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Any known problems/issues with cpanel's DNS Clustering?

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  #1  
Old 05-02-2006, 11:13 PM
mrzippy mrzippy is offline
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Question

Any known problems/issues with cpanel's DNS Clustering?


We are thinking to switch our servers to use cpanel's DNS Clustering.

Are there any known issues or problems? Any "gotcha's" that might pop up?

For me, the advantage to dns clustering is the "ease of use" for nameservers for our clients. Since cpanel doesn't support clustered web services (different server for mail/web/db, etc), there is little technical advantage to have dns on different servers.. since if the "main server" is dead, then having working dns is little help.

BUT, having the ability to always have the SAME nameservers for every server, is a nice feature since most of our clients are not techy, and get confused easily when we ask them what server they are on to figure out what nameservers they "should" be using, etc. It would be nice to just always give them "ns1/ns2/ns3/ns4.ourdomain.com" and that's it.

Thoughts?

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  #2  
Old 05-03-2006, 02:12 AM
Techark Techark is offline
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How many servers?
Drives load way high if too many severs are in the cluster when it starts the synicing of zone files.

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  #3  
Old 05-03-2006, 04:57 AM
mrzippy mrzippy is offline
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For now, only a few servers. Maximum we might have in the cpanel cluster would be 12 - 15.

Does that sound like it would drive load too high? If so, we'd be happy to run DNS on a few isolated servers.. would that help?

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  #4  
Old 05-03-2006, 03:52 PM
Jim_UK Jim_UK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzippy
Are there any known issues or problems? Any "gotcha's" that might pop up?
We initially looked into this a couple of years ago when cPanel first rolled it out. At that time it worked great for shared hosting but was a non starter for reseller account servers due to major insecurities related to reseller's WHM access (they had ability to wipe out any dns zone in the cluster whether they owned it or not).

A while ago, cPanel reworked their DNS management backend and this was a major improvement fixing the problems previously mentioned. Since this time, we have been running it on both shared servers and around 30% of our reseller account servers with no issues. The plan is to intergrate our other reseller account servers soon.

It can be a bit of a pain if you're used to manually editing DNS zones via SSH by editing /var/named/domain.com.db then "rndc reload" to bring the changes in because this no longer works when the server is in a DNS cluster. You need to either edit the zone via WHM or run a cPanel script after the manual edit to migrate the zone change to the DNS cluster (can't remember the script right now).

I should point out that we use two independant servers for the DNS servers and do not use these boxes as regular hosting servers. I've heard some stories of problems when people have two regular hosting servers and they try to use them as a DNS cluster aswell. As for resources used on the DNS servers, we've not seen any problems here. Load is usually below 0.30 on both and they're serving around 5000 DNS zones.



Quote:
there is little technical advantage to have dns on different servers.. since if the "main server" is dead, then having working dns is little help.
I disagree. If your main hosting server is down but the DNS zones are still online this can be the difference between email bounces (not able to lookup MX) and email queued on sending server (can lookup MX but not connect, will try later).

Also, any customers who have their own Exchange servers or remote MX will stay online along with any subdomains pointing to a remote IP. If you have backup MX setup for your clients (which, compared with clustered DNS is easy to setup) this is pointless if your DNS is down when the server is down.


Quote:
BUT, having the ability to always have the SAME nameservers for every server, is a nice feature since most of our clients are not techy, and get confused easily when we ask them what server they are on to figure out what nameservers they "should" be using, etc. It would be nice to just always give them "ns1/ns2/ns3/ns4.ourdomain.com" and that's it.
Yes, it's much easier to have one set of nameservers for everyone. That's a major plus. Another major plus point in this is that it allows you to spread your DNS servers out between different locations (in line with RFC's) and shows an attention to detail which, in my experience, many customers appreciate.

HTH

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  #5  
Old 05-04-2006, 11:39 AM
mrzippy mrzippy is offline
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Thanks Jim, that is great info.


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