Secondary DNS for Domains in High Demand

It’s no secret that outages plague the internet. But if you think there’s nothing you can do about it, think again. Some of the most common provider- and DNS-related outages can be avoided with DNS redundancy. 

Ask yourself this question:

Why would you risk an outage for your brand when there is a simple, cost-effective solution that could prevent it?

The answer is that you wouldn’t. 

Maybe you think outages are just a part of doing business online. Or perhaps you think adding redundancy wouldn’t fit in the budget. Maybe you didn’t realize there was even a preventative option available. Or perhaps you think a little downtime isn’t a big deal. Whichever of these categories you fall into, I hate to break it to you—but you’re wrong.

Every domain should have Secondary DNS. Keep reading to find out why.

What is Secondary DNS and How Does it Help You?

Secondary DNS is when a domain has two DNS providers, which means you’ll have two authoritative nameservers answering queries for your domain. Zone files from the primary provider automatically synchronize with the secondary server when updates or changes are made to the domain’s zone. In the event one provider experiences a failure or outage, the other provider will retry the queries, which prevents downtime.

With Secondary DNS configured, your domain will remain online even if your primary provider goes down due to DNS resolution errors, a DDoS attack, or another type of provider-related outage. Redundant DNS will keep your site online and save your company a ton of money in the long run.

Having Secondary DNS often comes with a performance bonus as well. Resolvers tend to prefer the fastest authoritative nameserver, regardless of whether it’s a primary or secondary resource. 

primary and secondary DNS servers

The Hidden Cost of Outages: Brand Reputation and Lost Productivity

There are several ways outages can affect your organization, none of which are good. Let’s start with the less obvious. If your domain is down, you become digitally inaccessible to your customers, and loss of internal systems could prevent employees from doing their jobs. This leads to lost productivity and could cause slowdowns and missed deadlines. On top of that, there are the IT costs associated with the outage.

It doesn’t stop there.

You can’t forget about brand reputation. If customers can’t access your site or application when they need to, they consider it a bad experience. That’s okay, they’ll come back, right? Well, studies have proven differently. As much as 88% of consumers who have just one bad experience with a brand’s website are less likely to return. Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. If you were visiting a site for the first time and all you got was a 404 error page or similar, would that instill confidence about the website in question? Of course not.

Here’s the thing:

According to a 2021 study by Veeam, 47% of companies notice damage to their brand’s integrity after an outage and 52% see a drop in customer confidence. As much as a 30% reduction in stock price was also noted, and worse, 27% of brands have been subject to legal action as a result of an outage. 

Are you paying attention now?

The Average Cost of an Hour of Downtime

Brand reputation and lost productivity are certainly monetary costs, but these issues are more like the unwanted gift that keeps on giving and isn’t always immediately noticeable. But we do know the average cost per hour of downtime.

Are you ready for this?

According to Veeam, the average business loses $84,650 in just one hour of downtime—that isn’t including the costs that will be incurred due to reputation and productivity losses. For enterprise-level businesses, an hour could easily soar to the millions. For example, in 2020 Statista found that it cost 10% of enterprise servers between $2 and 5 million for an hour-long outage.

Statista - Average cost per hour of enterprise server downtime worldwide
Source: Statista - Average cost per hour of enterprise server downtime worldwide

Have you budgeted for that?

Of course, the better question would be, why would you if you could budget for Secondary DNS instead?

Still not convinced?

History of Outages Within the Last 10 Years

Now that you know the potential costs of an outage, let’s take a look at some of the notable outages that have occurred over the past decade.

DNS provider outage list - Cloudflare, AWS, NS1, DYN, Google Cloud

Provider Outages (regional and global)


June 2021, Aug 2020, Jul 2020, Apr 2020, Jul 2019

DNS Made Easy

NONE (over 11 years of 100% uptime)

Neustar UltraDNS

May 2021, Oct 2015, Apr 2014, Jan 2013


May 2016, July 2021

Network Solutions

Mar 2021, May 2021

Route 53/AWS

Nov 2021, Sept 2021, Nov 2020, Oct 2019, May 2019, Apr 2019, Mar 2017 


Mar 2021, Oct 2016


Nov 2020, Mar 2017, Sept 2012, 


Oct 2021, Mar 2021 (2), Mar 2019

Google Cloud

Jun 2021, Dec 2020, Nov 2020, Aug 2020, Nov 2019 


Jul 2021, Jun 2021


Jun 2021

Tip: For a more accurate picture of what the cost of an outage would be for your business, visit this Outage Calculator.

