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Round Robin DNS: How does it work?

There’s a common goal all online business people and web managers share: reaching as much traffic as possible. But sometimes, while pursuing this objective, people forget a key next step. You have to be prepared to handle big traffic loads. Otherwise, your current system can be easily saturated and crashed.

Does it sound hard? Well, there are different technologies and strategies you can use. Today, we will talk about Round Robin DNS.

Round Robin DNS: Definition

Round Robin DNS is a DNS solution to distribute the traffic among different servers. It allows the redirection of traffic to other servers to prevent stress points and overloads for your servers. If you are familiar with the concept of load balancing, well, this is one option to do it.

Round Robin DNS: How does it work?

To distribute the traffic, Round Robin DNS works by following the principle of rotation. It also considers the moment a user query is gotten and the number of available servers you have. Briefly talking, it creates a queue of servers, so every time a DNS query arrives, Round Robin DNS gives the IP address of the next server in the queue to serve the query.

Let’s go into detail. Deploying Round Robin DNS, you will have several or many A or AAAA records with different IP addresses. Every IP address will be linked to a specific server containing a copy of your content. Users wanting to visit your service (web hosting or another) will send a DNS query through their browser. This last will trigger the DNS resolution process, and the authoritative nameserver in charge of the A or AAAA records will give the next record (A or AAAA), based on the order of the queue and respecting the order in which the DNS queries were received. This is how the principle of rotation is used.

When every IP address finishes its task, it will get back to the queue, taking place exactly behind the IP address that arrived before it.

Example:

In case you have 3 servers, the first user’s query will be directed to server 1. The second user’s query is to server 2. The third user’s query is to server 3. Then, the fourth user’s query will go to server 1, the fifth user’s query to server 2, and so on.

Using it, this cycle it creates will involve the authoritative nameserver and other servers that host your content, meaning your website, service, or application. The more available servers you have, the more IP addresses working for the same domain.

This is an option to manage traffic efficiently, so your network does not get saturated. As a result, the general performance of your business gets enhanced, too and visitors enjoy a better experience. Not bad at all, right?

Conclusion

As you see, Round Robin DNS is a very convenient load balancing solution, easy to install, and based on a simple but effective principle that can make a big difference for your domain. Managing traffic can be easier than you thought!