Amy’s sayings #4

I’m not exactly sure how many sayings that there will be in this series, but I do know that they have been critical to the success of my MSP. Phrases that let employees make the right decisions when you’re not there are a priceless management tool.

It’s always DNS. After you’ve checked DNS, don’t forget to check DNS, because it’s always DNS

Today it’s the one that my staff knows me best for. How do I know that? Because often when asking me for some advice or an idea on how to tackle a technical issue they will start the question with, I know it’s always DNS but…and then they proceed to tell me why they think that it’s not DNS. Hearing them say this makes me smile. They have come prepared, having already considered whether this is a DNS problem, asking for additional solutions to an unusual technical problem. It means that they are thinking logically through a problem and that’s what we need all techs to do. Think.

The internet runs on DNS therefore the cloud runs on DNS and therefore SAAS apps, data storage and even authentication run on DNS. We can go further and say that security runs on DNS too. DNS is the glue that holds today’s complex distributed networks together. So, if there is any disturbance that causes DNS resolution issues it’s going to show up on the desktop or mobile device as an application problem with some weird error that is often a misdirect and not reflecting the DNS resolution problem. In short, it’s always DNS.

If the data centers are redundant but not talking. If the SAAS apps are using an acceleration service that misfires or is under attack. If conditional access or MFA infrastructure aren’t accessible. If your files aren’t syncing. It could be DNS and its often-enough DNS, or some routing issue outside of our control to evoke the saying, it’s always DNS.

That it’s always DNS doesn’t have to mean that it’s our DNS or that it’s strictly a DNS record that is the problem. It could be local caching. It could be a routing table. It could be a sync service. It could be a DoS attack on you, on your ISP, or on something somewhere between you and your data. All of these things fall under the saying it’s always DNS, because checking DNS resolution is a good way to find out where the problem lies. Troubleshooting DNS will expose routing issues, sync issues, DoS issues or service failings at third parties.

It’s always DNS is the place where all good techs start their troubleshooting journey. Adopt it’s always DNS and your techs will always know where to start troubleshooting and we come prepared when they need to escalate an issue.

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