While there are problems with using DNS for failover of a website, the main problems, for the small businessman, are as follows:
- Cheap, reliable DNS (preferably two or three different systems, globally located)
- Easy to edit DNS zones and records
- Possible redirection to geographically near websites (with multiple sites)
- Some kind of failover if there is a site failure
As someone managing about 50 zones, there are few solutions which are reasonable in price (e.g., $5/mo), and none which provide this kind of failover at the level of DNS, GEO support (geoscaling.com was the last I am aware of), and monitoring. And for those with just a few zones but still with an interest in this, how about $1 for 5 zones, but with a six month minimum payment of $6 (and 20% discount for 1 year, e.g., $50/50 zones and $10/5 zones).
This is strange indeed, so people go with a very unreliable system (and may even be largely unaware of the unreliability). I see this as a huge opportunity.
Note that the kind of resources needed are fairly minimal.
- DNS Server such as PowerDNS
- Web-based Zone Editor such as PowerAdmin
- Use of GeoIP
- Some servers in a few locations, such as Japan, Canada, and Moldova
- Server app for monitoring and alerts (sending email, twitter)
- Some kind of account management tool, including subscription payments
It seems to me that there are a good number of people with my particular problem, who would pay a nominal amount for these services. After all, DNS is a utility that is vital, but should not cost a fortune. Also, once someone has a reasonable service, people will stick with it. If Afraid.org has 2,000 premium members, then that is sizable for a $5/month = $10,000/mo potential. Granted, it could take 10 years to get there, but something like 100 users should cover resources and be a breakeven, and 500 users generate $1,000/month in profit.