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Terminology

In this industry, providers will use different words to say the same thing. We want to make sure that we are all speaking the same lingo, so take a second to look over our terminology before you dive into our knowledge base.  

Map / Point

When you create a record, what you’re really doing is telling users that query your domain that they should be sent (mapped or pointed) to another location.

Example:

If you want anyone who queries your domain to be sent to your web server (where your website is hosted), you would create an A record that points yourdomain.com to the IP address of your web server.

Endpoint / System

Records can point to IP addresses, hostnames, FQDN’s, servers, CDN’s, other providers, etc. To keep things simple, we’ll often group all of these together under the moniker “endpoint” or “target system”. These words are basically placeholders for whatever we are pointing a record to.

Example:

If we have a record that points our domain to the IP address of our web server, then we will refer to both the IP address and the web server as the endpoint or target system.

FQDN

A Fully Qualified Domain Name contains: the hostname, domain name, and TLD of a domain in that order.

Example:

<hostname> . <domain> . <tld>

Querying Client

This is how we refer to the person or system that is requesting the record information for a domain.

Example:

If you type a domain into your browser, you are the querying client because you are requesting the record information for that domain.

IP Address

Computers are only able to communicate using numbers and name themselves using IP addresses, which are 4-32 digit integers. There are two types of IP addresses: IPv4 and IPv6.

Example:

The IP address for your local host is always 127.0.0.1.

Hostname

A hostname is the FQDN of a system. They are usually used when you want to point to a system that has a dynamic (changing) IP address.

Example:

If you want to create a record that points to a CDN, which will return a different IP address depending on the location of the querying client, you would need to point that record to the hostname of the CDN. The CDN will calculate the closest server to the client and return the appropriate IP address.

Root

The root of a domain is also referred to as the apex of a domain. A record that points from the root of a domain is called a “naked” domain because there is not hostname or subdomain preceding it.

Example:

The root of www.example.com would be example.com.

Anycast

Anycast is a type of network that uses the “one to many” technique to propagate information. In the context of DNS, Constellix uses an Anycast network to store DNS record information in many different locations.

When someone queries a domain on the Constellix network, they are automatically routed to the closest location where the record information is stored.

Propagation

Whenever you create or update a record, that information is propagated or pushed to all the nameservers in our network. Propagation times vary from provider to provider, but Constellix offers less than one second propagation times. This cuts down on network overhead.

DNS Management vs DNS Hosting

The quick answer, DNS hosting is a service that stores the records for your domain. DNS management is also DNS hosting, but also offers additional services that allow you to create rules that influence how querying clients are routed. Services include: Failover, GeoDNS, load balancing, etc.