Maybe It Is DNS

There are jokes about how often DNS is a problem. There are stickers, shirts, and mugs you can buy. There’s a classic haiku, which leads into a rant about the struggles of sysadmins. I will admit that I know a little about DNS, but I find myself confused at times and usually seek assistance from others when something doesn’t work. The old days of a single MX record and a few A records to map names to IPs has grown into a much more complex system.

DNS usually works. In fact, it’s lower on my list of things to check these days, though I do often get a quick DNS check when I ping an address. There are some failures, and these days when large companies have issues, it can affect a lot of people. Akamai had an issue and knocked off a large chunk of the Internet. When Facebook had an issue recently, it not only affected customers, but the engineers that were trying to fix things. Some couldn’t even get into buildings. I guess relying on a single domain might be a bad idea.

Most of us rely on DNS in our organizations, which means that a rising level of DNS based attacks is disconcerting. These are still behind the issues we have with ransomware and DDoS attacks, but when DNS doesn’t work, a lot of stuff shuts down. I could see a lot of people that work inside a company’s domain for most of their work being unable to accomplish anything.

I tend to use a number of domains for my daily work. Evernote and Dropbox are essential, but if one were down, I could still do things with local copies. is certainly important, but as long as SQL Server Central is up, I can do something different. Actually, if both were down, I could still write or create questions. I’m more bothered by slowness in my connection or machine than losing any particular service.

I haven’t every been too worried about DNS security, but I left sysadmin work when it was a simpler time. These days, I suspect many organizations might want to be sure they are paying attention. If they use a lot of services connected to one domain, I might think about having a secondary domain connected to a few. If I were in charge, a might be one I’d set up.

Steve Jones

About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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