End to end performance monitoring

DNS resolution performance is a major determinant in perceived and real network performance. The faster the network the bigger part DNS latency plays in the vital page load time metrics - and with 5G and fiber, networks are faster than ever before.

Departments that operate nameservers are therefore in a vital place to ensure that the service provider network is as snappy as it can be. Because slow DNS equals sluggish internet - something known to correlate strongly with churn and customer satisfaction.

How fast is your DNS?

DNS resolvers look up millions of different questions, some of which are well known and predictable (like 'facebook.com'), others far less so. The page load time of modern website depends on the performance of many different domain names, often with obscure names, hidden deeply within CDN networks.

Modern day networks also exhibit newer failure modes. CGNAT, security firewalls and software defined networks deliver important capabilities but can also impact DNS performance negatively. A busy nameserver installation processes millions of packets per second, something that often upsets network elements not specialised in dealing with vast amounts of query state.

The access networks over which nameservers operate are also getting more and more complex. Often outsourced to third parties, vast modern day access networks contain many opportunities for congestion and delays.

Such congestion immediately impacts DNS performance even though the DNS server operator is not at fault. But in a world where DNS is frequently blamed for bad performance, DNS operators need good visibility on end-to-end performance

PowerDNS end-to-end performance measurements

Traditional DNS service level monitoring consists of sending small numbers of queries every minute and alerting if these resolve slowly or not perfectly.

Modern end-to-end monitoring sends thousands of queries per second in total from many different vantage points to deliver a unified view of nameserver performance.

Individual performance monitoring nodes finding bad performance can lead to the discovery of congested networking elements.

Meanwhile, a slowdown impacting many probes simultaneously points to problems residing within the nameserver platform.

Finally, fine-grained statistics on networking connectivity from the DNS resolver to the internet enables PowerDNS operators to determine if slow DNS performance is actually being caused by such things as transit provider congestion or bad peering.

PowerDNS Assured Performance

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.

Of specific note, the PowerDNS end-to-end platform is able to monitor both PowerDNS and non-PowerDNS deployments, providing assurance or intelligence even before a possible migration to PowerDNS.

More information

For more information, please contact us directly so we can help you gain & maintain insight on your DNS performance.