Why Managed DNS is a Great Solution for Backup Hosting

5 01 2008
651.gif I didn’t even know about managed DNS until I read about it on John Chow’s blog a long time ago. I could relate to the stress of DNS propagation issues though, and I thought it would be a good idea to try it out.

Today, I’ve been using externally managed DNS for about 4 months, and I’m very happy with the results. For my more important websites (the ones that make money), I decided to keep backup copies of them on a less expensive hosting account just in case my dedicated server ever goes down. I realized the need for this type of setup after years of dealing with shared hosting and unscheduled down time (inevitably at the worst possible time).

Under normal circumstances, a backup copy of your website on another server won’t do much good, because if you need to switch to the backup – you can expect a 24hr delay as DNS propagates. Not with externally managed DNS though. Now I can switch between the two servers in 5 minutes. No more having to wait until the next morning to find out if my site is functioning properly on the new server.

The way it works is that you point the DNS for your domain name to the company or companies that manage your DNS, and they take it from there, telling web browsers around the world where your site is located. When a website is moved, you change the DNS from within the management company control panel – not the domain name hosting company. Since the management company can update all of their servers in a matter of minutes, you don’t have to wait for ISP’s around the world to get the message.

I recently got to make use of it when I had a traffic spike on one of my sites, and a lot of bandwidth was being used by people downloading video. The site makes no money at all, and I didn’t want it interfering with the bandwidth of my sites that do, so I switched it over to the backup server, and the change happened flawlessly within minutes. Talk about peace of mind.

I actually use 2 companies to manage my DNS, just in case there is ever an outage with one. There are a lot of expensive companies out there who do managed DNS, but I haven’t heard anything bad about the cheap ones, and they’ve been fine for me so far. DNS Park, and DNS Made Easy are the two companies I use.



5 responses to “Why Managed DNS is a Great Solution for Backup Hosting”

8 10 2008
Backups & Redundancy for Your Life and Your Data | New Orleans Internet Marketing (15:20:09) :

[…] and all of those backups get backed up to the remote, offsite Mozy backup as well. I also have backup web hosting, but that’s another topic that I’ll probably talk about more in the future. Time to […]

18 02 2009
John Norgaard (20:16:36) :

How is this change done in the dns zone file? Do you have an example for a novice? Hoping for an answer.

Best regards
John Norgaard

18 02 2009
John Norgaard (20:18:40) :

I am preparing to start a hosting company – hostdanica.com – and would like to offer offsite backkup to clients.


18 02 2009
inlayout (21:18:47) :

In the DNS zone file, you just set the domain to resolve to the managed dns name server, just like you would any other name server. From within the managed DNS service you set dns zones and all that good stuff, dnsmadeeasy has a pretty good help guide to walk you through everything.

This is really about having a separate, fully functional backup site ready to go when your host has problems though. When I think of “offsite backup,” I’m usually thinking a backup to a remote machine that isn’t necessarily a web server. LiquidWeb gives me offsite backups that are pretty good, but it’s just a backup, not a live web server.

19 02 2009
John Norgaard (06:55:23) :

Thanks alot!

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