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Why would someone want to outsource DNS? I heard about this in the stackoverflow podcast and got a bit curious to know why?

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definitely related and I retagged so they will group together, but I think this is a slightly different question –  Jeff Atwood Dec 2 '09 at 15:18

5 Answers 5

So that you can switch hosting more easily.

Hosting companies and hosting products are becoming obsolete very quickly.

For example, you might want to migrate from a shared hosting into a cloud hosting. And then find out that could hosting have serious I/O limitations. So you decide to go with dedicated or back to shared.

This field is filled with much hype and products that turn obsolete very quickly.

So yes it makes total sense to outsource your DNS so that you're more lose to migrate across hosting companies.

Last year alone we migrated across 3 different hosting companies and each time had to migrate our DNS records manually. It was such a pain.

Now we're looking for a DNS outsourcer. But haven't yet found the right service, since most option curently available are too expensive and charge per domain. They should charge per queries only.

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Benefits:

  1. Load. Most outsourcing companies have plenty to spare.
  2. Reliability. Most are geographically diverse, and hopefully server-software and OS-software diverse to handle software issues.
  3. Simplicity. You only have to manage the data, not the servers. (but see below.)
  4. As per convention, there is no number 4.
  5. Finger pointing when something goes wrong. :)

Fails:

  1. Most hosting companies don't move fast with new protocol changes, and DNS is still changing. DNSSEC for example. Make certain your hosting companies support it now.
  2. Most cost money, and some real money. This isn't a bad thing in general, since an outage of a primary service is more costly. The problem is, they know this too.
  3. Most hosting companies make it hard to use more than one of them. That is, the more tied into one you are (say, using their web UI to edit the contents) the harder it is to have another competing company also serve your data.

What I do:

  1. I host my own "stealth master" -- no one actually queries it directly.
  2. SNS hosts my zones on their network.

Disclaimer: I work at isc, so it's pretty cheap for me. :)

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It depends on your network. Active Directory pretty much requires you to host your own internal DNS, but you can set it up to be quite resilient.

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1) You have one less thing to manage and worry about

2) This is esp. useful in more advanced scenarios, like when you have servers in multiple geographic locations. Many DNS services provide you with geographic DNS, ie. the DNS server finds the server nearest to the user and returns its IP.

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+1, especially point 1 - better to ask why wouldn't I outsource DNS? –  SimonJ Dec 2 '09 at 15:22

Having all your domains DNS servers hosted at the same location and same internet connection is not good practice, as a faulty line/power failure (etc) will render your domains unresolveable.

A good example of services that behave very bad when resolving isnt possible is smtp. Mail servers will give up fairly quickly and return a error to the users who try to send you mail, complaining that the domain doesnt exist. This again will confuse every Joe/Jane-user, wich will call your company and complain.

I host my primary DNS myself, with several slave DNS servers hosted at different locations and providers. This ensures that my domains always will resolve, and that I'm in complete control of the zones at any time - and can make rapid changes without having to log in to a CP hosted somewhere - or even worse: wait for a technician to create/modify records for me.

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