Buyer's Guide
Managed DNS
January 2023
Get our free report covering Quad9 DNS, Google, Microsoft, and other competitors of Cloudflare DNS. Updated: January 2023.
670,080 professionals have used our research since 2012.

Read reviews of Cloudflare DNS alternatives and competitors

Michael Wills - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Network Systems Engineer at McKesson
Real User
Top 20
Balances cost and functionality, speeds up provisioning, and reduces the DNS maintenance work drastically
Pros and Cons
  • "The provisioning is great. They have an API service that is simple to use and very quick. The changes that we make are replicated worldwide in a matter of usually milliseconds, sometimes seconds. They are done very rapidly. That's something that's obviously priceless when we're dealing with things like DNS."
  • "The reporting metrics are great from an API standpoint, but it would be a little bit nicer if there was some type of dashboard around that. There should also be some type of reporting that's more executive-level focused."

What is our primary use case?

We basically use their NS1 Managed DNS service as a secondary DNS server. So essentially they front end all of the McKesson DNS queries around the world.

It is a SaaS solution. So, we are using its latest version.

How has it helped my organization?

We were moving to this product from 2018 to '19. We were baselining before the pandemic. Nearly as soon as the pandemic started, the DNS queries almost doubled as people were trying to order more of anything related to medicine.

It has absolutely improved our DNS response time. Within our environment, we have customers who are worldwide. Our previous solution was located at a single location. Once we moved to this solution, our customers in Canada and the EU saw vast improvements. Our customers who were already in the United States may also have seen a more improved response time. It was not necessarily as noticeable, but it was probably still on the order of half the response time.

It has reduced DNS maintenance work in our organization, but it is hard to quantify. From an operational standpoint, the work has been reduced drastically. Before the solution, we'd have to send emails and go to portals, all of which takes a fair amount of time and interactions between people, whereas now, it's just an API call and the thing is gone or added. So, from a maintenance standpoint, mainly in terms of maintenance provisioning and deprovisioning, since we don't really see the internals of the SaaS solution, the reduction would be drastic. It would be a tenth of the time.

It has saved us time when it comes to manual processes. When it comes to provisioning, with the solution that we had before NS1, we had to tell clients that we had a one-week turnaround time, but now, we tell them that we can have it for them on the same day or even the same hour, which is pretty significant.

It has improved our end-user experience. A caveat is that with a lot of these things, if you're doing your job well, nobody notices you, and if you're doing them wrong, they're happy to tell you that everything is broken. I can say that so far, the end-user experience has been good. From a service standpoint, it has definitely improved uptime, and we haven't had to call them for any issues or anything to that effect. I haven't seen any problems.

What is most valuable?

The provisioning is great. They have an API service that is simple to use and very quick. The changes that we make are replicated worldwide in a matter of usually milliseconds, sometimes seconds. They are done very rapidly. That's something that's obviously priceless when we're dealing with things like DNS.

It is great as an API-first platform for DNS and application traffic management. It is very simple to use. It allows us to rapidly provision and deprovision things. We are all around happy with the solution.

From a metrics standpoint, the solution that we came from had no metrics. So, it has been great. Their service team is excellent in taking the time to provide reports for both growth and strategic planning. It has been great.

What needs improvement?

The reporting metrics are great from an API standpoint, but it would be a little bit nicer if there was some type of dashboard around that. There should also be some type of reporting that's more executive-level focused.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for three to four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

You generally hear about things when they're broken, and you do not hear from people when things are going great. Going by that, I haven't heard much of anything one way or the other. Looking at online services that evaluate such things, they're always near the top, and my anecdotal input would be the same. It is very reliable and very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It can be very easily scaled, but it depends on your company's internal processes.

It provides scalability to help meet SLAs and customers' demands without adding complexity. They're very flexible in what they can provide and very simple in that too. The more simple something is, the more chance there is of its adherence to the standards in the organization.

From an administrative standpoint, there is really no one who is using this solution at this point. Everything has been automated. So, it is mostly hands-off except for what people need to do specifically. From a service standpoint, the entire company uses it. So, it is being extensively used in the organization at the moment, and there is a recognition of its reliability because I've recently had more and more customers who want to start leveraging it.

In terms of our plans to increase its usage, from an architectural standpoint, it is driven by requirements from the business. So, at this time, there may not be immediate recognition around that or even demand, but down the road, I would expect to expand its scope.

How are customer service and support?

I haven't contacted their technical support. I have only interacted with their customer success team. Our experience with them was absolutely positive. They were wonderful. Their service team was excellent in taking the time to provide reports for both growth and strategic planning and helping us with just about everything that they could do from a validation standpoint.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We did use other solutions previously, but they were non-purpose-driven tools. They were value-added services that Verizon and Sprint, now T-Mobile, sold us. The reasons for switching were scalability and speed of provisioning. 

How was the initial setup?

From a setup standpoint, it was very simple. They also had a great customer success team that helped us along the whole way with just about everything that they could do from a validation standpoint.

In terms of duration, if you add up the actual time of doing the work, it was probably days because of the amount of data, but the actual implementation took longer because of the administrative functions imposed by the organization. It was not because of the tool itself.

In terms of the implementation strategy, we had a phased approach. We took low-touch things as an initial test case and then ramped up to run through the rest of the other ones. When migrating to this solution, the downtime was zero.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

From a cost standpoint, it's certainly not the most expensive out there, and it's also not the cheapest, but it does well to balance cost and functionality/reliability.

