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  1. #1

    Running your own DNS Server - advantages?

    Out of curiosity how many of you are running your own dns service for clients?

    Are there any advantages or disadvantages to this?

    Is it hard to setup?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,063
    I do. It's pretty easy if you use the DNS through cPanel. I have also setup dedicated DNS boxes uses bind. If you know how DNS works, the process is pretty painless. It's great when I need to create new zone files on the fly and such.

    We also utilize some private DNS zones for monitoring and access to things within our private network between data centers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    483
    Are there any advantages or disadvantages to this?
    Many advantages. You can easily manage the dns if you have any control panel (plesk,cpanel etc) integrated. And it really helps if you plan to resell accounts.

    Is it hard to setup?
    Its easy especially when you have a control panel.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    UK/USA/Switzerland
    Posts
    25
    Advantages:

    -You can set your own TTL values and other parameters
    -You can easily make changes to the name servers and flush/force updates (no waiting for someone else's system to update)
    -If you have enough domains, the costs could be lower than paying a service provider for hosted DNS
    -Can add value to existing services, especially if your offer a premium/managed service
    -You learn a lot more than simply using someone else's web interface

    Disadvantages:
    -Additional admin work (keep up to date with latest vulnerabilities, make sure servers run smoothly and available)
    -You become HIGHLY unpopular if they break as usually many clients are affected (i.e. entire business offline)
    -Need to watch out for DDoS and other nasties that can cause outages too..
    -Possibly additional costs if you do it properly, ideally host in different locations/countries/continents, on sufficient bandwidth and server resources and if you can, on different AS numbers.

    My opinion: (as someone who runs an anycast DNS platform)
    I would say, unless you know DNS very well, can troubleshoot complex issues, have a lot of monitoring in place and you configure your name servers properly (there are many misconfigured examples out on the Internet) it may be best to use a service provider who can take care of this for you.

    Hope that helps..

    Regards,
    Andy Ashley.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    442
    I would look at what the previous poster said.

    For a small group of servers, DNS is still a big pain to learn correctly, and securely.

    For a larger group, especially networked and all that, DNS (securely done) has a pretty high learning curve.

    That being said.....

    Your own networks are going to need their own dns locally anyway, right?

    I say go third party until you can spend the time and money to learn, if it is a business you are running. If your own stuff, I would do it locally.


    Take heed to those who mention 'take great care' because you can screw it up pretty easily...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,063
    Quote Originally Posted by qube_ms View Post
    Advantages:

    -You can set your own TTL values and other parameters
    -You can easily make changes to the name servers and flush/force updates (no waiting for someone else's system to update)
    -If you have enough domains, the costs could be lower than paying a service provider for hosted DNS
    -Can add value to existing services, especially if your offer a premium/managed service
    -You learn a lot more than simply using someone else's web interface

    Disadvantages:
    -Additional admin work (keep up to date with latest vulnerabilities, make sure servers run smoothly and available)
    -You become HIGHLY unpopular if they break as usually many clients are affected (i.e. entire business offline)
    -Need to watch out for DDoS and other nasties that can cause outages too..
    -Possibly additional costs if you do it properly, ideally host in different locations/countries/continents, on sufficient bandwidth and server resources and if you can, on different AS numbers.

    My opinion: (as someone who runs an anycast DNS platform)
    I would say, unless you know DNS very well, can troubleshoot complex issues, have a lot of monitoring in place and you configure your name servers properly (there are many misconfigured examples out on the Internet) it may be best to use a service provider who can take care of this for you.

    Hope that helps..

    Regards,
    Andy Ashley.
    Good advice, basically what I was trying to say, he said it better.

  7. #7
    Bind can be quite complex to configure manually so definitely go for one of the control panels. It does give you a lot more flexibility if you run it yourself though.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,063
    Quote Originally Posted by Stratogen View Post
    Bind can be quite complex to configure manually so definitely go for one of the control panels. It does give you a lot more flexibility if you run it yourself though.
    I agree. cPanel has a good interface and it pretty much configures itself. cPanel also has a "dns only" version that is free. It will snyc up all your zones and operates as a DNS cluster. I run on VPSes in different data centers to provide some DNS flexibility.

  9. #9
    adding to the list of disadvantages:

    1. clients come to you for dns support
    2. most hosts are in a single location
    3. you may be doing something in which you are not a true expert
    edgedirector.com
    managed dns global failover and load balance (gslb)
    exactstate.com
    uptime report for webhostingtalk.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    354
    it's like pulling out your own teeth. you can do it, but you're better off going to the dentist.

  11. #11
    So my next question

    Once you configure bind on your system and theoretically have the DNS service running how do you point your domain to your IP

    Say I registed my domain with godaddy - what are the next steps once I have bind up and running on my box?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Dallas and Houston, Texas
    Posts
    21
    You'll have to log into your domain management account at your registrar and "register" your DNS servers. Once the server is registered successfully then you can point domains to those servers for resolution.



    Quote Originally Posted by abridgel View Post
    So my next question

    Once you configure bind on your system and theoretically have the DNS service running how do you point your domain to your IP

    Say I registed my domain with godaddy - what are the next steps once I have bind up and running on my box?
    David Herr
    COO
    http://www.opus-3.com

  13. #13
    Is it necessary to have two DNS services running on your box?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    430
    Quote Originally Posted by abridgel View Post
    Is it necessary to have two DNS services running on your box?
    No, but you should have multiple dns servers in different datacenters.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Dallas and Houston, Texas
    Posts
    21
    two DNS services? You should only have one instance of the service running on the box. Best practices is to have at least two DNS servers running, preferably on separate networks. If you only have one server you may want to look at subscribing to one of the commercial DNS services to run as a slave to your server to ensure DNS records are reachable.
    David Herr
    COO
    http://www.opus-3.com

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