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.
Some services will certainly require instant failover to an alternate datacenter while other services can be brought online within hours. There may be even a third or fourth category that allows for less-critical services or applications to be brought back online within a certain number of days. By carefully thinking through all of the services with this approach, most organizations will then be in a position to tackle an IT DRP strategy that is both technically possible and which meets budgetary constraints.
One often-neglected yet extremely critical service is DNS. Many organizations first think of restoring servers that host websites, mail or other internal applications without giving but a passing thought to the critical requirement for DNS. Without DNS, most of these services would remain inaccessible.
Today, it is no longer sufficient to simply have two DNS servers in two different locations in order to be assured of 100% DNS uptime. Three locations is now the norm, but is that all it takes to ensure DNS resiliency for your organization? Consider the downtime experienced recently by GoDaddy and AT&T who have certainly implemented more than three DNS servers!
DNS is not necessarily as simple as it seems on the surface. For example, if the primary server goes down, how will you make changes to DNS to redirect traffic to your alternate site since secondary DNS servers will not allow you to make changes? When your secondary DNS servers can’t reach the primary for an extended period of time, do you know exactly when the zones will become stale and fall off the Internet? Do you have a plan to promote one of the secondary servers to primary before the SOA Expire TTL kicks in? Do you have a system in place to monitor secondary DNS servers to ensure that they are properly performing zone transfers and are in-sync with the primary right now? Do you backup your domains and the boot file just in case everything hits the fan and you need to rebuild? Unfortunately when disaster strikes, it is too late to discover errors that could prevent you from restoring service in a timely manner. And wouldn’t you rather focus on your critical applications rather than boring DNS?
At Total Uptime Technologies, our core business is providing services that help organizations achieve 100% uptime. Why spend countless hours managing DNS infrastructure in multiple locations when it is not your core business? Many wise business advisors always recommend to “do what you do, and do it well” yet so many IT departments are certain that they have DNS covered. It makes sense because DNS seems simple on the surface, but is it really?
At Total Uptime, we can take the headache out of DNS for less than $1 per day. Not only do we provide a very easy-to-use web-based interface to manage your DNS 24×7 from anywhere in the world, but we can also help you automate switching from a primary datacenter to a secondary datacenter automatically using DNS failover. We also support secondary DNS for organizations that simply can’t handle an external primary DNS server and because we operate a global network of DNS servers, we’ve got redundancy covered more than necessary. So why not give us a try!
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