The Importance of DNS Resolution
Domain Name System (DNS) servers are responsible for the complex interconnections within the Internet. The DNS servers are responsible for the interface between machines and humans because they convert human-designated domain names into into their corresponding machine IP addresses (ex. one of Google.com IP address’s is http://18.104.22.168/). Most people don’t connect to servers via these IP addresses, therefore the DNS process is extremely valuable.
There are 4.7 billion possible addresses available in IPv4. Because the number of IP addresses is fast running out, IPv6 was introduced. The IPv6 protocol dramatically multiplies the number of IP addresses available in the ecosystem. A large number of IP addresses translate into an even larger number of interconnections and DNS processes between clients and servers. Distributed DNS name servers, thus, become necessary to manage these processes. They are the first connections made by your web server, once a user types in your website URL.
Santa’s inbox is flooded with requests for website uptime this holiday season.
As an e-commerce company, the holiday season is probably a lot less about eggnog, holiday lights and stocking rooms with presents and a lot more about asking Santa if your website can remain up during this crazed time. After all, you’ve been nice this year.
Why Website Uptime Matters
We all know that Black Friday and Cyber Monday can strike fear in the minds of e-commerce companies but let’s take a look at why. These two dates represent the busiest times of year for e-commerce companies and this year, industry pundits predict that traffic will be the highest in history. (Consider the fact that last year 57 million Americans visited online retail sites on Black Friday, up from 18 percent in 2011, just to get a sense of what’s coming.) Moreover, Cyber Monday is the highest online spending day with 39 percent of shoppers pushing the “check out button,” according to data aggregated by Joyent and New Relic.
But here’s where things get really scary:
YouTube Down – 500 Internal Server Error
Problems at YouTube – Website Down
November 18, 2013 – Dotcom-Monitor worldwide monitoring network began detecting issues with Google’s YouTube video service since approximately 4:22 PM CST on Monday afternoon.
Monitoring trace route information from Dotcom-Monitor at the time of the YouTube error shows:
22.214.171.124 | 9 | 25 | 14.6666666666667 | 15 | Icmp error: 410 Request timeout.
YouTube is showing a custom 500 Internal Server Error. Many users have commented that at first glance the message appears to be the work of hackers. However, this message has been seen in years past and may be the parent company Google’s attempt to add humor to an otherwise serious issue.
The YouTube down message reads:
500 Internal Server Error
Sorry, something went wrong.
A team of highly trained monkeys has been dispatched to deal with this situation.
If you see them, show them this information:
(jibberish code continues for 62 lines)
YouTube 500 Internal Server Error as confirmed by Dotcom-Monitor website monitoring
GiveMN and Razoo Websites Down
The big giving day, Nov. 14, 2013, for GiveMN and the Razoo charity website that administers it, was a day of crashes due to a reported overloaded system leaving contributors without a easy online avenue for contributing to favorite charities. Dotcom-Monitor, a Minneapolis based website monitoring company, is tracking the the status of the website live here.
Getting the most out of your Website Monitoring Service
Ensure your website monitoring service is focused on reducing your IT costs, not its own cost to provide monitoring. The Top 10 features to ask your external website monitoring service to provide.
Many basic website monitoring services cache DNS – and that’s a big problem. Monitoring that caches the domain name server (DNS) process will not detect many DNS propagation issues. In fact, DNS issues are increasing and relatively common (note the AT&T DNS outages, GoDaddy DNS outages in 2012).
Slow monitoring – checking only once-per-ten-minutes, or more – misses errors and many intermittent performance issues that will have a long-term negative cost. Good website monitoring services provide monitoring frequencies of at least every five minutes, or faster, such as, one-minute monitoring.