Because of the unique position that the Domain Name System (DNS) employs, it can be used as an effective tool for handling performance issues at many different levels.
DNS sits independently from the rest of your system, allowing changes to made throughout your system, independent from your hosting or cloud provider.
Infrastructure-Level Performance Issues
The most familiar sort of performance issues are those seen within your own infrastructure. These could be caused by capacity issues within your application, or by failing or misconfigured hardware, either directly within your infrastructure or within the local net‐ working infrastructure.
As discussed, cloud provision increasingly takes resolution of these latter issues out of your hands.However, what cloud takes away with one hand it gives back with the other, allowing rapid recreation and upscaling of systems.
DNS offers an ideal methodology for managing resolution of these situations. Whether the resolution is expanding capacity or recreating the system elsewhere, the DNS records can be quickly updated to point to the improved solution.
Network-Level Performance Issues
As the use and reliance on the public internet increase, so do network-level, performance-related issues. Whether these are internet-level routing issues or failed peering issues associated with the data center you are using, these can have dramatic effects on the performance as well as availability of your systems.
However, as with the issues mentioned in a previous blog, DNS offers an ideal solution for dealing with these issues.
Whether the decision is to recreate systems in a different cloud region or to switch over to a backup or Disaster Recovery (DR) system, DNS records can allow for a dynamic switchover to the replacement system.
Geographic Performance Issues
An additional area where DNS can be used to mitigate performance issues is where issues are seen in performance for specific geographic locations. This could be illustrated in data coming back from your Real User Monitoring (RUM) systems or in issues identified in your IPM system.
If your DNS provider offers geolocation, then your DNS records can be updated to point to a better-performing version of your system. This can be either temporary or permanent, depending on the nature of the issue.