17 Nov

DNS Failover, Overcome your downtime!

As your business grows, it becomes more and more mission critical, and any amount of downtime is damaging. You could potentially lose hundreds, if not even thousands of dollars for every minute your site is down. Not to mention, it may also hurt your brand image and customers confidence. This is why firms and individuals today rely mostly on DNS failover. DNS Failover monitors your server and if unavailable for a certain period of time it will dynamically update your DNS records accordingly so that your domain name points to an available server instead.

DNS Failover is essentially a two-step process. The first step involves actively monitoring the health of your servers. Monitoring is usually carried out by ping or  ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) to verify that your HTTP server is functioning. The health of the servers can be assessed every few minutes, while more advanced services allow you to configure your monitoring time settings. In the second step, DNS records are dynamically updated in order to resolve traffic to a backup host in case the primary server is down. Once your primary server is back up and running, traffic is automatically directed towards its original IP address. Some of the reason why outages can and often do occur, happen to be because of: Hardware failures, Malicious attacks (DDoS, hackers), Scheduled maintenance and upgrades, man-made or even natural disasters.This is where DNS Failover helps prevent somewhat of downtime, allowing firms/individuals with time to fix and take care of the problems occurring.

Though it may seem DNS Failover is the complete package, it does not come without limitations. In order for it to work, you need to have backup locations for your site and applications. Even if DNS records are quickly updated once an outage has been detected, ISPs need to update their DNS cache records, which is normally based on TTL (Time to Live). Until that occurs, some users will still be directed to the downed primary server.

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10 Nov

What is Virtualization?

When you hear people talk about virtualization, they’re usually referring to server virtualization, which means a combination of software and hardware engineering that creates Virtual Machines (VMs) – an abstraction of the computer hardware that allows a single machine to act as if it were many machines. Each virtual machine can interact independently with other devices, applications, data and users as though it were a separate physical resource/unit.

Why is Virtualization used? Virtualization is being used by a growing number of organizations to reduce power consumption and air conditioning needs and trim the building space and land requirements that have always been associated with server farm growth. Virtualization also provides high availability for critical applications, and streamlines application deployment and migrations. Virtualization can also simplify IT operations and allow IT organizations to respond faster to changing business demands

Virtualization may not be a magic bullet for everything. While many solutions are great candidates for running virtually, applications that need a lot of memory, processing power or input/output may be best left on a dedicated server. For all of the upsides of virtualization isn’t magic, it can introduce some new challenges  as well for firms to have to face. But in most cases the pro’s of cost and efficiency advantages will outweigh most if not all the cons, and virtualization will continue to grow and gain popularity in today’s world.

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