What is Round-Robin DNS?

Owning an online business, it’s like playing a new video game. Once you think you just passed the hardest part of the game, bigger challenges arrive. 

It makes you totally happy and proud to increase your traffic crazily, but then… How to deal with those big loads that are now already stressing your servers? Definitely, you need to modify the strategy and get proper tools for managing the situation without affecting the constant growth.

Of course, there are choices for you not to struggle. But being a big issue, it could be hard to believe that there is a simple and easy alternative to solve it. It’s called Round-Robin DNS. 

What is load balancing?

Load balancing is a process for distributing the traffic across networks, using the different servers such networks include. 

Traffic, especially in extensive networks, has to be managed to efficient the general performance. Otherwise, you can have bottlenecks in specific points. Some servers could be overwhelmed with a high demand of traffic, while others could be barely required to work. In such a mess, security threats like DDoS attacks could be less detectable and more lethal.

Load balancing helps to administrate traffic to optimize the network’s performance. This process is strongly recommended. A backup in case of an outage and faster loading time are only a few more of its benefits.

What is Round-Robin DNS?

Round-Robin is a DNS mechanism for load balancing among servers. Through Round-Robin and your authoritative name server, it’s possible to distribute the traffic by re-directing it to more servers (IP addresses) to avoid stress in single points, based on when a query arrives. 

How does Round-Robin work?

Round-Robin will operate using the authoritative server and the other servers where your content (application, service, website, etc.) is also hosted. Enabling Round-Robin in the authoritative will supply many A records. Meaning it will have many different IP addresses for the same domain name. 

Those IP addresses are ordered like in a queue for being used. Their instruction is when they are not in use anymore, they have to get back to the line, taking a position just behind the previous IP that has arrived.

Whenever the DNS authoritative receives a request, it will send the first IP address on the queue. When a second request arrives, it will get the next IP address on the line and so on, creating a sort of a loop process. After used, IPs will be getting to the back of the line waiting for their next turn to operate.

This rotation of IP addresses to the different servers your network has allows distributing the traffic more efficiently. This way, networks can avoid saturation.

Why use Round-Robin DNS?

  • Installation of Round-Robin is not a big deal. It’s as simple as a common plugin’s set up.
  • Security. Traffic saturation can mean, DDoS attack in progress. Balancing traffic can prevent it.
  • High demand of traffic without a mechanism to distribute it, and efficiently attend it, won’t be able to satisfy clients’ expectations.
  • Optimization of the network’s functioning is always welcome. A healthy, fast, safe network is totally a priority.
  • Among the existent choices, Round-Robin is a cost-effective solution.

What to consider before using Round-Robin DNS?

  • The practical rotation process of Round-Robin has limitations. It only executes its IPs cycle but doesn’t check the status of servers (up or down). It could send the traffic multiple times to a broken server.
  • Round-Robin operates without considering also load factor, both on servers and on the network. 
  • Again, due to the short scope of Round-Robin, DNS cache and user’s cache/reuse could be an issue.

Conclusion

After decades of its creation, Round-Robin DNS keeps going as a popular solution for managing traffic. Now you know that to get the best out of it, you can try combining it with tech that can expand its inner limitations.

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