NS3 and NS4 backup records enabled for all hosts
The NS records turn a floating domain into a fully functional host by anchoring it to a certain server on the web.
Since the availability of a web server might at times be compromised, most domain names have two name servers – the main one (NS1) and a backup server (NS2), which takes over if the first one is experiencing problems.
To further secure the customers’ online presence, we’ve also added a second (NS3) and a third (NS4) backup name server to each host.
Most hosting providers provide only two name servers per host
It is a common practice in the web hosting industry hosts to be assigned only two name servers by default. This means that they will have only one backup server, which is usually located in the same data center. Even if the provider offers more than one backup server, the second one will still be located in the same data center.
This way, if a major problem in the data center’s network occurs, which is not uncommon in the industry as practice has shown, the customers’ sites will be left out of the game.
Thousands of users still keep bitter memories of the major network outage at the EIG’s data center in Provo, Utah, earlier this year, which took many servers down and left their sites offline in the course of days. EIG keeps customers of leading hosting providers like Hostgator and BlueHost under one roof, so we can all imagine the scope of the issue.
Only users who had their own backup name servers in other data centers, were able to survive the crash.
A location-based name server backup service
We’ve learned from experience that the use of different networks to handle name resolution within one and the same data center is not a solid guarantee for online availability. This is why, our admins implemented backup name servers in three different locations around the globe – NS2 in the Chicago data center (already existing), NS3 in the UK data center and NS4 in the Finnish data center.
This way, in the event of a massive network disruption in the Chicago data center, each next-level backup server will be able to take over the job from the previous one in the chain.
A backup name server (NS3) in the UK data center
While implementing the location-based backup service, our admins first added a name server in the Pulsant data center in Maindenhead, UK.
The UK facility has direct connections to international backbones and a very secure infrastructure. Also, the UK is a country with a lower risk of natural disasters like tsunamis and hurricanes, as compared to the USA.
A backup name server (NS4) in the Finnish data center
We’ve selected the data center in Finland to house the fourth name server for a reason. Located in an underground compound, which used to accommodate the Finnish Defence Forces, the data center can withstand even an atomic bomb attack.
Apart from the natural protection against disasters of all sorts, the facility offers an iron-clad security system, which further guarantees the flawless performance of the sites hosted there.
With the implementation of NS3 and NS4 name servers in different locations, you can now offer your customers a much more stable web hosting service, resistant to network failures and natural disasters, which, as we know, no host is immune to nowadays.
This addition will help you convert those clients of yours who only have a domain into actual hosting customers, since you will offer them triple online protection for their sites – something, which is unthinkable with their current host.
Originally published Friday, November 28th, 2014 at 5:29 pm, updated December 5, 2014 and is filed under Web Hosting Platform.