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Double Up on DNS

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Many organizations around the globe are known by their websites. It’s their presence in the world. Without the Domain Name System (DNS) however, which translates a clever domain name (URL) into an IP address, no one can get to your website or even send you an email. DNS can be a single point of failure, and it’s next to impossible to prevent malicious targeted attacks on a DNS hosting provider. That is why it’s a good idea to have more than one provider.

Here are a few steps to take to diversify:

  • Select a secondary provider, which can basically be anyone including your registrar. For our Peak 10 customers, be sure the secondary DNS hosting provider can “slave” domains off of Peak 10 DNS servers as “master.” The secondary may charge a nominal amount. If the provider needs to know, we currently run BIND version 9.3.6-20.
  • We only allow “zone transfers” (part of the DNS hierarchy) from specific outside DNS servers as a security measure.  The secondary DNS hosting provider will have IPs it uses to perform zone transfers.  Provide these IPs to Peak 10, and we will add them to our list of allowed hosts.  This can take up to 72 hours but may be provided same-day in certain circumstances.
  • Using your secondary host’s interface or by working with its support services, set up the slave relationship for each domain you have hosted at Peak 10.
  • Test for success. This is the most important step. You should be able to run a DiG or nslookup against the secondary DNS hosting provider’s servers for your domain and records. You want your test to produce an “Authoritative Response.”
  • Log into Pathfinder, and add NS records to your domain(s) for the secondary DNS hosting provider’s DNS servers.
  • Verify that the secondary provider has the records. Then go to your registrar’s website, and modify the Name Server records to include those secondary DNS records.

Now when you modify your records on Pathfinder, the changes will be replicated to your secondary DNS hosting provider within a few minutes.

Systems on the Internet will use a round-robin methodology to cycle through the NS records until they find one that answers.  If either the secondary DNS hosting provider’s servers or Peak 10’s DNS servers become unavailable the other provider will continue to serve up your records.

We understand how important availability and reliability are to you. We’re happy to assist every way we can.

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About Peak 10

"Our values are the foundation for everything we do at Peak 10, and are ultimately what enable us to earn our customers' business and their trust."
David H. Jones,
Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest