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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    285

    How do you manage your DNS

    Hi,
    I want to go the next step and order a VPS.
    We currently have a reseller account on WHM/cPanel with 16Gb allowance hosting 70 accounts (mostly 100mb disk space each).

    What I would like to do is move these accounts gradually, say 10 per week, but concerned as to what the best method would be in regards to nameservers. We have the usual ns1 and ns2 for all hosted with our current provider, and wondered about minimising the impact on our customers, especially those that have their domains purchased elsewhere and only host with us. I believe some registrars may require they change the IP addresses, so potentially disastrous?

    I am torn between going for managed DNS solutions from companies like;

    www.dyndns.org
    www.zoneedit.com
    www.ultradns.com

    Alternatively should we setup new nameservers with VPS provider - ns3 and ns4 and ask our customers to change their registrar settings?

    Or in your experience, do you have a better suggestion? How do you manage your DNS?

    We want to move forward and grow the business, so would like a DNS strategy that is easy to manage and scalable, but of course minimal disruption for our existing customers.

    Really appreciate your help with this, as I said we have decided to order a VPS but need to understand how best to prepare for the transition, and the future.

    Best wishes,

    - Vincent

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    10,574
    Vincent,

    I would personally purchase 2 other very small VPSs located in different data centers and run CPanel DNS Only on them. You can then offer redundant DNS to your clients and use the same DNS servers for all your clients to make things much easier.

    --GSV
    MediaLayer, LLC - www.medialayer.com Learn how we can make your website load faster, translating to better conversion rates for your business!
    The pioneers of optimized web hosting, featuring LiteSpeed Web Server & SSD Storage - Celebrating 10 Years in Business

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    967
    If you are moving to a WHM VPS solution you can copy all accounts in one go, change the IPs for ns1 and ns2 and your customers never need to know (other than the new IP for FTP, etc.)
    Doyle Lewis
    BuyHTTP Internet Services - In business since 2003
    Business Hosting | nginx, CloudLinux, Varnish cache, and CDP with every business account
    Shared, Reseller, Semi Dedicated, VPS, Cloud, Dedicated - We can grow with you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    374
    Heres what I would do if your planning to go with cPanel/WHM:

    1. Get the VPS and configure nameservers. Let them propegate for atleast 72 hours to be on the safe side.
    2. Try to setup an account and point a test domain to the nameservers you created. If it worked, go onto the next step
    3. Split up your customer base into groups of around 3-5 and send them an email, notifying them of whats going to happen and that they will need to point their domain to a new nameserver. Remember, communication is key here. Even if you sent email's you should make additional attempts to contact your clients.
    4. Go into WHM and edit the suspended page to say somthing like "DNS Change in Progress" and "suspend" the first transfer group so there isnt any stray data from one server to another.
    5. Go into your new server, and start migrating accounts over.
    6 Repeat steps 3 and 4 untill all accounts are migrated over.

    As the DNS for the sites propegate, the dns records for your clients domains will change from your old server to your new server, and you and your clients will be able to track the progress of the migration.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    285
    Thanks for the advice everyone.
    It seems that the transfer of accounts will be taken care of easily if doing all in one go as we have same cPanel on current and new server setup.

    Still no wiser about the long-term strategy; that is, when you start hosting on multiple servers.

    The VPS will be at 65% capacity from day one, so we are aiming for at least 2 separate VPS plans in USA, and another in Europe between now and end of year. But who knows what the new year will bring, and hence I'd like to allow for a more scalable strategy for nameservers.

    I am suprised that nobody here is using specialist managed DNS solutions.

    elix,
    I'm not sure we want to use our resources to manage another 2 VPSs just to host DNS. The mentioned companies seem to offer a far more resilient solution, and extremely scalable. The added benefit of not being tied into any host is also very appealing and would make any future moves simpler?

    Best wishes,

    - Vince

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    10,574
    Vince,

    1) You can pick up some really small VPSs from different providers that cost about ~ $25.00/month each.

    2) Sure you can use another company, but then you are relying on them. Try not to rely on so many people.

