This facility of multiple providers is basically called Secondary DNS. But then what is DNS in the first place?
Domain Name System or DNS (or servers) is basically an internet service that translates domain names into IP (Internet Protocol) address. As IP addresses are numerical they are complex to remember. However, domain names being alphabetical they’re easy to remember. For example, www.example.com can translate to IP address 188.8.131.52
If you have waited with bated breath for your school or college results, you must have also noticed that the institution generally provides more than one link to view the results and this, of course, makes you less nervous! The simple reason being if one link doesn’t work you can always use the other links.
Now that we have a fair sense of idea on what DNS is let’s understand what Secondary DNS means.
What is Secondary DNS?
When an organisation uses multiple service providers to host their primary DNS information, it is called Secondary DNS. In our above example, when an institution uses multiple links to hosts results of an examination it is using secondary DNS to host its primary DNS information.
In a nutshell, if you have 4 sets of nameservers answering queries, if one is down then the load is shared amongst the remaining three. Once the first nameserver is up and running, the load will once again be divided between the four of them.
- Better customer experience – Due to the availability of Secondary DNS the load on the primary DNS gets reduced and customers have a more seamless experience accessing the servers.
- Good back up – Secondary DNS always acts as the best firefighting mechanism when the primary DNS is down or out of order. The other servers can still work, although with an increased load on them. However, this is better than having a complete blackout of the entire server until the primary DNS is up and working.
- Round Robin Resolving – This is a process when the server provides a different server on account of Secondary DNS every time a user accesses the server. This helps as a load-balancing act.
Configuring Secondary DNS
Secondary DNS can be used by websites that have a high inflow of traffic that might result in the primary DNS server going down like the ones that run discount sales, declare examination results, etc. Since they are dealing with customers it can mean a loss of both money and customers. Configuring secondary DNS is a safe option for such websites.
Now that we’ve seen the kind of websites that might need secondary DNS, let us see, where can one find secondary DNS when you’ve hosted your website with us. Hosting services by CloudRocket Hosting don’t require setting up secondary DNS explicitly, as it is pre-configured. What this means is:
Consider, you have four nameservers, one of the nameservers will be configured as a primary name server whereas the other three name servers will be configured as Secondary for backup purposes. As seen from the advantages above, there is no difference between a primary and a secondary DNS as Round Robin algorithm is used to resolve the name server records of a domain.
Usually, the first nameserver listed is primary followed by secondary. However, there is no set rule for this. You can refer to this article (for customers only) to learn how to manage and set up the nameservers for your domain.
Thus, a Secondary DNS proves to be a good backup for any organisation so that there is continuity in service. It provides a good consumer experience as the consumer doesn’t face any glitches in case the primary DNS is not be working. Much also depends on the quality of the service provider of a secondary DNS. If one owns the DNS one should ensure that the quality is maintained. A compromise on the quality of secondary DNS is worse than having a good quality primary DNS. So quality is the king.
Lastly, don’t forget to leave a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions.