I was doing some thinking about DNS today and in particular, Dynamic DNS. I'm still surprised more people haven't heard of and do not use this type of service. DNS is one of those things that, in my opinion and if at all possible, you should outsource to people who can and will do it better than you. Yes, that includes internal and external DNS.
In short, dynamic DNS services allow you to provide and programitcally control things like multiple load balanced A records or CNAMES for a single domain or web service. This can be especially important in the context of an elastic cloud computing hosted service were certain things can sometimes be ephermal or come and go very quickly (like an IP address or a compute node). Just like every other part of your infrastructure, your DNS needs to be elastic and programmable too.
Some of the reasons you might use Dynamic DNS:
- Load Balancing - A Smarter version of round robin more or less
- CDN Management
- Site Migrations
- Disaster Recovery
- It'll make you all the rage at parties
I made a short list of some of the Dynamic DNS services I know about. Here they are:
Dynect Platform - http://dyn.com/enterprise-dynect-platform
Used this extensively over the years and have met the team. It's a great service run by an excellent team. I highly recommend.
DNSMadeEasy - http://www.dnsmadeeasy.com
Used this one a couple of times and it worked out well. Their interaface was a bit odd but I haven't used it for a couple of years.
TZO - http://www.tzo.com/
Have not personally used this one so I can't provide much more information at the moment. Will update in the future if that changes.
For further reading, WikiPedia Says...
"Dynamic DNS provers provide a software client program that automates the discovery and registration of client's public IP addresses. The client program is executed on a computer or device in the private network. It connects to the service provider's systems and causes those systems to link the discovered public IP address of the home network with a hostname in the domain name system. Depending on the provider, the hostname is registered within a domain owned by the provider or the customer's own domain name. These services can function by a number of mechanisms. Often they use an HTTP service request since even restrictive environments usually allow HTTP service. This group of services is commonly also referred to by the term Dynamic DNS, although it is not the standards-based DNS Update method. However, the latter might be involved in the providers systems."
So, while you are thinking about DNS I'll leave you with the following related tip...
Your DNS registrar is not the same as your dynamic DNS provider necessarily. Your DNS Registrar should not necessarily be the same as your Dynamic DNS provider and it most definately should NEVER be your ISP/hosting provider. Although, I have used www.dyndns.com and Dynect together for various reasons. This is serious business if things go south w/ your hosting provider. I have actually seen companies held hostage pending litigation over trivial matters when the wrong provider had registrar control. Your domains are an asset. Control them yourself and delegate control of them securely to someone you trust to get the help you do the work need.