What is DNS and why do I need it?

DNS stands for Domain Name System – a Critical Component of the Internet

DNS or Domain Name System handles all the lookups or directions on where to go when people want to visit your website, send your company email, etc.   It’s basically a glorified directory assistance for your website, and without it, nobody can visit your site or any resource within your domain name.   For any size internet business, having your domain name and website up and running is about as critical as it gets, even more so if you sell online.     DNS isn’t cool or sexy, and honestly, it’s not really thought of that much, until it goes down.

What is DNS Graphic
We want to help bring attention to this critical infrastructure technology and inform companies both large and small exactly how important it is to your internet well-being!   To help with understanding the technologies and how they relate to each other, we’ve created a graphic below that simplifies these technologies into an analogy we can all understand, a house.  Looking at the graphic below, we can see that your Domain Name (Example.com) would be the plot of land where you build your house.    You can’t have a house without a yard, and you can’t have DNS without a name to serve.  Now that you have your domain/land, you build your house, and it all starts with the foundation.  Build your house on a weak foundation, the house will eventually fall down when the foundation crumbles.   It’s the same with DNS – its the next most critical technology in the chain after your domain name is registered.

Once you have your domain name (Plot) and your DNS Provider (Foundation) selected, you can then start to invest in web servers, email, FTP services, API servers and more – Your internet House.   All of these services reside within your DNS  as part of your domain and are 100% reliant on these services to be operational.   For a deeper explanation of DNS we urge you to check out Wikipedia, or a fantastic book by OReilly books called DNS & BIND.