New Innovations Unveiled at Cisco Live 2024


Modern DNS and the Value of One Second

By Jonathan Lewis
| | 5 min read


What if we told you that 1 second could mean 7% more revenue?

Time is Money

Seconds count big time in terms of website conversions, revenue, stickiness... loyalty. That’s why application performance monitoring is a multi-billion dollar business. The graphic below shows how critical performance is to business result.

Stats about website speed
Figure 1: How speed affects your website. (Credit: Hubspot)

DNS is Basically the Front Door

DNS is the first step connecting your users to your app and multiple DNS lookups might be needed to render all the content for page load. So first and foremost, the DNS lookup process has to be fast, 30ms or less is best. But DNS answers don’t just have to be fast, they need to be intelligent.

Companies that rely on delivering awesome digital experiences have adopted advanced DNS traffic management techniques to better connect to their users; like combining real-time monitoring with DNS to ensure users are never directed to a point of presence (POP) that isn’t available. Next, route users to the closest available POP, as that’s more likely to respond faster (less network delay - latency). These two techniques alone can make a big difference, but a modern DNS can do a lot better.

A modern DNS platform that ingests real-time network and data center telemetry can use that data to improve over simple DNS geo-routing. For example, the closest POP might not always be the best for the end-user. The closest might be experiencing excessive latency, or it might be experiencing a traffic surge that will delay your user getting a response. Advanced DNS traffic management is able to prevent these issues from impacting the digital experience of your end-users. By being infrastructure aware, the DNS can direct your users to the lowest latency, fastest performing POPs, while preventing maldistribution of workloads across your infrastructure. These issues matter.

Given the transactional nature of network communications and web applications, 50 milliseconds of latency can add whole seconds to page load times in a browser... making traffic management decisions based on real-time performance analytics has never been more crucial.

Three Simple Steps

A recent EMA research report found that enterprises often struggle to understand the performance impact of third-party services, such as CDNs or cloud providers. In fact, EMA research found that a transaction monitoring capability offered by cloud-based DNS services is the top monitoring metric for digital experience management professionals.

DNS services that can incorporate real-time performance insight into its traffic management capabilities delivers immense value to online service operators. For instance, the DNS service can route user traffic to the cloud data center that is performing best in a given geography, rather than just the closest one has been shown to improve performance by 40%. Here are 3 things you can do right now, to bolster application performance:

  • Choose a DNS provider with fast and consistent resolution times
  • Use DNS traffic management to minimize latency
  • Use intelligent DNS global load balancing

Ultimately, whether you’re building a new distributed application or optimizing a legacy service, the best place to start identifying the real-time performance capabilities of the traffic optimization solutions available to you.

Subscribe to the ThousandEyes Blog

Stay connected with blog updates and outage reports delivered while they're still fresh.

Upgrade your browser to view our website properly.

Please download the latest version of Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

More detail