5G and Cloud Native DNS

5G is a big change for mobile service providers. The lower latency of 5G networks makes DNS a major factor in perceived and actual network performance. With "pre-5G" 50 millisecond radio network latency, a 20 millisecond DNS response time does not impact effective performance in a meaningful way. With the newer low-latency networks however, a slow nameserver is suddenly a main factor holding back end to end performance.

In addition, 5G networks favor a more edge oriented network, which is different than what has been delivered previously, with service providers hosting a small number of nameserver clusters in 'national' DCs.

Finally, DNS is in most cases currently still a 'bare metal' service, often on old legacy hardware. New 5G deployments assume a virtualized environment to facilitate deploying services at the edge of the network. This often includes NFV, OpenStack or VMWare NSX-T Data Center deployment, or nowadays cloud-native deployments on Kubernetes.

Because of these three elements, the 5G transition is a compelling reason to perform a DNS refresh.


PowerDNS has ample experience in migrating nameservers from bare metal to more flexible environments. Whenever time sensitive services get virtualized there is a legitimate worry if there will be a latency impact. A naively implemented virtual nameserver will indeed deliver a 95th and 99th percentile performance that is worse than a bare metal deployment.

Through experience on a wide variety of platforms we have developed configurations that deliver the best latency on common service provider virtual/VNF platforms.

Control plane

The transition from a centralised DNS platform with perhaps a dozen nodes to one that may have hundreds or even thousands implies a requirement for a control plane that offers decentralised operation but centralised monitoring, provisioning and configuration. PowerDNS is pleased to provide fully automated and monitored solutions.

End-to-end monitoring and reporting

With the growth of traffic levels, congestion can crop up anywhere. Such congestion immediately impacts DNS latencies, something that reflects badly on your operations.

To make sure your DNS platform shines, PowerDNS is pleased to offer end-to-end performance monitoring solutions or services. In short, this delivers high resolution quality assurance from many vantage points. By performing differential measurements, this platform can deliver a verdict on actual perceived network performance as well as help attribute problems to relevant network elements, links or servers.

Daily and weekly reporting meanwhile provides insight into average and worst case performance, plus flags time intervals in which configured performance levels were not met.

More information

For more information, please head over to our DNS in a 5G Network Core and Cloud Native DNS pages, or contact us directly.