DNS Cluster: Multi-Node Highly Available DNS

Gravity Servers maintains a five node DNS Cluster that is free for use by all customers. All of Gravity Servers’ DNS Servers in its DNS Cluster have a failover node at each location, and are spaced evenly around the US to provide the fastest DNS queries, regardless of your visitor’s location. When using the Gravity Server name servers and IPs, as well as Gravity Servers’ DNS Cluster, you additionally have full control over reverse DNS for your IP range: you can set rDNS for each of your IP addresses directly in our control panel.  Finally, every one of Gravity Servers’ data center locations has a pair of caching DNS servers on the network to work as resolvers for your servers, allowing you the benefit of quick internal DNS access for outbound requests. All for free.

Gravity Servers’ DNS Cluster: Security

Gravity Servers maintains a five node DNS Cluster that is free for use by all Gravity Servers customers. The benefits of having your hosting company running its own DNS cluster are many, and if taken advantage of, can make your hosting more secure, better performing, and easier to manage. Very few hosting companies run their own DNS cluster, and third party DNS services can cost upwards of hundreds of dollars if you have many domains. Gravity Servers’ DNS cluster and DNS services are always free, and as long as you are a customer, they stay that way. Many hosting companies have a different set of nameservers for every server that they host clients on; Gravity Servers has a single set of 5 nameservers (ns1.gravityservers.com through ns5.gravityservers.com) that handles the DNS for every single server and domain in our network. Having separate nameservers for each server presents several problems: one, this violates DNS rules (called RFCs) by allowing a single point of failure for DNS (if the single server hosting your DNS goes down, so does your site), and two, by not assuring that your DNS servers are on different subnets.

Also, if you need to be moved to a different “server (for performance problems, for instance), you must change your entire nameserver configuration, which can take 24-48 hours to properly change. With Gravity Servers, since there is only a single nameserver configuration, all we or you need to do is change the records in your zone, and with our low refresh values for all records, you will see your DNS changes push through in a matter of minutes.

Finally, all DNS zones on Gravity Servers DNS cluster by default have SPF records and domain keys (DKIM records) to combat spam, increasing the security of your mail and reducing the chance that it will end up in someone’s Spam box, or be rejected due to Spam.

Gravity Servers’ DNS Cluster: Performance

Gravity Servers’ DNS cluster has five separate nodes, specifically placed around the US so that no matter where a visitor to your site is, there is a DNS node close to them. We have nodes in each corner of the US (NW, NE, SE, and SW) as well as right in the middle (Dallas). This means that all visitors to your site will have DNS resolution times within milliseconds of each other.

Also, each of Gravity Servers’ DNS nodes is on a high performance server specifically designed to handle millions of requests per minute. Failover of our DNS servers is tested once a month, and every quarter, load testing is done to determine capacity and uncover any issues.

A final performance byproduct that many miss is that since Gravity Servers runs a standalone DNS service, the servers in our network, such as our shared and reseller servers, do not run a DNS service, thereby freeing up that processor time and memory to make your website perform better.

Gravity Servers’ DNS Cluster: Benefits

Taking advantage of Gravity Servers’ DNS cluster, every customer gains a number of enhancements to their hosting account.

Easier to Manage: All customers using Gravity Servers’ DNS cluster are able to manage their DNS zones directly through our Customer Portal. They can add zones, edit zones, edit records, monitor changes, and more, without ever leaving our Customer Portal.

Simpler to Manage: All domains can be pointed to a single set of name servers (many hosting companies have a different set of name servers for every server).

Better Resolution Performance: Since Gravity Servers’ DNS nodes are equally spaced around the US, no matter where a visitor is to your site, they will receive the quickest DNS resolution every time their browser checks for the DNS records for your site.

Completely Economical: Comparable DNS services to our cluster run anywhere from $50 a year to hundreds, or even thousands of dollars per year (dependent on the number of DNS queries your site will have).  Our service is free.

Gravity Servers’ DNS Cluster: Reliability

Gravity Servers has been running its own DNS cluster for several years, and in that time, we have achieved an impressive 100% uptime for the cluster as a whole. This is due to the design of our cluster: all of Gravity Servers’ DNS Servers in its DNS Cluster have a failover node at each location. This means that if ns1.gravityservers.com suffers a catastrophic hardware failure, it’s failover server that has been standing by, automatically takes over through VMWare’s Fault Tolerance/High Availability technology, and without even the loss of a single ping, the node keeps running.

If the entire data center goes offline for some catastrophe (the fault could be inside or outside the data center), and contact is lost with ns1 and it’s failover server, the DNS cluster marks this DNS server as offline, but the other four continue to function. Once this server comes back online, all DNS records are synced and brought up to date with the rest of the cluster. Gravity Servers’ DNS cluster can lose up to four entire data centers without any interruption of DNS service. A good reason we’ve had 100% uptime for over five years with our DNS service.

DNS Cluster

Updated on 2015-09-11T17:43:00+00:00, by vintagedon.