Apr 9, 2004
I have an existing server running a few simple websites and of course email associated with them.
I am getting a second server and want to use it to duplicate the websites on server 1, so that if server 1 goes down server 2 will be available (hopefully!) to take over.
Currently I don't have any databases associated so I'm assuming that I don't necessarily need to cluster them, (or do I?).

Server 1 currently uses ns1.server1.com and ns2.server1.com - what do I need to do to enable server 2 to take over if server 1 is down?
I assume that I need to configure server 2's nameservers as ns3.server2.com and ns4.server2.com and then configure nameservers for each domain as ns1 and ns2.server1.com and ns3 and 4.server2.com. Is this right or does server 2 need an ns1 and ns2? Or have I got it all wrong?

Any help (in basic easy to understand format) will be gratefully received.


Get Proactive!
Apr 8, 2003
Chesapeake, VA
cPanel Access Level
DataCenter Provider
The fact that you do not have any databases is the only reason this is even remotely feasible.

Mirroring your conent is not too difficult. You can use rsync to periodically move the email and web content from one to the other.

Your logs would be a problem if you are actually concerned about that.

But otherwise, as long as you are mirroring your conent, you can set up ns3 and ns4 to the new server and list all four as nameservers with your registrar and if server one goes down, then server two would take over handling nameserver queries so any new visitors that do not have the DNS info cached will be directed to the second server.

But, as I just alluded to, if you or a visitor has revently (within the last 24 hours) visited the site at server1, then when it goes down, their (and their ISPs) dns cache is not going to look for a new IP, so it will be directed to the down server.


Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2003
you could set the TTL to 3600 which would give your server some extra load but at least surfers that do have the IP cached would check for the new IP every hour.