    3) It would make future moves simpler as all your reseller hosting clients and shared hosting clients can use the same nameservers/IPs for their DNS. All you have to do is: 24 hours before the move, change the TTL settings to a really low number. Then, you can move the sites and once you are done, you can use some perl to automagically (spelling intended) change all DNS records to forward to the new server IP(s).

    One more thing: You don't have to give resellers private nameservers becuase you can/should use unbranded nameservers with the DNS servers and there would be no way of someone finding out that you host them. This saves IP addresses.

    Lastly, you may need to upgrade the two DNS slave VPSs as you get more clients but that is only something I would forsee in the far future depending on the specifications of the VPSs you start with.

    --GSV
    MediaLayer, LLC - www.medialayer.com Learn how we can make your website load faster, translating to better conversion rates for your business!
    The pioneers of optimized web hosting, featuring LiteSpeed Web Server & SSD Storage - Celebrating 10 Years in Business

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    285
    Originally posted by elix
    Vince,

    1) You can pick up some really small VPSs from different providers that cost about ~ $25.00/month each.

    2) Sure you can use another company, but then you are relying on them. Try not to rely on so many people.

    --GSV
    Hi again elix,
    Thanks for your continued assistance.

    1) DNS management companies charge $28 per year.

    2) I was planning on using just one of the aforementioned companies, and they do seem very professional. It would relieve us from managing 2 more servers.

    Oh, I dunno

    - Vince

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    New York, NY
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    But, then you are relying on 1 company. It's really not that hard to manage DNS servers, however.

    --GSV
    MediaLayer, LLC - www.medialayer.com Learn how we can make your website load faster, translating to better conversion rates for your business!
    The pioneers of optimized web hosting, featuring LiteSpeed Web Server & SSD Storage - Celebrating 10 Years in Business

  9. #9
    I used http://www.dnsmadeeasy.com during my last transfer. Prices are real low and the TTL is set very low by default.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    United States of America
    Posts
    1,838
    hey i just wanted to say that it only takes a text file for the named service to recognize your entry to that domain name
    Computer Steroids - Full service website development solutions since 2001.
    (612)234-2768 - Locally owned and operated in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    285
    Originally posted by gilbert
    hey i just wanted to say that it only takes a text file for the named service to recognize your entry to that domain name
    Sorry, not sure what that means

    If I setup nameservers with the same name: ns1.mydomain.com and ns2.mydomain.com with dnsmadeeasy.com or one of the other companies, and changed the IP addresses accordingly with my registrar;

    1) will all my customers sites still work OK
    2) will it cause much downtime
    3) do I have to ask my reseller host to make any changes

    If this works fine, then I can transfer my customers accounts one at a time, without panic and over time.

    Best wishes,

    - Vince

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
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    Whoa!!!

    All your customer sites will be down if you do that!!!

    The DNS server (dnsmadeeasy) needs to have an A record for every site that is hosted on the reseller and every subdomain, domain, and such. With a fully dedicated server, you can point all your nameserver records to DNSMadeeasy and use it as a slave server, I believe.

    --GSV
    MediaLayer, LLC - www.medialayer.com Learn how we can make your website load faster, translating to better conversion rates for your business!
    The pioneers of optimized web hosting, featuring LiteSpeed Web Server & SSD Storage - Celebrating 10 Years in Business

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    285
    Originally posted by elix
    Whoa!!!
    All your customer sites will be down if you do that!!!
    OH!
    Why would my suggestion be different to what you suggested with using 2 VPS servers, or what kelix06 said previously?

    Originally posted by keliix06
    If you are moving to a WHM VPS solution you can copy all accounts in one go, change the IPs for ns1 and ns2 and your customers never need to know (other than the new IP for FTP, etc.)
    Did I miss something somewhere?

    - Vince

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    10,574
    I explained above, why it wouldn't work...You can't really have outsorced DNS properly done with a reseller... I suggest you get a server admin to help you setup all this for you when you get the VPS..

    --GSV
    MediaLayer, LLC - www.medialayer.com Learn how we can make your website load faster, translating to better conversion rates for your business!
    The pioneers of optimized web hosting, featuring LiteSpeed Web Server & SSD Storage - Celebrating 10 Years in Business

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