PoP stands for point of presence, and it refers to the physical presence inside a location (usually data center) where multiple connected devices or networks share a connection and space.
Perhaps, most people relate PoP to the ISP PoPs (Internet service provider points of presence). It is the access point through the one users can connect to the Internet of their corresponding ISP. Big networks usually have many more PoPs.
PoPs usually involve different interface hardware necessary to operate (routers, switches, servers, multiplexers, etc.), and they are physically located in data centers.
Talking specifically of DNS PoP (Domain Name System Point of Presence), it is every spot where the DNS provider has a DNS server or servers, and users can set an authoritative name server for their domain name. The user can choose DNS PoPs included in the DNS provider’s network (different locations) to establish their CDN (Content Delivery Network).
CDN is a method to obtain high performance and availability through the use of servers geographically distributed to be as close as possible to your end-users. The closer they are to a DNS PoP, the faster their query will be answered. An efficient CDN architecture relies on multiple PoPs.
DNS PoP vs data center (differences).
PoP means your business has a specific point of presence (server) in a defined location. Your business’ CDN, therefore, may include different PoPs. In contrast, a data center is a place or facility that physically hosts a large number of servers.
DNS providers don’t need to create whole data centers in each location that they want to provide. Instead, they can use already well-connected and well-located data centers and collocate their hardware (servers) inside them. Then, through software, they can offer PoPs to their users and share the hardware resources.
Usually, the DNS provider is taking care of the software part of their server/s inside a data center, while the company owns the data center, takes care of the infrastructure like electricity, internet, environmental control, etc.
The data centers can host servers of multiple companies and purposes. The same data center can be a PoP for different DNS providers at the same time.
DNS PoP benefits.
Queries from your clients all around the world can be responded fast and properly through DNS PoPs. Users’ queries won’t have to travel far away to a different continent or country to get an answer.
DNS PoPs can save the site’s loading time. While it won’t affect the dynamic content by itself, it will reduce the time of the DNS resolution. Every time a domain is requested, due to the PoPs, the domain will be resolved easily and without delay. Only the dynamic content will be requested to a data center, but you already saved time from the DNS resolution by then.
Congestion will be better managed. Not every request will have to travel to the primary authoritative server to be attended and can be handled by the closest PoP.
PoPs strategically chosen create a very useful CDN, more coverage, redundancy, performance, more proximity with users, and a better experience for them.
Having DNS PoPs is a smart decision for your business. 100% uptime and fast DNS response make the investment totally worth it. You won’t regret it!