Let’s say you’re shopping around for a new car. You’re checking out your options when you are presented with Car 1 and Car 2. The price tag of the Car 1 is a little higher than you expected, but you know it’s worth it. It’s impeccably made. Now, Car 2 looks pretty similar to Car 1. The price tag: Free. And who could say no to that? Sure, the paint job isn’t as pristine and the components aren’t the greatest, but it’s close enough… Right?
Of course it’s everyone’s first instinct to choose the free car and initially, it may seem like a great deal. But after taking a closer look and thinking about your actual needs, it doesn’t take much to realize that your free car will cost you more in the long run. As issues arise, whether it’s a flat tire or a blown gasket, you’ll find that the time and money you’re pouring into this car is far more than the initial cost of Car 1.
Free DNS is no different. What seemed like a great idea at the start will ultimately crumble, leaving you with your hands tied and a fragile network infrastructure. Every free DNS user arrives at this moment of truth sooner or later, as they realize that the cost of free far outweighs the price of a reliable, robust network infrastructure.
Whether it’s the cost of adaptation, turnover, human error or scalability, every enterprise realizes at some point that when it comes to their DNS, you get what you pay for.
When it comes to fixing and managing a network founded on free DNS, you have to get creative. And in that respect, it’s great. However, it lacks standardization. So what is a creative solution to one network engineer is a confusing mess to another. What happens when the person who built this series of creative solutions, who knows all the tricks, leaves?
Problem-solving is important, no question about it, but when the solutions aren’t universally comprehensible, that’s where the issues begin. If your enterprise relies solely on one or two people proficient in Microsoft DNS, the workarounds they create suddenly become endangered and lost when/if they ever leave the organization.
“In the end, workarounds, patchwork solutions, and hybrids end up demonstrating the need for a comprehensive resolution to the fundamental problems of Microsoft DNS. They are not a long-term solution. They merely delay the inevitable move to a more systematic, unified approach.” – The Cost of Free
Getting creative can only work well for so long. The more pieces you move in order the build your network, the more vulnerable the network as a whole becomes. With free DNS, any potential change in network architecture might require the creation of a new tool or a costly adaptation of the existing one.
Microsoft DNS offers the tools to build your own solutions, but they don’t offer the flexibility and reliability your enterprise needs to adapt and scale. If you’re going through mergers and acquisitions, good luck. As previously mentioned, the lack of universal DNS practices will consume more resources, more time, and more money. The lesson here? These “creative” workarounds will only keep your enterprise’s network in perfect shape if it exists in a vacuum.
When most of your time is spent fixing problems that shouldn’t be there in the first place instead of, you know, doing your job, you’re more of a firefighter than a network engineer. Patchwork solutions are never seamless. Just like a flat tire, you can only repair a patch so many times, with the initial problem breeding more issues down the line. This results in wasted resources with too much time devoted to administration.
“Building new layers on top of Microsoft DNS inevitably creates more complexity and a greater chance of something slipping through the cracks. The cost of developing, managing, and deploying these integrations over time can add up quickly.”
One thing is for certain, nothing is ever free (as any car salesman would tell you). So you have two roads in front of you. Either you invest in a sturdy, reliable network architecture that can grow and adapt with you, or you can do your best to anticipate the neverending costs of the problems of free DNS down the line. The choice is yours.
Learn more about the cost of free DNS in our fabulous eBook.
Critical conversations on critical infrastructure
Find out how your peers are managing their networks through profound change. Watch this series of live interactive discussions with IT pros & join the debate in Slack.
React faster at the wire with BlueCat and ExtraHop
With the BlueCat ExtraHop Plugin, automatically create missing PTR records, and detect and react to security threats before they reach DNS servers.
Yes, IT should see what developers do in the cloud
Errors and outages occur when admins lack visibility into DNS and IP allocation in the cloud. With Bluecat, central DDI visibility is within reach.
Sync ServiceNow tickets and IPAM with CMDB Plug-In
With BlueCat’s ServiceNow Configuration Management Database, admins can break the silos between ServiceNow and IPAM to improve IT ticket fulfillment.
Network admins’ top 10 checklist for holiday prep
From syncing NTP to having readily accessible DNS maps, here are 10 things you can do to keep your networks reliable during the holiday lull.