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  1. #1
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    Name Servers and DNS hosting questions

    First question:
    Which is ideal:

    1) Both name servers on the same box
    2) Both name servers off the box
    3) One name server on and one off

    Second Question:
    I often see this:

    ns1.MyDomain.com
    ns2.MyDomain.com

    But could it be like this:

    ns1,Domain-A.com
    ns2.Domain-B.com

    Or, does it even matter?

  2. #2
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    Did I post this in the correct forum? Since it concerns a dedicated box, I thought it best to post it here.

  3. #3
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    Yes, this is the correct forum.

    How you go about that is usually a term of preference and capabilities. Most of our customers have ns1.domain.com and ns2.domain.com on the same box. I do for my own domains as well. Most figure that if the server was down, then having another server with ns2 pointing at a dead server wouldn't really make much of a difference. It would if your site was load balanced perhaps, but if it isn't, then there's really not much of a point there.

    Yes, named/bind fails every now and then, but that's not too common. DNS have caches as well, so you would probably know before those entries expired.

  4. #4
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    Absolute wast of time and effort to even configure a 2nd Nameserver on the same Box - it is not like you are running 2 instances of the software, with 2 instances of the data is it? If the server is down it is down.


    Quote Originally Posted by TMS - JoseQ View Post
    Yes, this is the correct forum.

    How you go about that is usually a term of preference and capabilities. Most of our customers have ns1.domain.com and ns2.domain.com on the same box. I do for my own domains as well. Most figure that if the server was down, then having another server with ns2 pointing at a dead server wouldn't really make much of a difference. It would if your site was load balanced perhaps, but if it isn't, then there's really not much of a point there.

    Yes, named/bind fails every now and then, but that's not too common. DNS have caches as well, so you would probably know before those entries expired.
    Ouch! So let me ask a simple question, when someone sends an email to you and they cannot resolve your MX because your 1 server is down that e-mail will fail.

    Now, when the DNS fails, this Result is in fact cached - so your services will appear to be down for up to serveral minutes after they become available!

    Just 1 example of why it is a terrible idea to have DNS on a single box.

    At a minimum, it is best to have 2x Name servers on different Servers. It is actually even better to have these 2 servers on 2 different Networks, so in case of a network outage your names can still be resolved.

    Anyone who is offering Hosting Services should NOT be doing so if they rely on everything on a single box - lets face it, for $10/m you can get a VPS that is more than capable of providing the 2nd name server for you!
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  5. #5
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  6. #6
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    I am the org. OP. Thanks for your comments. I am located in Asia and my server is in the U.S. Most of my visitors are in Asia. So would I be better off to have one of the two DNS servers in Asia? If so, would that be my primary or secondary?

  7. #7
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    Depending on your location in Asia, it would be a good idea to go for either Amazon Route56, DNSMadeEasy or CloudFlare. This way your DNS servers will be globally distributed and it will reduce DNS resolution time for majority of visitors by quite a bit. Plus you won’t have to manage another server or anything of that sort.

    Of course it only makes economic sense, if you have a handful of domains.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by vB-WP-Admin View Post
    Depending on your location in Asia, it would be a good idea to go for either Amazon Route56, DNSMadeEasy or CloudFlare. This way your DNS servers will be globally distributed and it will reduce DNS resolution time for majority of visitors by quite a bit. Plus you won’t have to manage another server or anything of that sort.

    Of course it only makes economic sense, if you have a handful of domains.
    Are you suggesting this for the secondary (NS2) or both?

  9. #9
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    DNSMadeaEasy would give you 5-6 name servers, while CloudFlare provides you with 2 and Route56 I am not sure about. If you decide to use either of these services, then use their name servers and do not run your own.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMS - JoseQ View Post
    e-mail usually continues to attempt delivery for several days before giving up if the server is down.
    ONLY if it has done a lookup and the domain didn't fail - so, you attempt to send an e-mail, the single server that hosts the DNS (and mail) is down, Mail fails. Now, if there is a 2nd DNS server, the Mail server can resolve the MX but it cannot connect, then it spools.

