DNS Configuration Is Typically Problematic. To Minimize Errors Caused By Errors, Security Experts Have To Review Network Protocols And Connections And, If Necessary, Use Accurate Tools And Software To Assess The Issue.
The DNS Domain Name System is an infrastructure that plays a vital role in the optimal performance of wide-area networks, especially the Internet, and alone is one of the essential pillars of the Internet and Internet-connected networks.
The domain name system ensures high availability, redundancy, and reliability features, and enterprise services and Internet-based activities are best performed. Any defect in this service can cause serious problems for business operations.
The problem with DNS is that a minor error in the DNS configuration file can negatively affect the performance of the service and all aspects of business operations. Failure or technical failure in DNS disrupts the ability of your customers to use the products and causes tremendous material damage to the company.
Large organizations that use a domain name system without rigorously managing configurations expose their businesses to significant challenges.
Reducing the speed of access to content, cyberattacks, and finally stopping commercial activities are substantial challenges to ignore this service. Unfortunately, some network experts believe that modifying a domain name system is easy, has little complexity, and rarely considered a necessary operational process.
Typically, small organizations ask a network expert to take on the task of configuring and managing a domain name system; However, as organizations grow larger and more complex, and the number of DNS servers and people playing a significant role in change increases, it becomes a necessity to prepare a team of communication infrastructure developers. Despite the large number of people making changes to the DNS, it is not surprising that sometimes things do not go as expected.
DNS problems are commonly caused by various factors, including human error, software problems, and hardware failures. Still, the most common cause of DNS failure is incorrect configuration files on DNS servers.
What can a small company do to make the DNS monitoring process work better with all this talk? Here are eight steps that any company can take to improve the overall quality of DNS and keep its programs consistent.
1. Manage DNS configuration using the review control
The simplest and most essential thing you can do to improve the quality of your DNS infrastructure is to configure DNS text files through a review control mechanism.
Many DNS service providers provide a control panel for these configuration files so that you can apply the changes more quickly. However, the effects of the changes you make are not visible in these control panels, so try not to use them in the first step and instead manage your configuration files using the standard text file format.
Once you have changed your configuration type to the desired file format, you can manage these configuration files using review control software. You have processes for managing source code in your company, so you can use the same or similar process to manage DNS configuration files.
The above approach is essential to maintain performance and reduce DNS service errors. This simple change allows you to do everything smoothly without disrupting the other parts of the development team responsible for reviewing network performance. Examples include checking configuration, workflow confirmation (a set of executable tasks that will stop until approved), and tracking when specific changes have been made.
2. Review all changes that are to be made to the DNS
Once you have managed your changes using a review control program, ensure that the changes you intend to make have been reviewed and approved. It is what programmers do when it comes to evaluating source code.
You can use techniques such as branches, pull requests, and merges. Specify a process to confirm all changes. Make sure at least one or more people review the changes before applying them to the configuration.
In this process, structural errors related to syntax, incorrect DNS settings, and possible problems should investigate. Issues with DNS configurations can be invisible, so a qualified expert should perform a thorough and structured review.
3. Document the purpose of the changes
Any change must document. Documenting domain name system changes can be beneficial in the event of a problem. For this purpose, you should use techniques such as inserting a point of view on how to apply the change and the reason for the difference. Understanding the reason for the shift helps to address potential future issues. It also allows you better understand why a particular change may be appropriate or inappropriate.
4. Automate the configuration process
The best way to monitor and manage domain name systems, especially configuration files, is to automate updating these files. Automating this process reduces the chances of making the wrong changes or a minor error causing the DNS to crash.
If you copy changes from one configuration file to another at deployment, you may be more likely to receive errors and even have a bug in your domain name system. The change automation mechanism ensures that changes are implemented consistently and reliably.
5. Use a more advanced change management system
Experienced network experts know that changing the domain name system is complicated. As the complexity of the domain name system increases, you should consider an integrated change management system that provides you with a simple and accurate control mechanism. These systems offer change request forms, license applications, and other similar procedures. However, the DNS configuration process must be done in the shortest time because it affects the business activities of a wide range of customers.
Lack of interaction with different departments can cause many problems in the long run. A simple change in DNSIt can affect the performance of other parts of an organization. Therefore, it is recommended that you interact with the various departments before making any changes, receive their suggestions, and then make the final decision.
Choosing the right option depends on the complexity, scope, structure, technical aspects of the organization, and the software’s capabilities. Options include NicTool, VegaDNS, MySQL bin, Microsoft DNS, SuaveDNS, etc.
6. Use a standalone DNS provider
A quality DNS service requires steps beyond configuration management and a quality operating environment based on a precise architecture. Many ISPs also offer DNS services.
The most critical tool that should continue to function normally during a service outage is your DNS. In addition, cloud service providers typically provide good quality DNS services. However, you should be a little careful if you plan to use a DNS service provider that offers other services such as cloud services.
You need DNS to detect and fix other glitches. If DNSAlso fails, the service downtime increases. Therefore, choosing a quality DNS provider that only provides DNS services will prevent such problems. It will disconnect your DNS (and any issues with your DNS) from other services and reduce the likelihood of widespread DNS downtime.
Make sure you choose a domain name service provider not affiliated with other companies, such as the cloud provider you are currently receiving services. For example, suppose AWS (a service provided by Amazon) is down. An independent DNS provider is expected to continue to operate, whereas if the domain name provider is also affiliated with AWS, this is not the case.
Some organizations set up their domain name system. If you decide to do this, make sure you run it using resources independent of other applications. You have deployed the domain name system in various data centers, available areas, and even cloud sites separately from other applications.
7. Separate the internal and external domain name system
Let’s take another step for the final solution we mentioned. Your domain name system may serve the organization’s internal purposes or may be provided as a business service to customers. The system provides internal domain name access to internal documents, including email and communication tools and other internal processes and systems.
The external domain name system provides customers with access to your company’s programs, products, and services. If you have designed a system that is supposed to provide two different types of services, you must use a precise management mechanism in connection with it. If the external DNS crashes, fix it if the DNS crashesInternal is more complicated.
For example, the lack of separation of external and internal DNS was one of the reasons why Facebook ran into severe problems in October 2021. Conversely, if the internal domain name system fails, you certainly do not want this problem to affect the activities of external customers negatively.
To solve this problem, you can get different services from different providers, apply different configurations to the domain name system, and check everything carefully before using the design to avoid unwanted problems.
8. Make a copy of the DNS, but place it on another company’s service infrastructure
Large companies place their domain name system on the infrastructure of two different providers. In this case, the first system acts as the leading provider and the second as the backup. As a result, if the primary domain name system fails, the backup will be quickly inserted into the circuit so that service delivery is not disrupted.
Ensure the backup is complete, operational, tested, and compatible with the original. In other words, it should not have any changes from the original version so that it can replace as soon as necessary. If you have implemented the automation process suggested in the previous solutions, this process is not particularly complicated.
The domain name system is a vital and critical service and should be designed from the very beginning based on the two principles of accessibility and high reliability. Also, when designing the domain name system infrastructure, you should consider security issues.
As mentioned, DNS, like other network components, needs constant monitoring to ensure it is running smoothly. It is recommended to use the management tools prepared for this purpose and warn in the event of a problem to take the necessary action as soon as possible.
DNS downtime is a common occurrence, But it should not stop commercial activities. By using the right processes and tools, you can minimize the impact of any downtime and ensure that business operations continue.