Server pools

dnsdist has the concept to “server pools”, any number of servers can belong to a group. A default pool, identified by the empty string '' is always present, and newServer without a pool argument will assign the new server to that pool.

Let’s say we know we’re getting a whole bunch of traffic for a domain used in DoS attacks, for example ‘’. We can do two things with this kind of traffic. Either we block it outright, like this:

addAction("bad-domain.example.", DropAction())

Or we configure a server pool dedicated to receiving the nasty stuff:

newServer({address="", pool="abuse"})         -- Add a backend server with address and assign it to the "abuse" pool
addAction({'bad-domain1.example', 'bad-domain2.example.'}, PoolAction("abuse")) -- Send all queries for "bad-domain1.example." and "bad-domain2.example" to the "abuse" pool

The wonderful thing about this last solution is that it can also be used for things where a domain might possibly be legit, but it is still causing load on the system and slowing down the internet for everyone. With such an abuse server, ‘bad traffic’ still gets a chance of an answer, but without impacting the rest of the world (too much).

We can similarly add clients to the abuse server:

addAction({"", ""}, PoolAction("abuse"))

To define a pool that should receive only a QPS-limited amount of traffic, do:

addAction("com.", QPSPoolAction(10000, "gtld-cluster"))

Traffic exceeding the QPS limit will not match that rule, and subsequent rules will apply normally.

Servers can be added to or removed from pools with the Server:addPool() and Server:rmPool() functions respectively: