need improvements. The trick is to handle these changes with little to no disruption of running services. That’s the purpose of change management.read more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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