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DNS VPS Hosting: A DNS Server of Your Own

by Tim Attwood on September 12, 2011

Hosted ServerAs your business grows, there are a number of benefits to upgrading both your server hosting and its functions. You may wish to consider creating your own DNS (domain name system) server in order to streamline user queries.

The Role of DNS Servers – Why You’d Want One

In order to ensure that web addresses are possible for both humans to easily remember, the domain name system was developed. The DNS system works by tying the easy-to-remember web addresses that you know — www.mywebsite.com — to a unique IP address that is associated to the site. In order to access any website, your web browser must connect to a DNS server, which will search for the IP address you are looking for. If you do not have an on-site or hosted server that you use for this purpose, you will be connected to a public DNS server. The issue with this can lie in the fact that hundreds or thousands of queries to these servers are made, and it may cause a slowdown in the time it takes to query and webpage and receive the results. If your business is querying large numbers of websites on a daily basis, it may be worthwhile to use a DNS VPS option.

How To Host a DNS Server – Basics

In order to host a DNS server, you will need a server that is either local or hosted by a provider. Local servers offer the advantage of on-site IT, but can quickly bog down with requests if they do not have enough space alongside with other company applications, and maintenance can be costly. A VPS DNS server means that security and high level maintenance will be handled by the hosting company, and space will be scalable depending on what is required by your company.

Once you have a DNS server up and running, your network will then take care of query responses internally. These servers, known as “name servers” will take your query and first look to see if it is within your local network. If it is, the response time for the query will be negligible. If the IP address is not in your local network but has been recently queried, there will be a cache of addresses that will be searched, also returning a faster result. If the IP address is outside the local network and not cached, you will have to wait until a response is received from another name server.

How To Host a DNS Server – Advanced

In order to run a name server locally, you’ll need to start with a piece of name server software, such as BIND or Microsoft DNS. BIND is commonly used for UNIX name servers, as is djbdns. Microsoft DNS is one of the few DNS apps meant exclusively for Windows OS users, and is used with Windows Server operating systems. Windows PCs will come with DNS lookup clients for use, and only Server versions of the OS will come with DNS software. Specifications required to host a DNS server are not hard and fast, and typically a DNS will require a minimum of RAM in order to start with. It is the volume of queries being made that will determine the amount of space required on a server, and a DNS VPS will allow for scaling of service when it becomes necessary.

Getting Set Up

You will require two IPs to identify your VPS DNS servers. All such services will have options to route the addresses through your own server rather than the name server they use. You’ll then need to decide if you want to use one server for both IPs, or place your IPs on different servers. The advantage of single server lies in the cost and the physical space needed, but means your performance is effectively halved. Two servers will be more costly, but will also give you greater freedom in deciding how you want to spread out your resources. With many hosting providers, you will not be limited in the number of domains you can host, but on the amount of traffic your sites can receive.

A DNS VPS server will give you the advantage of faster page lookups, combined with hassle-free maintenance and reliability. Though initially more costly than a shared DNS hosting service, a VPS name server can give you greater stability and flexibility over time.

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{ 7 comments }

Rusher September 13, 2011 at 1:47 AM

I never really thought about the ramifications of using a public server before, especially the thought of “waiting in line” with thousands of others!

OhDonna September 13, 2011 at 1:50 AM

The thing I always worried about in terms of DNS servers was the maintenance. What a relief to hear that it’s hassle-free.

Texas2Step September 13, 2011 at 1:53 AM

That scaling of service is valuable. It can be hard to predict how much space you’ll need since traffic patterns can be so unpredictable.

Stoddard October 3, 2011 at 10:23 AM

That’s true, Texas2Step. All you need is a good ad campaign or a popular blogger mention your business, and suddenly you’ve got more customers than your old level of RAM can handle.

silkysmooth October 24, 2011 at 10:32 AM

sounds like if you have a windows pc, microsoft dns is just about the only way to go.

WrigleyF January 17, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Faster page hookups are an invaluable feature from a DNS server. The faster your page hookups, the more customers you’ll win over, you can bet on it.

Randy5 February 13, 2012 at 7:59 AM

I like that there aren’t a lot of specifications you have to meet in order to get a DNS server. And are there special things that a DNS server will give you that you don’t get from other servers?

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