Some people may wonder why secondary MX records, or DNS servers are necessary, and until you have had an equipment failure, or outage, you might still be wondering. Most shared hosting out there will give you DNS servers (primary and secondary) since your registrar requires this. However, if you notice the IP addresses from a lot of these shared hosting companies, that IP address is on the same subnet! So, OK, maybe you are protected if the primary DNS server itself goes down, and the secondary will pick things up - but what about router or routing issues? And since a lot of servers are using virtualization, the primary and secondary address, are really the same machine, so what good are they if the machine itself has a hardware issue? Where does the mail go if someone cuts the cable, and it is going to take a little while to patch in a new one? Usually, if it's an email, the sender may get a bounced message, or it could go someplace into a queue for processing, later on. If you want more control, you need a *true* secondary DNS and MX service. Particularly in a different geographic area, just to be safe.
So, where can I get this, and how much? Well, I found a nice gem about a year ago, called rollernet.us and I have used them for the past year, without incident, as a true secondary DNS service. They do an excellent job, and I have not had one single issue. They have come in handy, when my ISP's router went down, and we still got our mail! Yes, since this is a true secondary DNS setup, my whole ISP could have been in flames, burnt to the ground, and I would have still gotten the mail for our domain. They even will queue messages for up to three weeks! Yes, three weeks! Most email servers give up after five days, but I guess things could be tough enough, where you need even more time, and you do not want people to have to resend all those emails again.
They offer a free service, but for the $30/year "donation", I chose the paid service. You really cannot beat their price, and their service is impeccable. They are growing, so it will be nice to see how well things scale. They used to queue messages for up to six weeks, but had to drop it to three. They own all their equipment, and do not rent or use any co-lo equipment. Just raw server power, performing a particular task, the way things should be.
I certainly give them 5/5 stars, but I am a little curious to see how well they scale. Something tells me their admins know a thing or two, so I am not too worried. Have a look on their website for more information.
Got something to add? Send me email.
More Articles by Bruce Garlock © 2011-01-10 Bruce Garlock