Posted by: Heather Shy on May 10, 2017 at 10:15 am
The President’s Corner: He Who Owns DNS Wins
by Tavis Patterson
It usually happens once or twice a month — a frantic call into our Service Desk: “Our email is down! Please help get it running immediately!”
Initially this would seem to be a server or cloud service issue with Office 365 or something similar. But after troubleshooting, it often comes down to one simple thing — DNS. DNS stands for Domain Name System and is the way that internet names get translated to Internet addresses. For instance when you type in “www.taznetworks.com” into your web browser, a DNS server translates that to an Internet address, and then displays our web page. The same is true of email systems. When you send an email, your email server looks up the receiving email domain in DNS (taznetworks.com) and then looks for an entry that tells it where the receiving email server is located.
Now, why does DNS go down? Usually it’s due to one of two easy things:
- The company forgot to renew their domain name with an official registrar (think GoDaddy). This is a pretty straightforward fix — just pay the fee and everything will come back up.
- The client’s web site is being changed and the web designers moved their web site and all DNS records to a new server. More times than not, this happens when the client fails to let their IT consultant know about the new web site. The web company “pulls the switch” and moves the web site, and when they do, they move DNS servers without the old entries. Thus when someone attempts to email “taznetworks.com” they get no entry. The email is bounced back as undeliverable. Then the chaos starts!
What’s the moral of the story?
He who owns DNS wins. That’s why, with every client, we prefer to control the DNS records. We aren’t just control freaks. (Well ok, we are a little bit.) But really, we want to prevent this DNS aggravation from happening to our clients.
So make sure that you keep your domain registration records stored safely somewhere. Just about the time you forget where those are is when it’ll jump up and cause your downtime. We don’t want you to be DNS experts, just domain owners who rely on us to keep you up and running!