    OP > DNS will be random on selecting the NS to use, so if your Server is in the US, then It will not make much difference where the 2nd NS is - it could be somewhere else in the US. Eg if your sever is West coast (one would hope for mostly Asian traffic) then putting another NS in the Central Area of US would be just fine.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by vB-WP-Admin View Post
    DNSMadeaEasy would give you 5-6 name servers, while CloudFlare provides you with 2 and Route56 I am not sure about. If you decide to use either of these services, then use their name servers and do not run your own.
    vB-WP-Admin,

    I looked at all three of your recommendations. DNSMadeaEasy was easy to understand but it seems CloudFlare is a totally different concept. So if I go with CloudFlare, I get 2 name servers + having my sites optimized by having my static files store on their network, so that the time it takes to download those static files is less due to be closer to my visitors geographic location, right? Sounds awesome. Does it really work?

    And if the user requires dynamic content, then it goes direct to my box for that part of it? My box has about 15 sites on it. How would that work with CloudFlare?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRWH View Post
    ONLY if it has done a lookup and the domain didn't fail - so, you attempt to send an e-mail, the single server that hosts the DNS (and mail) is down, Mail fails. Now, if there is a 2nd DNS server, the Mail server can resolve the MX but it cannot connect, then it spools.
    I did some testing on this a while back and IIRC for both gmail and a DA server, the message did actually get queued for retry later, even with all nameservers offline. It'll depend on the sending server, obviously, but at least in some cases the mail will still get through.

    Personally I think the greater issue with "all" nameservers on the same server is that resolvers will cache the failed lookup causing outages to appear to last an hour or two (or more) longer than the true downtime.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    1) Both name servers on the same box
    2) Both name servers off the box
    3) One name server on and one off
    IMO 2 and 3 are both fine. 1 is a very poor alternative.

    But could it be like this:
    ns1,Domain-A.com
    ns2.Domain-B.com
    Certainly could be. And if you happened to let domain-a.com expire you'd be glad you did it. Some even advocate ns1.example.com along with ns2.example.co.uk (or some other tld) so that an outage on one set of parent nameservers won't take you out. That one's a fairly unlikely scenario tho!

    Edit: and your naming of ns1 / ns2 makes no difference to the resolver contacting your nameservers. Which one they choose is somewhat random, with a tendency to stick to whichever one answers first (usually the closer one).
    Last edited by foobic; 12-22-2013 at 04:28 AM.
    Chris

    "Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them." - Laurence J. Peter

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by foodolph View Post
    Edit: and your naming of ns1 / ns2 makes no difference to the resolver contacting your nameservers. Which one they choose is somewhat random, with a tendency to stick to whichever one answers first (usually the closer one).
    Ah, so the name of the nameserver means nothing at all. No numerical order when it comes to the resolver. I guess people name them NS1 or DNS2 just to be traditional.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    vB-WP-Admin,

    I looked at all three of your recommendations. DNSMadeaEasy was easy to understand but it seems CloudFlare is a totally different concept. So if I go with CloudFlare, I get 2 name servers + having my sites optimized by having my static files store on their network, so that the time it takes to download those static files is less due to be closer to my visitors geographic location, right? Sounds awesome. Does it really work?

    And if the user requires dynamic content, then it goes direct to my box for that part of it? My box has about 15 sites on it. How would that work with CloudFlare?
    Irrespective of whether you have dynamic content or static content, it will go through CloudFlare, if you choose to activate their CDN. Alternatively, you can just use their name servers and continue to serve your content, directly from your server.

    I have been using DNSMadeEasy for nearly a year and few days ago, switched to CloudFlare for one of my test blogs. I am in India and my server is in US, and with CloudFlare on, it seems to be faster than before, though they do not have a POP in India, so traffic comes in through their Hong Kong POP.

  15. #15
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    1) Since I have two name servers on my box already, instead of taking one off and hosting it elsewhere, why don't I just leave both on the box and just get a third name server somewhere else? Can I do that?

    2) I see that CloudFlare has some free services. Could I just create an account for each website I have hosted on my box?

    Thank you all for your help and suggestions.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    1) Since I have two name servers on my box already, instead of taking one off and hosting it elsewhere, why don't I just leave both on the box and just get a third name server somewhere else? Can I do that?
    Yes, of course you can. You would create the new NS, add glue records for it at your registrar, then add the 3rd Ns to all of your existing domains both within the zone files and at the registrar.

    For the ease of not actually having to do too much, it is less work and effort to simply "migrate" one of your DNS servers. This only needs You to update the A record pointing to NS2 (or whatever NS you decide to move) and then update the Glue record as well. None of the hosted domains need to be touched.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    1)2) I see that CloudFlare has some free services. Could I just create an account for each website I have hosted on my box?
    Yes - and I would suggest that you do this for just 1 or 2 domains first and make sure it is everything that you hope for!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    Thank you all for your help and suggestions.
    Your Welcome.

