Managed DNS RoutingWe’re excited to announce additional features for our Managed DNS service: geo-based routing and load-based routing.

Geo-based routing takes proximity into account while resolving hostnames to connect your users to the closest geographical IP address. Load-based routing provides efficient traffic management among your servers. Before we get into the details of the geo and load-based routing features and how to set them up in the customer portal, I’ll provide a quick overview of DNS.

Optimize the user experience through your DNS service

Domain name service (DNS) is an integral part of the web. Without it, hostnames wouldn’t resolve into actual IP addresses and users would have to remember each unique address to connect to their favorite websites or online applications. Since DNS lookups are one of the first steps in the process of loading a webpage, they play a crucial role in total page load time. What’s more, load time delay of only one additional second has been shown to measurably decrease customer retention and loyalty. Two important factors that play a role in how quickly a web page loads are the distance between the user and server and the responsiveness of your server to incoming connections.

The importance of geo-based routing

What happens if distance is not taken into account when resolving a DNS lookup? Let’s say we have two content servers: one in Europe and one in Asia. If a user in Europe is trying to connect to and the DNS randomly returns an IP address to one of the two servers, the user may be pointed to the server in Asia, which adds unnecessary latency.

How does geo-based routing work?

A variety of large databases store geographical and IP data. Using these databases and information from other sources, usually ISPs, location data can be acquired from IP addresses. With geo-based routing, a DNS lookup identifies the resolver’s IP address, assesses its geographical location and ultimately points the user to the closest server. Once distance is taken into account, your users’ load time is reduced.

Load-based routing increases performance and availability

Another factor that introduces latency for your users is how server capacity is handled. If your DNS service fails to distribute the load across your servers, both performance and availability can be affected. However, if your DNS service uses load-based routing, a hostname can be resolved to different IP addresses to efficiently distribute the load across server groups. This effectively points users to the most responsive server, resulting in reduced latency and increased availability.

Usually DNS services distribute loads across servers by using simple techniques like round robin. With round robin, DNS returns a list of IP addresses so that subsequent lookups return a different address each time to distribute the load among a group of servers. Our global DNS offers a more advanced method of load balancing which involves monitoring your servers to assess their responsiveness and availability. If a server, or group of servers, is overloaded, then the DNS service will resolve hostnames to an alternative server’s IP address.

Set up geo-based routing and load-based routing easily with Managed DNS

Through the Internap customer portal, you can easily set up both geo-based routing and load-based routing functionality for your servers.
Once you log in, you can set up geolocation in three easy steps:

  1. Create locations (enter addresses or latitude and longitude).
  2. Create servers that point to locations.
  3. Create server groups for your servers.

The process is just as easy for load-based routing:

  1. Create servers.
  2. Create monitors and associate them with your servers (using HTTP, ping or push probes).
  3. Create server groups for your servers.

Download the data sheet to learn more about the features and benefits of Internap’s Managed DNS.