5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using a DNS Performance Monitor

Posted on October 7, 2021 Backups & DR

Today, every home and business is dependent on devices. These devices need a way of communicating with each other. That’s the purpose of DNS. The performance of this DNS communication is essential to your business. This is why most businesses choose to use a DNS Performance Monitor.

But how does DNS work? And, what is a DNS performance monitor?

You might already be familiar with these topics. But, if you’re not you’re going to learn a lot today. We’re going to go over everything regarding DNS.

We’ll talk about what it is, how it started, and why it’s important. Then, we’ll dive into the specifics of a DNS performance monitor and why you need to be using one in your business.

So, stick around and read on with us. We have a lot of information to share with you.

What Is DNS?

DNS stands for Domain Name System. DNS matches websites and devices to an IP address. This IP address can be logged and tracked by other devices. With all of the devices each organization has and all of the websites on the internet, digital enterprises can’t do this on their own.

DNS keeps a running list of all the necessary IP addresses so communication between devices and other servers can run without a glitch.

The challenge, however, is that DNS performance can get bogged down by other obstacles on the network. And, the devices within your business must communicate quickly using DNS.

This is why most network services providers will use a DNS performance monitor to help identify the problem. From there, they can come up with an accurate solution to your network issues based on their DNS performance report.

Understanding DNS Performance Monitoring

So, how does DNS performance monitoring work? Well, to understand DNS performance monitoring, we need to understand DNS.

When you enter a website into your browser, a request is sent to a server for that website’s particular IP address. But, with millions of websites on the internet, that particular server can’t keep the websites’ domain stored in its memory. If it did, everyone’s internet browsing experience would be very slow.

The recursive server will send out another request to an authoritative name server. This server contains information on every domain on the internet. Once it finds the right domain, it sends that information back to the original, recursive server. 

This then goes back to your IP and device, allowing you to open the website you first entered into your browser.

Now, the question becomes, how do we keep track of all these server requests flying back and forth? Well, that’s where DNS monitoring comes in.

A DNS monitoring tool will track requests and server issues for performance. If your DNS is slow or interrupted for any reason, your business won’t be able to take advantage of the internet. This is because DNS is the way everyone connects to the worldwide web.

Here are a few things a DNS performance monitor will keep an eye on. Keeping these key factors healthy will help to make sure your business is operating efficiently on the internet.

Monitoring Your Connection to DNS Servers

To use DNS servers effectively, your devices need to be able to connect to them. A DNS performance monitor will continuously check the connection between the devices in your IT enterprise and the servers responsible for fast, efficient DNS communication. Namely, recursive and authoritative servers.

DNS servers, although they have a very important job, are still regular servers. Occasionally, they’ll go offline. By regularly sending out test connections, your system will be more aware of when a DNS server is unresponsive. 

This can help you and your team anticipate any connection issues before they happen. It can also make for more consistent network performance monitoring (NPM) results.

Tracking and Logging DNS Requests

A DNS performance monitor tool will help log and track DNS requests made from your estate out to the recursive server. It can also help to log every website a certain device within your estate views. It does this by logging the IP addresses of DNS requests.

The advantage is that your team can see every website a particular device is accessing. This makes it easier for IT professionals to block content to enhance network safety and employee productivity.

Your IT team will also be able to monitor how long it takes to complete DNS requests. This can give you a good insight into the speed of your network. It may also tell you if obstacles or problems are arising from another area of your company’s IT estate.

DNS Request Latency

This ties into the section above. Your device and server DNS requests need to be completed as quickly as possible. The first reason is that it makes for a better internet experience. The second reason may not be so obvious.

When your device sends a request to a DNS server, that request is sitting out on the internet. If that request is intercepted, it can be used to hack your company’s system and possibly cause a data breach. The longer your requests take, the more likely that possibility is.

You see how catastrophic data breaches can be all the time. Companies are always in the news apologizing for getting breached and leaking millions of customers’ personally identifiable data. Don’t let this be you.

The good news is that if you access any particular website often enough, you’ll only have to go to the recursive server to retrieve it. There’s no need to go to the authoritative server.

This will reduce the time it takes to process DNS requests for websites you use often. In addition, your team will be able to use a DNS performance monitor to check for other latency issues. Your team can then address and solve these to further improve your DNS speed.

Cybersecurity Monitoring

As we mentioned earlier, DNS requests are a perfect area for hackers to try and enter your system. With so many requests being sent back and forth every day, from your business alone, it wouldn’t take much for a savvy hacker to intercept one.

Once a hacker infiltrates a DNS connection or server, they can feed that DNS protocol a false IP address. This will then redirect internet traffic to a false webpage. That page is collecting user data while they think they’re harmlessly surfing the internet.

A DNS performance monitor tool can help you avoid these fake sites. When a site is first accessed, the performance monitor can examine the contents of the website’s IP address. From there, you’ll be able to determine if the website contains any major security threats.

Real-Time Solutions

Another benefit of a DNS performance monitor is the real-time notifications and updates. Once the tool is set up, IT staff can sit back and let it do its job. That is, as long as it’s set up properly.

As the performance monitor tool runs on its own, real-time notifications will pop up. These notifications are catching problems and security threats before they start. 

Members of your IT staff can get these notifications anywhere. They can be routed to a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. This allows your team to make decisions and stop security threats in real-time.

Reporting and Analytics

It’s important to receive information about your IT estate as fast as possible. The challenge is that sometimes you can receive a report quickly but it doesn’t have the details you need. IT managers need to think about what reports will best serve them and their team.

A DNS performance monitor will help you to pinpoint the exact information you need and get it quickly. The information can also come to you in a clear, concise report. When the information is brought to you in a simplified way, it’s easy to come up with a simple, efficient plan of action.

Receiving reports and insights into your business quickly, and in an easily understandable format, will afford you more time to react to potential issues. You’ll still need to react fast but you’ll have more time than someone having to analyze the data themselves.

Your DNS Performance Monitor Solution

That’s it! Everything you need to know about using a DNS performance monitor. We hope that now you understand and appreciate the benefits of using this tool in your business. From keeping your business safer to enhancing the speed of your everyday activities, a DNS monitor can help in a variety of ways.

If you have any questions about implementing a DNS performance monitor in your business, contact the Net Depot team today. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you have and can’t wait to help you and your IT team succeed.

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