Big Brands that Still Not Using Multiple DNS or CDN Providers

With such a large history of outages that affect both businesses and consumers, you’d think brands would finally have “had enough.” And yet, out of the top 100 visited websites published recently by Semrush (based on US traffic), more than half are not following DNS best practices. The list below (in alphabetical order) doesn’t include large brands that didn’t make the list for September 2021, like Dropbox, WeTransfer, Grammarly, Medium, or Vimeo, or popular international sites like Taobao, Flipkart, or Alibaba—all of which rely on a single provider. 

  1. AccuWeather
  2. All Recipies
  3. AOL 
  4. Apple
  5. Archive of Our Own
  6. Bank of America
  7. BBC
  8. Bestbuy
  9. Blogspot
  10. Capital One
  11. CheatSheet
  12. CNBC
  13. CNN
  14. Costco
  15. CVS
  16. Daily Mail
  17. Discord
  18. ESPN
  19. Facebook
  20. Fandom
  21. Google
  22. Healthline
  23. Home Depot
  24. Hulu
  25. Imgur
  26. Indeed
  27. Instagram
  28. Kohls
  29. Lowes Home Improvement
  30. Microsoft
  31. Netflix
  32. Nextdoor
  33. NFL
  34. NPR
  35. New York Post
  36. Only Fans
  37. Pinterest
  38. Quora
  39. Quizlet
  40. Realtor
  41. Reddit
  42. Tickets-Center
  43. Tiktok
  44. T-mobile
  46. USPS
  47. Xfinity
  48. Yahoo
  49. Zillow
  50. Zoom
  52. WebMD
  53. Wikipedia

If you are among the top 100 visited websites for any given month—even the top 500 considering there are more than a billion websites—that means there are large volumes of consumers or end users that depend on your domain’s services and/or content being accessible 24/7. Secondary DNS should be an automatic inclusion to protect your domain.

The Cost of Secondary DNS vs the Cost of an Outage

I want to revisit a question I asked you earlier:

Why would you budget for an outage (if you even do) if you could budget for Secondary DNS instead?

Let’s compare prices and see what makes the most financial sense. To keep things simple, I’ll just use the average hourly cost for all businesses found in Veeam’s study and DNS Made Easy’s Business Plus plan.

Average outage costs: $84, 650 per hour

Hours in a year: 8,760

DNS Made Easy Corporate package: $1740 per year ($145/mo)

50 Domains

15,000 Records

50M Queries /month

10 Failover Records

25 Query Logs /month

10 Additional Users

1 Personal Account Rep

Three Factor Auth

100% SLA-backed

DNS Analytics

Rest API Access


If you break down the cost of DNS Made Easy’s service per hour, that would be approximately $0.19 cents. 

Nineteen cents an hour versus $84,650 an hour. Which sounds more budget-friendly to you? 

In comparison, the cost of DNS Made Easy isn’t even a ripple in the pond. That goes for other DNS providers as well. While prices vary, they will all fall somewhere in that ballpark, give or take a few cents, when it comes to the cost of Secondary DNS.

Secondary DNS is a Must-have Solution in This Modern Age

Businesses and consumers rely on web-based products and services more than ever before. With this growing reliance also comes the demand for constant availability and an exceptional experience. As history dictates, outages happen and will continue to happen. It’s the “nature of the technology beast.” That doesn’t mean you should just cross your fingers and hope your domain won’t be among those affected. The fact is, provider and DNS-related outages can be prevented with Secondary DNS. It’s a dependable and affordable solution that every domain owner should include in their online strategy.

Want to make sure your website or application is protected against outages? Schedule a demo today to see how DNS Made Easy can help. Our DNS experts will customize your demo according to the unique needs of your domain and help you create a bullet-proof DNS strategy.

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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