    @foodolph - Last time I tested, if the MX could not be resolved on the initial attempt, the SMTP server logged a 50x Error (permanent failure). I must admit, it was a long time ago that I did this testing. It might differ from MTA to MTA as to what it does as well. When the MX resolves and then cannot connect, then yes, the Sending MTA will spool it for whatever the configured time is.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRWH View Post
    For the ease of not actually having to do too much, it is less work and effort to simply "migrate" one of your DNS servers. This only needs You to update the A record pointing to NS2 (or whatever NS you decide to move) and then update the Glue record as well. None of the hosted domains need to be touched.
    RRWH, thanks for this. It sounds like migrating NS2 might be the easiest way, as you are suggesting. But to make sure I fully understanding what you are saying, please have a look at this.

    In my forward lookup zones on my windows server, I have two NS records as folows:

    NS1.MyNameServerDomain.com [200.100.90.10]
    NS2.MyNameServerDomain.com [200.100.90.11]

    (these are not real domains or IPs)

    So, if I understand you correctly, I find myself a DNS service and just change the IP of one of those two nameservers to whatever IP the DNS provider uses and change the glue record at the registrar as well, correct? The names of NS1 and NS2 remain the same?

  18. #18
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    Benefit of migrating to a third party DNS provider is that you would no longer have to run name servers on your server. That will save some resources and reduce the amount of attack that might come in, at least that was the primary reason why I shifted to DNSMadeEasy. Plus the fact that these services normally resolve faster for those based in Asia and Europe (if your server is in US) is an added advantage as well.

  19. #19
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    vB-WP-Admin,

    I decided to try one site on CloudFlare. I change the DNS over and I see the new DNS in whois. So does that mean I am now on CloudFlare? The site is running fast but not sure that is due to CloudFlare. There is not much content on that site.

    Do I need to make any changes to the DNS records on my server?

  20. #20
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    You just need to update NS records at your registrar, which I guess you have already updated.

  21. #21
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    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    1) Since I have two name servers on my box already, instead of taking one off and hosting it elsewhere, why don't I just leave both on the box and just get a third name server somewhere else? Can I do that?

    2) I see that CloudFlare has some free services. Could I just create an account for each website I have hosted on my box?

    Thank you all for your help and suggestions.
    "2) I see that CloudFlare has some free services. Could I just create an account for each website I have hosted on my box?"
    Yes. Are you offering hosting services? You should look at the partner program if you are.
    CloudFlare Community Evangelist

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by damoncloudflare View Post
    "2) I see that CloudFlare has some free services. Could I just create an account for each website I have hosted on my box?"

    Yes. Are you offering hosting services? You should look at the partner program if you are.
    Sorry Damon, I am not in the hosting business. I hope you don't mind answering a few questions:

    1) What happens if your site has .asp files? Does it go direct to the box?

    2) What happens if you are on CloudFlare Free and there is an SSL cert for the domain on my box? Does it go SSL direct to the box? Or, is a site with SSL impossible as a Free account.

    3) My server is behind a hardware firewall. Does this matter at all when using your services?

    By the way, I have one site on CloudFlare Free and it runs fast.

    Thank you!

  23. #23
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    "1) What happens if your site has .asp files? Does it go direct to the box?"

    We don't cache or impact dynamic content by default (we only cache static content by default; you can extend caching with Page Rules).

    "2) What happens if you are on CloudFlare Free and there is an SSL cert for the domain on my box? Does it go SSL direct to the box? Or, is a site with SSL impossible as a Free account."

    SSL on the root domain or www currently would require a paid plan (we will make a lot of changes next year to SSL that will move to free).

    "3) My server is behind a hardware firewall. Does this matter at all when using your services?"

    You do want to make sure that connections from our IPs aren't being blocked in your configuration (it is also highly recommend that you install something like mod_cloudflare to restore the visitor IP...ours will show without it).
    CloudFlare Community Evangelist

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    1) What happens if your site has .asp files? Does it go direct to the box?
    CF acts as a reverse proxy. The request goes from your visitor to CF to your server; the response goes from your server to CF to the visitor. This inevitably adds latency and an additional point of failure.
    Last edited by foobic; 12-27-2013 at 03:40 PM.
    Chris

    "Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them." - Laurence J. Peter

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