cPanel DNS cluster – The Pros and the Cons!
A slow website can harm your business as much as a broken site – And you wouldn’t want either of these to happen to you!
That’s where clusters and High Availability setup helps.
As part of our Dedicated Support Services, we configure and maintain High availability clusters for our customers who are web hosts.
A commonly configured one is the cPanel DNS cluster.
What is cPanel DNS cluster?
A cPanel DNS cluster is a cluster solution offered by cPanel. It consists of one or more nameservers that share DNS records.
By physically separating your DNS service from other services, a DNS cluster helps to keep DNS functionality intact in the event of a server downtime, such as a power outage.
This way, visitors can reach websites on your server more quickly after the web server comes back online.
5 major benefits of having a cPanel DNS cluster
If you are a web host with more than one server and customers hosted globally, we’ll see how you benefit by having a cPanel DNS cluster for your hosting setup.
1. 0% downtime due to DNS service
DNS is a critical service that determines your website availability. Server downtime can occur unexpectedly, due to hardware issues or other catastrophes.
But with a DNS cluster setup, if one of the DNS servers goes down, the other servers in the cluster take up its role and serve the DNS for the website. This will help achieve high website uptime.
2. Faster loading of websites
Website speed plays a major role in online businesses. No customer is ready to wait for ages for your site to load. That’s when a cPanel DNS cluster benefits you.
To ensure that your website loads fast to customers around the world, you can have servers hosted in different locations and use the DNS cluster feature.
Geographical distribution of DNS servers not only reduces the latency involved in processing DNS queries, it also helps to share the load among multiple DNS servers and thus make sites load faster.
3. No loss of emails during server down
Servers can go down unexpectedly, or may need reboots for maintenance. If someone sends a mail to a domain in the server when it is down, they will get a delivery failure message and the mail will not be sent again.
This is because the sending mail server assumes that the domain does not exist. But if a DNS cluster is setup, the sending server will only assume the mail server is down, and holds the mail in queue to retry.
4. Easy domain transfer
A major hurdle involved in domain migrations is the nameserver updates that tag along. With cPanel DNS cluster setup, it is easy to transfer domains among servers.
After migration, the client will not have to change the nameservers used by the domains. The same nameservers can be used to point the domain to the new server.
5. Global nameserver setup
With a cPanel DNS cluster, you can use global nameservers for multiple servers. There is no need to maintain separate nameservers for each server.
This system enables server owners to easily update servers every time a change in data has occurred, which makes it easier to keep track of things.
How to setup cPanel DNS cluster
For web servers that have WHM/cPanel, setting up a DNS cluster can be easily done from the WHM. In the dedicated nameservers that are part of the cluster, we install “cPanel DNSONLY” control panel.
DNS cluster is then configured to include these DNS servers. For getting the optimal performance out of the cluster, we perform additional tweaks and configuration settings in them.
cPanel DNS cluster – A few hiccups we tackle
Myth of zero downtime – People usually relate clusters to zero downtime. But this does not hold right in the case of cPanel DNS cluster.
A cPanel DNS cluster alone cannot guarantee a 100% website uptime as it is only for DNS service. If the web server itself is down, the site will not load.
For customers who aim for that 99.99% uptime for all services, we configure custom High availability infrastructure with fail over setup for web server, database server, etc.
Performance issues – cPanel DNS cluster can incur slight performance issues due to the latency involved in the DNS record syncs.
At Bobcares, we configure DNS clustering together with Load balancing to overcome these performance issues. This custom setup enables us to provide fast performing servers with absolutely no downtime at all.
Connectivity between servers – In a DNS cluster, connectivity between the DNS servers is crucial. This is usually setup using access keys.
However, firewall rules or change in security policies can affect the connectivity between servers, leading to intermittent errors during DNS zone additions.
To avoid such issues from happening, we perform firewall tweaks and conduct periodic security audits in the cluster to ensure the smooth functioning of the tasks.
cPanel DNS cluster provides an easy way to ensure high uptime for DNS services. But that is not enough to make your site to have zero downtime. Today we’ve seen how our Dedicated Support Engineers setup clusters to ensure high availability for websites.