SaaS adoption has been predicted to grow at a rate of 11% CAGR from 2021-2025¹. With the ever-increasing adoption of SaaS, businesses need to be proactive to ensure application delivery has a high uptime and be prepared for any impediments that can lead to a breakdown. In the competitive world, even a small downtime can mean the difference between success and failure. The repercussions of downtime are drastic in the case of SaaS applications where customers trust the fate of their businesses to their applications/services and have mission-critical availability requirements. With modern-day consumer requirements, it is imperative to use solutions that allow you to continuously monitor and control the delivery of these applications while shifting the focus from being reactive to proactive. This becomes crucial in cases where applications have a high stake in revenue bringing in the need for smooth application delivery with minimal disruptions. End-users need lightning-fast access to their SaaS applications from any device. The quality of the experience would play a major role and several factors can lead to a slow response. One of the major factors contributing to a slow response could be the DNS resolution that leads to DNS latency². This brings in the need for organizations to take a closer look at the factors that can impact the application performance and ways to optimize latency.
What can impact your DNS Latency?
- Proximity to the DNS server greatly reduces the latency. A distributed network of servers would be ideal to serve a large geographic coverage as compared to a central server.
- The amount of malicious DNS traffic hitting a particular server can determine the latency as well. A server with low DNS traffic can handle queries in a shorter timeframe thereby reducing the latency.
- Correct scaling of DNS servers can lead to lower CPU utilization thereby leading to lower latency. The key is to avoid incorrect scaling of servers leading to higher CPU utilization. Extreme cases of 100% CPU utilization can lead to slow or no response from the server.
- Caching is a very common technique to reduce latency. DNS servers can return the query within a short timeframe if the record is in the cache. Once the cache expires, the CDN needs to query the server to fetch the record, thereby increasing the latency. Increasing the time-to-live (TTL) can lead to reducing the DNS trips to the servers.
Why think about DNS Latency?
Resolution and network speed are critical in today’s time where the consumer is always on the move. High latency can create a perception in the minds of consumers that your network is slow without getting into the details of the root cause. If the DNS server is in your area, great. What if the servers are located halfway across the world? This could have adverse effects on the performance of your website. Especially in the case of data centers being geographically far from your location. In this case, a query must go through multiple hops before reaching the final DNS server. All four factors discussed above can play a role in increasing the latency at each hop.
How can you improve the DNS resolution time/network performance?
In an ideal world, the DNS query would be resolved with zero latency! One way to reduce DNS latency would be to reduce the number of hops a query takes to reach the DNS server. The two traditional models include DNS Backhaul and Server-and-Router based DNS/DHCP. Both these models have their drawbacks. In the traditional hub-and-spoke model, DNS queries were not designed to be resolved at the branch locations. Backhauling DNS queries to the data center can significantly increase latency by adding hops and network iterations. Server-and-router-based DNS/DHCP significantly increases site management that can lead to inconsistencies, higher costs, and higher management. Both these models do not address the needs of a fast, reliable, and seamless application delivery system.
How does Infoblox help address these concerns?
As enterprises increase their dependence on SaaS, these challenges need to be resolved at a global scale not just for internal and private environments. The user base is typically spread across the globe and organizations need a scalable solution that can support the growing userbase for their SaaS offerings. Enterprises today need an end-to-end cloud-based solution that can provide centralized management with unified policies and processes.
Infoblox’s BloxOne DDI is the industry’s first cloud-managed DDI that can help you optimize DNS by reducing latency. It solves the challenges of traditional models by resolving and redirecting traffic to the nearest point-of-presence (PoP) rather than backhauling the traffic to the data center. This reduces the latency and therefore improves the application performance leading to an overall improvement in the end-user experience. Additionally, BloxOne DDI greatly eases the management of DDI services and helps network administrators efficiently manage multiple remote sites. It is highly scalable and can accommodate new sites by simply adding new licenses. Users can experience an increase in performance for applications like Office 365 without worrying about the network issues at the data center. If this is something you need for your organization, contact Infoblox.
- DNS latency is the delay you experience while waiting for a query to return from the server. The lower the latency, the better. It is generally measured in milliseconds.