Best Practices - cPanel DNS Clustering


Well-Known Member
Nov 13, 2007
I can't seem to find any documentation on best practices or suggested setup for clustering when you have:

- Multiple cPanel/WHM servers
- Two or more DNS servers (DNS-ONLY servers)

For instance, say you have two WHM servers. WHM1, and WHM2

You have two "DNS ONLY" servers - DNS1 and DNS2. These are the servers that you register domains with, what people see when they lookup whois info, the authoritative name servers for new domains, etc.

Whats the best way to set up clustering? Like, I can think of all these possible scenarios, but I don't really know and can't find documentation on it. I don't want some weird circular synchro stuff going on, or two "masters" fighting over whats on DNS1/DNS2.

Just to be clear, in Scenario's 1-3 DNS1 and DNS2 are always set to "standalone" in their local configs - they only accept changes pushed to them from other servers.

Scenario 1: WHM1 and WHM2 don't know or care about each other, sync changes to DNS1 and DNS2

- DNS1 and DNS2 don't send changes anywhere
- WHM1 knows only of DNS1 and DNS2, and syncs changes to them
- WHM2 knows only of DNS1 and DNS2, and syncs changes to them

Scenario 2: WHM2/3/4/5 sync to WHM1 ; WHM1 syncs to DNS1/DNS2

- WHM2/3/4/5 knows only of WHM1, and syncs changes to WHM1
- WHM1 knows about WHM2/3/4/5, accepts changes from them, but doesn't push changes to 2/3/4/5
- 2/3/4/5 don't know of each other (in clustering)
- WHM1 is in charge of syncing to DNS1 and DNS2 - it's the only one that talks to them.

Scenario 3: WHM1/2 know of each other, syncs to each other, syncs to DNS1 and DNS2

- WHM1 syncs changes to WHM2
- WHM2 syncs changes to WHM1
- WHM1 syncs changes to DNS1/DNS2
- WHM2 syncs changes to DNS1/DNS2

Scenario 4: Everyone knows about everyone else

- Every machine has every other machine in it's cluster config
- Every setting is set to "Synchronize" and nothing to "standalone"
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Verifed Vendor
Jun 15, 2002
Go on, have a guess
Which you choose is up to how you prefer things to work.

Personally, we set ours up without DNS-Only servers. All of our servers two-way sync to one of the cPanel servers. We then select two of the clustered servers as the primary and secondary NS providers for all domains on all the servers.