Improving Reliability Using CNAMEs and Host Monitoring

Reliability has been at the core of the easyPress platform since day one. My favourite mantra here is, “fast, secure, reliable”. Reliable is third in that list but really it should be first. Reliability is the unsung hero of all well managed networks. But it’s not as sultry as performance and security. Clearly this is just a simple nerd’s frustration but I’ve got some hard data to back me up. The most common pre-sales questions we get are about performance and security. There has not been a single inquiry, that I can recall, about reliability. And that’s fine because reliability just needs to be. We built reliability into the platform starting with our very first pair of servers and over time the small improvements to the network, systems and software that make up the easyPress platform have built upon that initial base.

I’m writing this post to announce that we’ve taken the next major leap towards the fabled fault tolerant infrastructure. By leveraging CNAMEs and the easyDNS host monitoring service, the easyPress platform is now the most reliable version yet. Here’s the gist. Servers and networks fail. You can build the most redundant platform in the whole world but if the entire platform is in a single data centre you are still vulnerable to an outage because if that data centre loses power so do your servers and network equipment. The key is to be distributed. But, managing IP addresses across data centres run by different companies is next to impossible. Understanding that DNS is a powerful ally when building redundancy into a network (do a DNS lookup of google.com to see an example) we designed an auto-failover mechanism using the tools at our disposal. Every easyPress site points to a unique CNAME that we control so, if there is a problem preventing web pages from loading, our monitoring system will update those CNAMEs and point them to servers in another data centre that may not even be in the same city.

To get further details of how this system works and the steps required to take full advantage of the new functionality please read our help article Configuring Your DNS Settings for easyPress. We greatly appreciate our customers’ loyalty and confidence as we continue to improve the easyPress platform, providing a reliable, fast and secure WordPress hosting service.

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