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Do I need a secondary DNS server

Posted on 2013-05-16
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Last Modified: 2013-08-22
We have one DNS server in our small school running on W2003 server.  We have about 100 users daily accessing the Internet throughout the day.  Our Internet response time seems to be increasing.  What are the signs that I should set up a secondary DNS server on our domain?  Is a secondary server's main purpose to provide redundancy or will it improve my network performance?
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Question by:Ken Herr
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Accepted Solution

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asktech earned 167 total points
ID: 39171702
You don't need to setup a secondary server. You can use an existing public DNS server such as 8.8.8.8. This way when your primary server's response time is slow or timing out the workstation should be able to resolve the websites via the secondary.

Below is a link to the list of many other public dns servers made available by ISPs and other corporate level companies.

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/tipstricks/a/free-public-dns-servers.htm
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Assisted Solution

by:Akinsd
Akinsd earned 167 total points
ID: 39171754
Secondary DNS servers don't get used unless the primary is completely down or offline. To make the most of it, you can set up a cluster but that may not be necessary.

You may want to look at your Internet traffic and bandwidth usage. Most users busy themselves with online radio streaming, YouTube videos etc. you may just need to enable QoS and limit or block unnecessary traffic.

All the best
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Assisted Solution

by:asavener
asavener earned 166 total points
ID: 39171939
Check that your forwarder is still working.  I've seen delays when the forwarder was unresponsive and every DNS lookup took extra time because the local DNS server would wait for the forward request to time out for every single request before performing a recursive lookup.
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Author Comment

by:Ken Herr
ID: 39172972
Thanks for the three responses thus far.  

I do not suspect that we are bandwidth constrained because we have a 56mb Internet connection with QoS, over a cable modem and I have verified that is not being overloaded.  We use OpenDNS to provide our CIPA required filtering but I don't believe that is a bottleneck either.

I will keep snooping for issues but I am guessing that what I am seeing is intermittent latency through my ISP.  That, however, is very hard to prove to the ISP.
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