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Best practices for running DNS caching servers

Your new DNS infrastructure is up and running! Here's what to watch for, how to monitor, and tips for patches and upgrades.

  • Run DNS process on server < 20% CPU
  • Maximize cache hit ratio by managing the memory cache value
  • Configure recursive Contexts to be at 10-15% of total available RC's during sustained operation
  • Distribute as much as possible
  • Keep servers as close as possible to subscribers
  • Use multiple operating systems and hardware types if your operations and deployment methods allow.
    • This is usually hard and could become cost prohibitive
      • Resources that understand multiple OS's
      • Multiple operating procedures for support
      • Varying deployment models
      • Expensive to operate
    • Performance metrics could vary based on the OS/hardware type

Monitoring: It is very important to keep track of every available system and software metric to keep your environment running at 99.999% uptime.

  • CPU utilization
  • MEM utilization
  • DISK utilization
  • I/O Subsystem stats
  • Interface statistics
  • Caching Server Process
  • Recursive context statistics
  • Queries per second
  • Top clients devices generating DNS queries
  • Top domains accessed

Patches and upgrades:

  • Validate patches/upgrades in a lab environment
  • Initially deploy patches/upgrades to a single server or a site and run for a period your operations team are comfortable with
  • Update any methods and procedures (M&Ps) for your operations team if new features and or functions have been added.

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