100% DNS Uptime, Guaranteed?

December 3, 2012 – Is there ever really 100% uptime, 100% of the time?  Is there such thing in the technology world?  EasyDNS is claiming to now be providing legitimately 100% uptime guaranteed.  This is very interesting to say the least.

Their solution for eliminating any DNS downtime is called “Proactive Nameservers.”

The first thing you do is control the redundancy of your nameservers by defining “hot swappable” backup nameservers.  Second, the accuracy and performance of your hostname and their nameservers is monitored in real-time.  Thirdly, if your nameservers become unavailable, the system will proactively redirect to the available nameservers assigned to that domain.  Then when your primary nameservers come back online, the hostname is then pointed back to those servers again.

This system is currently patent pending.  EasyDNS’ philosophy is that there is no such thing as a completely fault tolerant DNS system, and that you need to have redundancy in place.

We are unsure exactly what is being patented here because there doesn’t seem to be anything unique about this solution.  I can setup redundant nameservers very easily today, simply by announcing 2 sets of nameservers at the TLD level.  If one set of servers becomes unavailable, the second set will automatically start resolving all the traffic.

Maybe there is something we are missing, and if so, we’d love to talk to EasyDNS.

 

Reviews/Comments

  • Hi, sorry I never saw this until today.

    A lot of the issues you covered I addressed in my article on CircleId:

    http://www.circleid.com/posts/20120206_the_case_for_hot_swappable_nameservers/

    What you need to understand is that when you define multiple nameservers in your delegation (either through multiple providers or what not), it does not function like this:

    dns1 gets queried, if dns1 is down, dns2 gets queried, if down, dns3, etc.

    They *all* get queried. When a resolver does not have a current answer in cache, it initially sends the same query to ALL delegated nameservers (and times the response back from each).

    So the part from my circleid article which specifically addresses what you say here is this:

    “2) If you have a lot of nameservers in your delegation and some of them are non-performing (say one of your providers is down), then you again slow things up because initial queries or cache refreshes are going to hit all of your unresponsive nameservers and wait for the ensuing time-outs. With this approach they will only be querying the live, responsive servers. ”

    What is new about our approach is we are actively monitoring your current delegation and your warm spares and adjusting your delegation based on the results. This also covers other situations such as a nameserver that is not in sync with your master data.

    Feel free to call or email me to discuss.

    – mark

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