DNS Made Easy – IP Anycast DNS, DNS failover & Fast instant DNS Updates
You’ve tweaked your web page site speed as much as you can using various Google Pagespeed and Yahoo YSlow site speed tools and online tests. You’ve converted your static files over to using CDN service providers such as MaxCDN. What’s next in your quest for squeezing out more speed for your site ? Faster domain name DNS response time and reduce DNS latency is the next step up. I came across DNS Made Easy while working on my centminmod.com web site. They have a free 30 day trial and if you sign up for their 12 month subscription, you basically get 13 months of service!
Since switching the site’s DNS name servers over to DNS Made Easy, I’m really liking the service offering. I love how fast their DNS changes update due to their use of what they call Peregrine Instant DNS update technology. My site’s DNS latency and response time tests have been excellent due to their use of IP Anycast routing and geographically distributed DNS networks. DNS Made Easy has a presence in 10 different cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Reston, Ashburn, Miami, London, Frankfurt, and Hong Kong. Some DNS latency tests saw centminmod.com DNS response time drop from 200-250ms down to 0-50ms ! They also have a excellent DNS uptime history – 100% uptime history over 8 years and a 99.9999% overall uptime history over 10 years!
Centminmod.com web site setup serves a dual purpose also as a guinea pig test for both Nginx web server testing as well as test set up of my own load balanced redundant web cluster. To do this on a budget i used multiple low end VPS servers. I used Haproxy load balancers to distribute the load across several VPS based web servers. For MySQL server, I intend to implement Tungsten Replicator based MySQL master/slave replication which I’m currently testing and love it. The centminmod.com site currently runs on dual Haproxy load balanced VPS servers with a 3rd back up Haproxy load balancer which distribute the load across 4x Centmin Mod installed Nginx web servers (VPS based). Three of the four VPS serve a dual purpose with Haproxy frontend, and Nginx web server on the backend. I’ve also done local testing with putting Varnish Cache v3.0 in front of load balanced Haproxy load balancer as well.
All VPS servers are OpenVZ based and as such don’t allow sysctl.conf editing. This is a problem as in order to implement Haproxy load balancer failover using either Keepalived or Heartbeat, I need to be able to set enable net.ipv4.ip_nonlocal_bind in sysctl.conf to allow non-local binding for the virtual ip address. So with my current OpenVZ based VPS cluster, that isn’t possible. I could add 2x Xen or KVM based VPS servers which allow such sysctl.conf editing but it would set be back at least an extra US$168-360 per year to be able to implement Haproxy fail over even on low end budget Xen/KVM based VPS servers.
After much online research (googling :) ), I came across DNS services provided by DNS Made Easy. Their DNS fail over feature is just what I was looking for allowing me to specifying the domain name A record to point to 1-5 additional backup ip addresses in event of failure at the primary ip address. It was an added bonus that they also include IP Anycast DNS services as well which allow for much faster DNS latency and resolution for your domains. This is a much cheaper alternative at US$59.95/yr for up to 25 domain names served from an IP Anycast supported DNS network and allowing up to 3x DNS fail over configurations.