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How do I configure WHM with an off-network 3rd-party DNS provider?

Discussion in 'Bind / DNS / Nameserver Issues' started by emomem, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. emomem

    emomem Registered

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    This is a long post with several questions. I hope others in the future will find it useful, as I've searched these forums rather exhaustively and didn't find what I was looking for. Thanks in advance for your insights, as I am not that experienced with DNS management.

    I have a single dedicated WHM/cPanel box at my host. I have dns service with dtdns.com. A more experienced friend of mine told me that ideally you should never run a nameserver on the same box as your webserver. Also it should reduce my web server overhead to not have DNS running at all on the local box, but I'm finding that lots of WHM screens expect local DNS to be on and the lack of information on this topic, here and on the internet, has me concerned that maybe it's not such a good idea after all. I like the idea of having rock-solid DNS (dtdns name servers are geographically dispersed, one in LA and the other in NY - it just seems more reliable to handle DNS not on my web server.)

    Basically what I am trying to figure out is, if I am using a 3rd-party DNS provider, what do I put in for Primary & Secondary name servers?

    When I asked this question to the admin at 3rd-party dtdns.com, he said, in part,
    That makes sense, as I always understood DNS to be one-way-inbound from the internet to the registrar to the ip of the server. But I can't add my own server as a name server unless I get another static IP, which I can easily to, but I was trying to not run local DNS. What does '...it is likely for resolvers...' mean?

    I got an email from cpanel ...
    I've looked at /etc/hosts... it has...
    I've looked at /etc/resolv.conf... it has...
    In WHM, when I tried to 'Add an A Entry for Hostname' I got the following:
    After doing this, there was no change to either /hosts or /resolv.conf

    What am I missing? Should I just bag the idea and run DNS locally afterall? I would really appreciate your reply.
     
  2. celliott

    celliott Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest hosting Nameservers and DNS on your machine since its alot easier. I cant really see any benefit of using 3rd party dns for a single server.
     
  3. emomem

    emomem Registered

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    So how can a domain provide its own DNS?

    I am confused by one thing still... how can a domain be its own dns server? Isn't the whole point of DNS to look [over here at this IP] for every website? If my server crashes, my DNS crashes. Doesn't that cause problems with other DNS servers waiting on my refresh?
     
  4. celliott

    celliott Well-Known Member

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    I dont know how to answer this really. For a network in a business perspective I suppose its different. However every cPanel server I have encountered has the DNS hosted on it, thats just the way it is.

    If your server is down, what use is there with dns being up anyway. A seperate dns server is really only necesarry with multiple servers. If you are still unsure you could raise a ticket with cPanel or hopefully some others will respond.

    Thats just the way cPanel hosting servers are setup.
     
    #4 celliott, Jun 23, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2006
  5. wzd

    wzd Well-Known Member

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    Dont think this is done much...

    Hey emomem,

    Yeah if your DNS goes down you will have a problem where DNS isnt synchronising with other servers but this is usually resolved as soon as it is back up.
    If your DNS is hosted offsite it doesnt provide much redundancy except for the fact that if the entire server goes down you pretty much can still point the websites elsewhere and so forth.

    I've found that Cpanel works best if you run the nameservers on the cpanel server as well but I'm also open to new ideas and suggestions...

    Wzd :)
     
  6. chirpy

    chirpy Well-Known Member

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    Not really. emomem is right in that you should always have DNS distributed across at least 2 servers, preferably in different NOCs, ideally on different continents - this is especially important if you offer web hosting.

    The reason is that if the only server that serves DNS queries goes down, any email sent to domains hosted on it will fail to deliver and not be retried. If someone tries to browse to a web site they'll get informed in their borwser that the domain doesn't exist. So, you will lose email and you will likely lose site visitors.

    However, if you use disparate name servers then DNS resolution still occurs, it' just btraffic is bounced from the downed server. In this scenario, email is usually queued on the senders server which will retry for 4 days or until the server comes back online. Browsers will simply show the site as being unavailable instead of non-existent.

    For those 2 reasons alone you should never have both nameservers for domains hosted on the same server. If you don't have an alternative server to serve secondary DNS, then there are many free and paid-for providers that offer such a service.
     
  7. craigster

    craigster Registered

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    I'm looking to do what emomem originally posted about, and I don't want to run DNS on my own dedicated server, but don't seem to see a true answer to how to do this setup. I'm not reselling, and only hosting a couple of domains of my own on the server.

    I've got an account already setup with dnsmadeeasy, and added mydomain.com to the managed dns setup. And updated my nameservers to the dnseasy nameservers with my registrar for that domain.

    So, in WHM, under Main >> Server Configuration >> Basic cPanel/WHM Setup
    At the Primary Nameserver & Secondary Namserver, do I just need to add ns0.dnsmadeeasy.com & ns1.dnsmadeeasy.com??

    is there anything else after that I need to set?
     
    js123 likes this.
  8. chirpy

    chirpy Well-Known Member

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    That's all you'd need to do. You'll then have to manually make any DNS changes to the zone files on your 3rd party DNS provider, e.g. for any new domains, subdomains or zone file changes as cPanel cannot do that.
     
    js123 likes this.
  9. Icebreaker

    Icebreaker Member

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    I would suggest that a Tertiary MX Record/Mail Server would be FAR more useful than a Secondary/Tertiary DNS Server.

    However it is recommended that your DNS not be hosted on the same server, obviously only running 1 server leaves you no choice.


    I would like to be able to have a tertiary mail server so that for those customers hosting their own mail servers a mail backup/smtp gateway could be offered backing up their mail when their server is offline.. Of on the flip side, backup up my server mail when it is down, busy, etc.

    As far as the DNS discussion goes, the only time a tertiary backup will assist is if someone looks up a site you host and they don't have your records cached for 2 reasons, the TTL has expired or they haven't been there before... And this is only at the time at which your server is not functioning.

    But if you've got the server to do it, then why not...
     
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