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I am currently developing a project which is mission-critical. The actual domain name is registered with 1 & 1 and I plan on purchasing DynDNS Custom DNS service (which has 5 different geographical locations for DNS) and then another secondary DNS service to make sure my DNS is as failover safe as possible. Does it matter that the registration is with 1 & 1 - are they a weak link in the chain? All I really use them for is to say that DynDNS is my primary DNS nameserver and then my secondary DNS is my other nameserver.

I can transfer the registration to DynDNS - Im just not sure if it really matters or not.

Thanks

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Your server, your internet link or your application is probably going to fail before your DNS fails. DNS caches are going to save you in most cases anyway. Consider the full chain when going for high availability. –  Alex Holst Apr 7 '10 at 21:47
    
You realize that tier 4 data centers don't even have 5 nines uptime...let alone 6. If you are worrying about your registrar, then this probably isn't a reasonable target for you. –  Doug Luxem Apr 7 '10 at 21:55
    
This is a good example of why questions need good titles. But since all the answers refer to the "99.9999% uptime" in your title, it's probably not appropriate to edit the question now. –  Ward Apr 7 '10 at 23:29
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DNS affects whether the web server can be reached, not its uptime. Two completely different things, which need to be addressed accordingly. –  John Gardeniers Apr 7 '10 at 23:41

6 Answers 6

up vote 22 down vote accepted

Your registrar is, IMHO, the least of your concerns. Your actual DNS provider (the folks who host your nameserver) is probably worth a little consideration, but it's still down in the noise compared to the rest of what you need to do to really reach 99.9999% availability.

Six Nines availability (99.9999) means less than 1 hour minute (actually exactly 31.536 seconds) of downtime in a year. If you're really intending to reach that level of availability and not just blowing smoke you should be concentrating more on your (distributed, redundant) network & server infrastructure, and at that point you can really host your own DNS servers in your multiple (geographically and topologically distributed) datacenters :-)

Just my $3.50...

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Heh. FIVE nines is 1 hour per year. SIX nines is 30 SECONDS a year. –  Satanicpuppy Apr 7 '10 at 21:49
    
You're right, I dropped a 9 :-) –  voretaq7 Apr 7 '10 at 21:53
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For that level of availability, I'd expect redundancy at the OS vendor, application code, app platform/language and hardware vendor levels as well as the infrastructure. It's no good if a bug or design flaw causes you downtime if it hits everywhere you are otherwise redundant. Hell, I'd put in both natural gas and diesel generators just out of paranoia. For the support staff I'd even use different brands of caffeinated beverages and make sure no two ate the same meal at the same time. –  Dennis Williamson Apr 7 '10 at 22:19
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@Dennis And they've gotta take separate flights, trains and buses. Live in separate cities, have mobile phones on 2 seperate carriers.. And So On. –  Tom O'Connor Feb 28 '11 at 0:46
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@Dennis, six or seven 9s availability would be what you'd need for your country's early warning radar and control systems for detecting incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles and also for your country's nuclear ICBM launch systems so you can respond with an immediate counter attack. –  zuallauz Jan 7 '13 at 4:30

Even Google and Amazon haven't met six nines in the last year. Unless you're VISA or something, it's time to drop your expectations to something a little more reasonable.

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Not even Visa/MC/Amex can reach 6 nine's, or even 5 nine's: serverfault.com/questions/29272/worst-sysadmin-accident/… –  Mark Henderson Feb 17 '11 at 22:50

If you're worrying about your dns/registrar instead of your 4 redundant data centers, your 8 redundant ISPs (two different pipes at each datacenter), and your trans-continental clustering failover hardware/software solution, you're looking in the wrong place.

Six nines is basically impossible. You can be down for no more than 30 seconds each year. 30 seconds! If it takes you 10 minutes to failover after a catastrophe, you've blown your 6 nines average for TWENTY YEARS.

Chances are, you're not going to be spending enough to make 6 nines realistic. It costs more than it's worth.

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Is it your goal to reach 6 nines of uptime or is someone else mandating it to you? If it's your goal, then it's admirable but unrealistic, improbable, and next to impossible.

If it's being mandated to you then the entity that has made the mandate is woefully unaware of what it really means, what it would cost to achieve, and is likely just regurgitating some pablum they heard or read somewhere.

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Six nines of uptime? Well, to begin with that's gonna cost you. Is your application really so critical that 30 seconds of downtime a year will kill you? (Hint: Most medical equipment doesn't aim for 6 nines. Google certainly does not etc.)

The registrar doesn't have a big effect on your availability. They are just the link between you and the administration of the root servers, and you typically don't have to modify your entries at the root servers often. If you are to reach 6 nines you have a lot of much larger engineering problems than that to solve.

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+1. For reference my company is in the medical field. On non-Critical-Care systems we aim for four nines (excluding scheduled maintenance from the calculation. Including scheduled maintenance we aim for ~99.96%). Critical Care applications aim for Five Nines, and those cost a prince's ransom. –  voretaq7 Apr 7 '10 at 21:52
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+1 for "the registrar is just the link between you and the root servers," hopefully the guy that asked the question will find it among all the comments about his over-stated uptime needs. –  Ward Apr 7 '10 at 23:31
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+1 indeed is will be expensive: rough guide: one more nine drives x10 cost, and if you are spending well below that level you are probably missing something. DNS is going to be the easy bit here, DNS's structure makes this easy (more of an issue will be DNS clients not falling over quick enough to backup servers). –  Richard Apr 8 '10 at 9:16

The domain name registrar will not affect the availability of your domain.

There is substantial architecture that is necessary to reach "6 nines" availability. You will not insure that level of availability by simply having multiple DNS providers.

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