Disaster Recovery for DNS

Preparedness is key when it comes to operating and maintaining a successful website. This is becoming even more prevalent in today’s market as so many consumers and businesses now rely on online products and services in their daily routines. In fact, it’s estimated that 66% of the world population will be using the internet by 2023—92% in North America (Cisco). Because of this, disaster recovery plans are becoming increasingly important. In this blog, you’ll find out why.  

What is a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)?

A DRP is a detailed plan that outlines the steps your business would need to take to continue operation in the event of an unexpected incident. This is based on thorough business impact and risk analyses. While DRPs vary depending on the unique needs of each organization, they typically include:

• Applications most necessary for bare minimum business operations
• Data recovery options
• How your business will continue to meet compliance requirements during a disaster
• Alternative means of conducting business
• Internal and external communication method
• How your organization should respond to a disaster
• Recovery timeline
• Recovery point objective (RPO)
• Budgetary concerns
• Insurance
• Supplier-related concerns, and more

What Types of Events Should My Disaster Recovery Plan Cover?

As the saying goes, hope for the best but prepare for the worse. Here are some of the top things your domain should be prepared for:

• Internal systems/IT outages
• Provider-related outages
• Natural Disasters
• Man-made disasters

Does My Business Really Need a DRP?

Without a DNS disaster recovery plan, your domain is especially vulnerable to outages. Think about it. Your domain simply won’t work without DNS. Just like the foundation of your home ensures the safety and integrity of your living space, DNS functions similarly for your website. If your home foundation is damaged, it can cause major structural issues, lead to costly repairs, or worse, make your home uninhabitable. 

How is this relevant to DNS and your website?

Simple. Because in this instance, your domain is your house and DNS is your domain’s foundation. If your DNS goes down or is experiencing issues, no one can reach your website. Just like a faulty home foundation, this can result in outrageous costs which negatively impact your organization’s bottom line. 

And, while it might seem odd that as a domain owner, you would need to worry about a natural or a man-made disaster, it really isn’t. After all, any of those things can knock your domain offline for an undetermined amount of time. If your business relies on online systems for employees and/or consumers, you need to have a course of action that will allow you to continue running your business in the event of unforeseen circumstances. With a detailed plan in place, your employees can more efficiently switch gears and keep things operational, instead of running around like Chicken Little screaming the “sky is falling.”

So, yes. Your business really does need a DRP.

Types of Disaster Recovery Plans

types of disaster recovery plans - 1. cloud disaster 2. Data Center 3. Network 4. Virtualized

There are many different types of DRPs. It’s possible your business may only need one, or all of them.

• Cloud disaster recovery
• Data center disaster recovery
• Network disaster recovery
• Virtualized disaster recovery

Top Solutions for DNS Disaster Recovery

Okay, you know why you need a DRP. But how do you go about ensuring you are prepared? Choosing the right DNS provider and DNS strategy should be first and foremost when devising a DRP for DNS. If you partner with a provider with a history of outages, for example, you are already putting your organization at risk unnecessarily. Once you’ve chosen a primary DNS provider, choose a secondary provider

Yes. You should have two DNS providers. This protects you from provider-related outages.

Protection at Every Point of Failure

The next thing you should implement is DNS Failover. This will protect your domain in the event one of your own servers becomes unavailable.

The fact is, redundancy is king in the online world.

DNS Monitoring

With the right DNS monitoring tool, you can get a head start on many disasters, and even prevent them from causing damage to your domain. This is especially true for threats like DDoS attacks and problems stemming from misconfiguration and IT errors. Monitoring solutions alert you to unusual or suspicious activity. This activity can be quickly analyzed and actions can be taken proactively, if necessary.

Third-party Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS)

There are also DRaaS solutions available, which are specifically designed to help companies recover from IT-related disasters. This includes data backup options and replication of physical or virtual hosts. If selecting a DRaaS service, it’s recommended to choose one that fits your unique needs and that offers a variety of options, such as fully managed, assisted, or self-service DRaaS.

Disaster Recovery Tips

Always perform business impact and risk analyses first
Create your DRP
Ensure your DRP meets compliance requirements
Implement DNS monitoring
Failover for all mission-critical services
Secondary or Primary/Primary DNS
Back up your domains

Disaster Recovery for DNS Wrap Up

The key takeaways here are A) have a plan, B) redundancy at every point of failure, and C) keep a watchful eye on your DNS activity. These things will all but ensure your domain stays online during an unexpected event or emergency. Now, if the entire power grid goes down, well, that’s another story entirely…

Related Resources:

Disaster Recovery Plan, TechTarget

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS): Why, Where and How

Heather Oliver
Heather Oliver is a Technical Writer for Constellix and DNS Made Easy, subsidiaries of Tiggee LLC. She’s fascinated by technology and loves adding a little spark to complex topics. Want to connect? Find her on LinkedIn.

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