Internet Performance for Dummies

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16 Internet Performance For Dummies, Dyn Special Edition These materials are © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Any dissemination, distribution, or unauthorized use is strictly prohibited. DNS The Domain Name System (DNS) is a distributed Internet database that maps human‐readable names to IP addresses, allowing people to reach the correct website when entering a website address (also known as a Uniform Resource Locator, or URL). For example, the domain name dummies.com trans- lates to the IP address of DNS speed and reliability are critical to the performance and availability of your website and the success of your online business. Every visitor's first interaction with your website begins with a series of DNS queries. Poor DNS performance can lead to subpar customer experiences and lost business. Although the speed of DNS responses is important, DNS can also be used to route end users to the best web server loca- tions (such as a data center or cloud provider) based on their geographic locations. Doing this properly often impacts end‐ user performance on an even greater scale. DNS is somewhat analogous to a contact list on your phone. Your contact list maps phone numbers to the names of busi- nesses and individuals and, in a similar manner, DNS maps IP addresses to the names of websites. When you want to call someone, you begin by finding and selecting their name in a contact list, and then press the Call button. Similarly, when you want to visit a website, you begin by typing the name of the website, such as www.dummies.com, into a web browser. The browser sends a DNS request to a DNS server to resolve the website address to an IP address, and then connects to the desired website. To appreciate how important DNS is, imagine deleting the contact list on your phone and then trying to get in touch with someone by entering the phone number you memorized for that person. Many companies rely on free or low‐cost DNS services pro- vided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), hosting provid- ers, or domain name registrars. However, organizations that understand the importance of DNS to the end user experience use managed DNS services to ensure the following:

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