If you are looking for an impactful idea for getting started that is both simple and inexpensive, I would recommend looking at the Azure DNS Service “]
As I am sure you are aware, whether through communication with ScholarBuys or your own research, there are seemingly countless ways to leverage Microsoft’s Azure platform to the benefit of your institution. It can be daunting to try and decide a good place to get started, and moving services to the cloud is often done piece by piece in stages.
If you are looking for an impactful idea for getting started that is both simple and inexpensive, I would recommend looking at the Azure DNS Service.

Hosting your DNS domains in Azure DNS provides reliability for the service, and increases performance by leveraging Anycast networking. “]
Hosting your DNS domains in Azure DNS provides reliability for the service, and increases performance by leveraging Anycast networking. This ensures that each DNS query is answered by the closest available DNS server, providing high availability for your domain along with fast performance.

It is also important to note that with Azure DNS, you can not only manage DNS records for your Azure services, but also use it to provide DNS for your external resources. Leveraging Azure Resource Manager technology, you get the benefit of role-based access control, audit logs, and resource locking – all very important from a security perspective. Role-based access control can be used to manage which users have read or write access to DNS zones and record sets. To prevent accidental modification or deletion of DNS zones/records, resource locks can be applied.
From a service management perspective – Azure DNS is seamlessly integrated with the Azure portal and uses the same credentials, billing and support contract as any of your other current/future Azure services. Specifically with the Azure DNS service, you can manage your domains and records using the Azure portal, Azure PowerShell cmdlets, and the cross-platform Azure CLP.
Other important notes to consider about Azure DNS:

  • DNS Zones can be moved between resource groups or between subscriptions. There is no impact on queries when moving a DNS zone. The name servers assigned to the zone remain the same and DNS queries are processed as normal throughout.
  • Nameservers can resolve over IPv6 – they are dual-stack (have both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses)
  • Assigns 4 name servers to each DNS zone to increase resilience with fault isolation
  • Supports co-hosting domains with other DNS services
  • Does NOT support URL redirects at this time
  • Does NOT support zone transfers (AXFR/IXFR)
  • Does NOT support DNSSEC
  • Does NOT currently support purchasing of domain names

Billing:
Azure DNS is a very inexpensive service, and the billing portion is actually quite simple. The only information needed to scope out costs are:

  • The number of DNS zones hosted in Azure (priced per zone/month)
  • The number of DNS queries (priced per million queries/month)

To light up this service, it requires access to the Azure portal. To achieve this, you can add an Azure Monetary Commitment license to your institution’s Microsoft EES Agreement. These licenses provide approximately $1,300 of appropriated funding into your Azure tenant, which is consumed as you use metered Azure services such as Azure DNS. Remember, you are not adding in $1,300 for Azure DNS, but for any and all Azure services you wish to consume.

Azure DNS is a very inexpensive service, and the billing portion is actually quite simple. “]
As shown above, part of the cost is in the number of hosted DNS zones. A common question is whether a “DNS zone” is the same thing as a DNS domain. There is a difference here – where a domain name is just a name, a DNS zone is a data resource that contains the DNS records for a domain name. For example, the domain name scholarbuys.com might contain several DNS records such as mail.scholarbuys.com (mail server) or another record for the web site.

Azure DNS is a very inexpensive way to get your feet wet with Azure services. “]
Azure DNS is a very inexpensive way to get your feet wet with Azure services. It provides access to the Azure portal where you can also begin testing other services. Procurement is simple, and ScholarBuys can assist you in evaluating the solution and budgeting for implementation. Please reach out to your ScholarBuys representative to learn more!

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