DNS Failover: server monitoring and disaster recovery DNS Failover: server moni...

DNS Failover: server monitoring and disaster recovery


Server monitoring and DNS failover is a must-have for any individual and organization that interacts with customers via a website. Having a server go down is bad, not knowing about it and not having a reliable disaster recovery plan is even worse. Outages can happen anytime for reasons including but not limited to:

  • Hardware failures
  • System malfunction
  • Malicious attacks
  • Scheduled or non-scheduled maintenance

What is DNS failover?

DNS failover is in fact a two-step process. The first step is to actively monitor the health of your servers. Our monitoring servers check every few minutes based on your monitoring criteria to ensure that your service is running. The second step comes into play when downtime is detected. DNS records are dynamically updated in order to resolve traffic to a backup host. Notifications are also sent out with critical information on the failure. This way you can peacefully work on fixing the server without worrying about downtime.

How does server monitoring work?

There are various ways to check if a web service is up and running. For example, if you are running a website on http and https. You can use check the status of http(s)://www.yourdomain.com. You can also do a keyword check on http(s)://www.yourdomain.com to make sure that the correct web page is being returned.

We currently offer the following monitoring types and your server is polled as often as the check interval you set up:

HTTP(s) on a given URL
Keyword check on a given URL
Ping on a given host or IP
Port check on a given host and port

Failover best practice

  • Always have a backup plan. Whether it is a backup server node or a simple offline page, have it prepared and set up as part of the failover plan before the outage occurs.
  • Set up a reasonable TTL. TTL or Time to Live is used to limit the lifespan of data on a network. Data is discarded if the prescribed TTL elapses. Using a TTL between 60 to 600 seconds can refresh DNS caches more promptly and reduce downtime to a minimum.
Learn more about the features and benefits of System Monitoring & DNS Failover.

Anthony Cooper
July 27, 2017 AT 1:46 PM

I started a trial account to monitor my website and set it up so users will be redirected to an offline message page if the website is down. It seems to be working well so far. My question is how many servers do you have running to monitor the uptime of my website?


July 27, 2017 AT 2:01 PM

We have monitor servers running at different geolocations. There are 2 monitors running at all times checking the uptime of your site. If one of them reports your website is down, the 3rd and 4th server will be engaged to verify the website status. The verification is performed multiple times within a very short interval. Only when your site is verified to be down, the offline settings will take effect. With our redundant servers located at multiple locations, you do not need to worry about false alerts.


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