Yesterday I reported about local DNS problems happening everywhere in the world lately. I am talking about the underlying service that tells your web browser where the server for a webpage is located.
I did not even notice until my blog suddenly disappeared from the Internet. Luckily this was just from my perspective. 99.2% of my regular visitors did not notice any problem accessing my blog.
And as of today, Telefonica, the large ISP operating in Europe and South America, servicing millions of customers with usually quality low- and high-speed internet access has fixed the problem.
This is truly a misleading statement, because most likely the problem has fixed itself. What I mean is that the Domain Name System guarantees that all changes are replicated throughout the globe within a maximum of 48 hours.
I know we have been spoiled with the way .com top level domains for example are set up nowadays, which is, you register a new .com domain and it will be accessible in huge portions of the globe within minutes or a few hours.
However, if a network administrator of an internet access service provider (ISP) messes up the DNS configuration by accident it can take up to 48 hours till the system is fully operational again. That's inherent with the IT/network architecture in use. Nothing or very little one can do to speed things up.
Again, my blog can be reached “normally” again without using any DNS magic tricks, which I wrote about yesterday.
Business Strategy Lesson - Repeated
I used this as an opportunity to write the article, How Safe Is Your Web Business?, stating that once your business is rolling and bringing in money, you should spend some effort to build redundancy and diversify your income streams, remove bottlenecks, single points of failure, and so forth, …
I might add to this article from yesterday:
Not only write down the IP addresses of alternative DNS name servers like the ones from the free service of OpenDNS.com
Write down the IP address of every server you host a website for yourself and especially for a client as well.
Keep this info in various places and update it when changes occur or at least every three month.
In a physical notepad,
in the cloud(*),
and on your local computer or preferably local computer/storage network. You have a daily backup scheme implemented, have you?
(*) My reference to “the cloud” simply means: Put the info on the Internet where it is safely stored and accessible from anywhere in the World under normal conditions.
For example: As an email in Google Mail, as a document in Google Docs, in a backup storage space at Amazon AWS, in Basecamp, etc.
Do this for all business vital info, not just IP addresses, on a regular basis.
Let me repeat the last point, because that's the real gem here, “Do this for all business vital info on a regular basis.”
You need to make this a habit, turn it into a system, delegate it to employees, outsource it, … not having to worry about it.
This is usually the type of material students learn in the world of academia in business schools in disciplines like operations research. However, they don't learn so much about how to get started. And the entrepreneurial folks who get started often miss out that point till they get hit by this variant of Murphy's Law:
“Each single point of failure you have in your business will reveal itself in a way to maximize the potential damage.” --John W. Furst
I made that up right now, but it's true. Dead bodies in the basement have a tendency to show up at the worst possible moment.
So I have advised you to build multiple income streams and to build and rely on a big network of vendors rather than a small one.