There are additional costs for different modules if you need them. Otherwise, they can give you very specific pricing for what you need.

To someone who says that they don't need to spend money on a solution like this because they have a free cloud provider or basic DNS, from our specific history, I would say that you get what you pay for. More specifically, NS1 does very well to balance cost and functionality.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We went through a number of solutions. We were balancing specific demands at the time with cost. So, we went to a number of solutions and checked different providers for that. We talked to most of the big ones such as Dyn, Cloudflare, and Verisign. We had a couple of others too. What made us go with NS1 was the balancing of cost and features and simplicity. It was much easier to use than a lot of the other tools.

What other advice do I have?

Depending on where you came from, get ready for a much easier administrative life for yourself.

In terms of maintaining uptime during a major DDoS attack, we haven't seen any attack, which can be read into one way or the other. It's part of our architecture to leverage two providers in case there is an issue with one, but as far as I've been able to tell, I haven't seen any outages physically.

It provides integrations that enable full-stack observability with automatic, real-time adjustments, but it is just not how we're architected to leverage their service.

I'd rate it a nine out of ten. I feel there's always room for growth, but from what they have right now, it's a very solid, very reliable, and very wonderful experience product.

Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Flag as inappropriate
Director - Cloud Security at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
A reliable DNS service, easy to deploy, with no maintenance
Pros and Cons
  • "The initial setup is straightforward and not that complex."
  • "The technical support can be more knowledgeable."

What is our primary use case?

There are two types of DNS. One is DNS which is provided by Azure itself. For example, if you have a testing environment, then you can use that. But if you have a hybrid environment where you link your on-premise with Azure Cloud using a VPN or an express route, then it is better you use the DNS. Not the DNS which is provided by Azure. It is called private DNS. So, you need to use the private DNS so that you can have entries for your on-premise systems as well. We call the named resolution works from on-premise as well. So in a nutshell, there are two DNS which is partly Azure. One is the normal DNS or public DNS service, which is partly Azure. And the second one is the private DNS service which clients can install and they can make use of it.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is definitely the private one because the public one is generic and you cannot do much modification whereas the private one, allows you to make your own entries.

What needs improvement?

The technical support can be more knowledgeable.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We have not had any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. At the backend, Microsoft will have resiliency built into it. So, you don't have to worry about anything. You just deploy the Software as a Service. Then at the backend, Microsoft will take care of everything.

How are customer service and support?

The technical support is the normal Microsoft tech support. If you have premium support with Microsoft, you can just create a ticket with them and it follows the normal Azure support hierarchy or procedure.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward and not that complex. The software takes probably five to ten minutes to deploy but it is not about deployment, it's about the configuration. You need to configure it according to your environment.

What about the implementation team?

The implementation was completed in-house.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution itself is free but you need to pay for the Microsoft Azure infrastructure and host your domains in Azure to use it.

What other advice do I have?

I give the solution a nine out of ten.

I have worked with probably five, or six clients in the last two to three years in consulting. Almost every one of them is using Azure DNS.

I would say make use of Azure DNS. It is a very good solution. Rather than you try to build your own DNS. There are several ways you can build your own DNS. You can put your domain controller in Azure and install DNS on the domain controller because it is domain-integrated, Active Directory-integrated DNS. But that's not required now because there is DNS as a solution. So, you just deploy that service and you're up and running. Instead of putting your own servers in the cloud and trying to replicate your on-premise DNS, just make yourself a built-in DNS service.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Flag as inappropriate
Bireshwar Adhikary - PeerSpot reviewer
Senior Consultant at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
MSP
Top 5
Effective for processing domain registrations and configuring load balancers
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution effectively monitors the health of resources and provides good identity access management."
  • "The solution should include more robust and secure services for hardening sites."

What is our primary use case?

Our company uses the solution for DNS services. We purchase domains, create load balancers, set provisions, host websites, and manage how internet traffic routes to websites. The solution handles all DNS queries and translates friendly domain names to numeric IP addresses. 

What is most valuable?

It is easy to process domain registrations. 

The solution effectively monitors the health of resources and provides good identity access management. 

What needs improvement?

The solution should include more robust and secure services for hardening sites. Amazon is a public cloud with a very rich set of security features. But, in some cases we find difficulties such as network latencies in terms of hitting particular links. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used the solution across various projects in the past ten years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is good but can be affected by a few parameters. The solution hits the load balancer and navigates to the EC2. If any web server, disc, or RAM issues happen, then stability is vulnerable. 

To maintain good stability, it is important to watch inbound and outbound load balancer traffic, check RAM and disc space, and monitor CP utilizations. If you routinely monitor your system with automations and notifications, then you will have no problems with stability. 

Stability is rated a six out of ten. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good so is rated a seven out of ten. 

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is good and can resolve issues both from the customer side and the AWS side. Support is rated a nine out of ten. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

How was the initial setup?

The setup is easy, takes less than ten minutes, and is rated a nine out of ten. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing depends on usage and is moderate. 

If you create a domain space in the solution, then you have to use it every time for projects, websites, and documentation. Your cost increases based on usage across months, days, or minutes. 

What other advice do I have?

The solution is good for configuring load balancers and other items. I rate the solution an eight out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Flag as inappropriate
Buyer's Guide
Managed DNS
January 2023
Get our free report covering Quad9 DNS, Google, Microsoft, and other competitors of Cloudflare DNS. Updated: January 2023.
670,080 professionals have used our research since 2012.