Is it worth it to host your own dns?

Ricky Spanish

New Member
I let cloudflare host my dns because it's easy to setup and only requires on IP on the VPS but have been looking at guides to host it myself for learning purposes. Is it even worth it to host your dns or is it better to let a service designed to do it do it? What do you think?
 

gonggo

New Member
Verified Provider
Depends on your goal, if you're happy with cloudflare then stick with it. CF has anycast DNS which an advantage, they also very fast according to http://www.solvedns.com/dns-comparison/

For learning purpose I suggest to purchase another domain, a cheap one, maybe .xyz tld (you can get it free if search), get a vps or two and search for powerdns, bind, nsd, maradns, etc.
 

mhosts

New Member
Verified Provider
It's always good to know how a service works from a technical perspective. Even if you don't host the DNS in production on your VPS, it would be good value to go through the motions of setting up a server, editing some zone files and getting your hands dirty!

To answer your question... Due to the caching nature of DNS, the initial lookup is what usually takes the most time (due to the lookup chain). If you have a really busy site, chances are there's a higher likelihood that your DNS is cached at lower levels anyways (ISP's dns etc...). So most subsequent requests won't even hit the parent DNS servers at all (until the cache expires).
 

sleddog

New Member
I host my own, primarily because of the control / flexibility it provides. If you're hosting only a few domains, Cloudflare or the domain registrar is fine. But if you have hundreds, and need to find all A records pointing to 192.168.1.2 and change them to 172.21.3.3, then a web interface is a pain :) A self-hosted solution with a db backend makes mass changes much easier. And you can easily backup/restore all your zones.

Anycast DNS is nice but I'm not completely sold on its value. Yes, it might shave a bit off the initial lookup, particularly for users far from your self-hosted DNS, but not much. My DNS is hosted in eastern NA. Testing from a Japan VM, initial lookups for Cloudflare-hosted domains are about 80-100 ms faster. That's about one-quarter of a blink of an eye :) (ref). Saving that time on an initial lookup doesn't have a lot of value for me, when Japanese users still have to drag every bit from a webserver that's also in eastern NA.  Now if web services were geolocated it would be a different story....
 

DomainBop

Dormant VPSB Pathogen
I host my own, primarily because of the control / flexibility it provides.
If you do it right you can achieve better reliability by running your own DNS servers than you could with a 3rd party DNS service and you can virtually eliminate DNS downtime...something you can't do if you rely on a single source of failure like Cloudflare which has had a few system-wide outages over the years which caused users' websites to go dark.
 
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k0nsl

Bad Goy
CloudFlare has import and export for DNS records which makes mass changes slightly less repetitive  :) 
 

I host my own, primarily because of the control / flexibility it provides. If you're hosting only a few domains, Cloudflare or the domain registrar is fine. But if you have hundreds, and need to find all A records pointing to 192.168.1.2 and change them to 172.21.3.3, then a web interface is a pain :) A self-hosted solution with a db backend makes mass changes much easier. And you can easily backup/restore all your zones.

Anycast DNS is nice but I'm not completely sold on its value. Yes, it might shave a bit off the initial lookup, particularly for users far from your self-hosted DNS, but not much. My DNS is hosted in eastern NA. Testing from a Japan VM, initial lookups for Cloudflare-hosted domains are about 80-100 ms faster. That's about one-quarter of a blink of an eye :) (ref). Saving that time on an initial lookup doesn't have a lot of value for me, when Japanese users still have to drag every bit from a webserver that's also in eastern NA.  Now if web services were geolocated it would be a different story....
 

sleddog

New Member
If you do it right you can achieve better reliability by running your own DNS servers than you could with a 3rd party DNS service and you can virtually eliminate DNS downtime...something you can't do if you rely on a single source of failure like Cloudflare which has had a few system-wide outages over the years which caused users' websites to go dark.
Previously I had a commercial account with DNSMadeEasy. Two failures (around an hour each) in two years. Not bad I guess, but there's a real helpless feeling when it's completely out of your hands.

CloudFlare has import and export for DNS records which makes mass changes slightly less repetitive  :) 
Yes, but a sql query is so much easier :)
 
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