We will soon be launching our new member interface, a ground up rewrite of the current members.easydns.com website. It has been a long time in coming, like all complex projects, it always goes over-budget and takes longer than expected.
The current user interface works, but it’s pretty stale. There are so many layers of upgrades, fixes and plugins underneath the UI you see when you log in, that it’s hit the point of diminishing returns: every time we add a feature or commit a bugfix, it seems to break something else. Despite the fact that most people dislike change, especially user interface changes, it is time to move on to the next level for easyDNS.
We are calling the new platform “caprica”, that’s just an internal name we came up with prior to the Battlestar Galactica series, and sometimes if you are talking to one us on the phone and you hear us making reference to “caprica”, we mean the new system (and if we say “retail”, we mean the current, outgoing system).
It is important to know up front, that we will be migrating users to the new system incrementally. There will be no D-Day moment when all the domains are moved to the new system (something we always felt is a recipe for disaster). What will happen is on cutover day, which is March 1st, all new web traffic to https://easydns.com will start hitting the new website. Users who haven’t moved their domains over will have a link available to the old website and you can start moving domains over to the new system at your own pace. We took a similar approach when we became directly accredited via ICANN, and started migrating domains from our Tucows reseller tag to our own ICANN tag as they came up for renewal. It took awhile, but again, we’re all about providing stability and avoiding cataclysms.
The forthcoming system comes with a lot of new features and services which will bring additional benefits to easyDNS membership. It will also provide us with a stable framework from which we can quickly add additional features and services at a rapid pace (and we have a long list of them!) Get ready for some really interesting (and useful) stuff over the next year or two.
What Changes Under The New System?
The foremost change to be aware of, is that we are adding DNS query quotas to our service levels. We’ve been tracking DNS usage on all domains for about a year (and we are smoothing out the last bugs in making those queries available in your member control panel). We are currently the only commercial DNS hosting service providing DNS Anycast services that does not employ DNS query quotas.
The important thing to know now is this: We have over 120,000 domains under management on easyDNS, and we’ve looked at the DNS query usage and setup our quotas in a way where this will only affect less than 5,000 domains on the system. Most of those 5,000 domains will merely need to upgrade to “DNS-plus” (or the new DNS-pro) level of service. Out of over 120,000 domains there are less than 100 domains on the system looking at monthly DNS query fees based on their usage. If we haven’t already, we’ll be reaching out to those domains affected to go over their options and situation ahead of their cutover.
We are going to talk more about that in a separate post.
For the majority of users, they need not concern themselves about their query usage, but the items below will be of interest.
We are taking this opportunity to make some changes to our service levels, as follows:
“DNS-Only” will become “DNS Hosting”:
- We will be moving certain features down to this level such as URL forwarding, Stealth forwarding and the full suite of email forwarding functions will now all be available under this DNS Hosting level, instead of requiring a “DNS Plus” level of service.
- DNS Hosting will come with a generous quota of 1 million DNS queries per month.
“DNS-Plus” will become “DNS Pro”:
- DNS-Pro retains some of the advanced features such as DNS Failover, Host Monitoring & Outbound Email.
- It also adds some neat features such as Geo-Targeting on URL Forwarding, OpenID server support at your own domain (a.k.a “easyID”) and jabber server hosting under your domain.
- DNS-Pro domains will also come bundled email hosting, every domain gets 10 IMAP accounts under our new easyMAIL.ca infrastructure (yes, we’ve gone and built an email product)
- DNS-Pro domains will have their DNS query quota set at 5 million queries per month.
DNS Hosting and DNS Pro will be priced on the same annual basis as their current counterparts, although I have to admit, the pricing looks insanely low to me for what you get with it.
The next two service levels are going to be called “Enterprise” and “Enterprise-Lite”, they are for domains that exceed 10 million DNS queries per month, and will be discussed further in a separate post.
The New Platform Sneak Peak
In about a week we’ll post details on how to get early access to the new platform and you will be able to move a domain or two over and start familiarizing yourself with the new system.
In the meantime, feel free to post your comments here and as always, I can be reached directly at extension 225 and my email address is markjr at youknowwhat.