Skip Navigation LinksHome » Support » FAQs » FailSafe Questions

DNS failover and server monitoring

What is Nettica FailSafe?

How do I add Nettica FailSafe to my Bulk DNS Service?

How many servers do you use to test my server and where are they located?

How often do you check my server?

What kind of support do you have for round-robin DNS?

How many IP addresses do you support with round-robin?

What is a Rule and how do I create one?

I have a web server and a mail server. I want to monitor and failover both. How many rules do I need and how do I configure the DNS?

How can I test Nettica FailSafe without actually affecting my DNS or website?

I have Bulk DNS Service and am using Nettica for Secondary DNS. Can I use Nettica FailSafe to failover my servers?

What is Nettica FailSafe?

Nettica FailSafe is a DNS Failover and Monitoring service that complements our Bulk DNS Services. It allows you to monitor individual servers and automatically update the DNS service for the domains running on the server when a failure is detected. It also sends email notifications with the critical information on the failure.

How do I add Nettica FailSafe to my Bulk DNS Service?

Simply purchase the service from here. If you do not already have Bulk DNS Service it will add the service to your purchase. If you do have our Bulk DNS Service, it will pro-rate (eg, lower) the cost to your current expiration date.

How many servers do you use to test my server and where are they located?

We use a minimum of three datacenters to test your server. We currently provide service out of our Seattle, New York, Dallas, and Atlanta datacenters. If our initial test from one location fails, we will retry from a different location, up to five times in rapid succession. If all checks fail, we will failover your service and send notifications. If you are just having us monitor your server, then we will send the notifications without making any DNS updates.

How often do you check my server?

We poll your server as often as the check interval you purchased, so anywhere from every 30 minutes to every minute. When your service is in failsafe state we increase the check interval to every 5 minutes, or less if your normal checks are less than every 5 minutes.

What kind of support do you have for round-robin DNS?

There are two scenarios in which our FailSafe service is a good fit: if you have multiple servers in different locations running in round-robin, or if you have a single server with multiple internet connections through different ISPs. If you have multiple servers in the same location with a single internet provider, our service will work, but we would recommend you explore a hardware solution to the problem.

How many IP addresses do you support with round-robin?

We support two or more IP addresses in round-robin. Each IP address in the round-robin requires a separate rule.

What is a Rule and how do I create one?

A rule is the fundamental unit of work done by the FailSafe Service. It is the combination of a test and a set of actions to take as a result of that test.

FailSafe Example
Field Description
Rule Name Name of the rule. Must be unique.
Description Description is included in the email notifications so they may contain emergency contact numbers, etc.
IP Address IP Address to monitor.
Port Port to monitor. If not present, ICMP is used.
Url If specified, the service will do a GET request against the URL looking for the specified page data. The IP address field is always resquired, regardless of whether or not this field is used.
Page Data Page data can include Response Codes (eg, 200 OK), or text on the page. Text must appear within the first 1024 bytes of the response, including headers.
Service FailSafe or Monitor
Check Interval Ranges from 1 to 30 minutes depending on your purchase.
Active Allows you to turn on or off the rule without deleting it.
Status Current Status. Also contains the results of the latest HTTP poll if used.
Groups The normal and failsafe group templates used to manipulate your domains when a failure occurs.
Email You may specify multiple email address separated by a space.
Reports You may specify whether or not to send weekly and/or monthly uptime reports.  Real-time reports are always avaialble online.

I have a web server and a mail server. I want to monitor and failover both. How many rules do I need and how do I configure the DNS?

For this scenario, you will need two rules. One to monitor the SMTP server on port 25, and the other to monitor the web server on port 80. Your configuration for the web server is obvious. However, the MX records are a little trickier. The best way to solve this is to have the Mail Server in it's own template Group, and ensure that all MX records point to the actual name of the mail server. By doing this you will be following DNS best practices, and added benefit.

How can I test Nettica FailSafe without actually affecting my DNS or website?

One easy way to test Nettica FailSafe without affecting your website is to create your Normal and Failover groups, and then create a non-existent domain using one of your Bulk DNS credits. Setup the rule to point to your server. Specify a port that your server is not listening on (for example, 1234). You can verify the changes to DNS against our nameservers using nslookup or dig.

I have Bulk DNS Service and am using Nettica for Secondary DNS. Can I use Nettica FailSafe to failover my servers?

No, Failover requires you use our primary services so we can change the DNS records (with secondary service only your master DNS server can change the records on our servers). However, you can use the monitoring features of Nettica FailSafe to alert you when there is a problem.

^ Top