A Domain Name System (DNS) links domain names to the IP addresses that are used to route data around the internet. It is an important component of eCommerce performance: if a shopper’s browser can’t find the IP address of a store’s server, it can’t send requests and load pages. If the DNS system is slow to respond with an IP address, the browser and the customer are left waiting.
Often, eCommerce retailers have little control over DNS performance. For some, this causes a problem as a performance-optimized Magento store on lightning fast hosting can still be slow from the perspective of a shopper. Latency introduced by an unresponsive DNS nameserver is just as effective as increasing bounce rate as slow loading page elements are.
We introduced Nexcess DNS to give our clients access to a fast and reliable DNS. The Nexcess DNS is a multiple redundancy Domain Name Service that provides low-latency name resolution for eCommerce and hosting customers located anywhere in the world. Backed by an industry-leading open source DNS record management service called Octo DNS — which was originally developed by GitHub — Nexcess DNS also provides fast DNS record updating and syncing.
The chart above shows how Nexcess DNS works. All connections routed through both Route53 and Dyn, who are connected to servers around the world (to further speed up request responses). This helps to cut out the middleman and mean that data is being downloaded from the closest located available and as quickly as possible.
What to Look for in an eCommerce DNS Solution
eCommerce store owners and website owners generally look for the same things when trying to find a good DNS. These are:
- A low latency network.
- High reliability with multiple redundancies and a history of 100% uptime (or as close as possible).
- Flexibility in being able to update DNS records as quickly and easily as possible.
- Quick DNS record updates for when changes are made. The faster the better.
Redundant DNS Providers
Nexcess DNS leverages two of the largest and most reliable DNS providers in the world: Dyn and Amazon Route 53. We use two DNS providers for resilience: if one provider suffers an outage the other can take its place.
It is important to note that the DNS servers are not hosted in Nexcess data centers but in the data centers of our DNS providers. We provide hosting for the Octo DNS orchestration system, which handles the updating and management of records, but the nameservers are hosted on Dyn and Route 53’s massive and redundant global networks.
Nexcess DNS uses eight nameservers distributed across both DNS providers. Using multiple domain nameserver with multiple DNS providers offers an incredible level of redundancy and reliability. The likelihood of an outage affecting all domain servers at both providers is tiny.
The practical consequence is that your store remains accessible and responsive even if there is an outage.
Both of our DNS providers offer AnyCast DNS networks. Traditionally, a DNS nameserver was a single machine located in a data center. In an AnyCast DNS network, each nameserver is replicated across many different servers in data centers around the world. This has two major benefits: the first is redundancy; if a server fails, requests are routed to a different server.
The second benefit is latency. DNS requests are always routed to the nearest location, which drastically reduces the round-trip time for DNS requests. You can think of AnyCast DNS as a content distribution network for DNS records (although the technical details are not the same).
The consequence of all this redundancy and geographic distribution is a reliable low-latency DNS service that ensures your shoppers will always be able to reach your store.
Nexcess DNS is great for eCommerce, but it is just as effective at reducing latency and increasing reliability across our full range of hosting plans, including WordPress, Craft CMS, and ExpressionEngine hosting.
The Nexcess DNS Checker
Check your DNS and make sure it’s propagated with this simple DNS tool.Posted in: Nexcess