What is a DNS cluster and why is the IDA cluster good for me?

What is a DNS cluster?

DNS clustering is using multiple nameservers that share the same records, located in different geographic areas to serve your DNS records.

Why is using a DNS cluster beneficial?

Nameservers in different locations, using different providers, in different datacenters, and on different uplinks removes the DNS single point of failure issue with using a DNS server on your hosting machine. e.g. As long as one nameserver in the cluster is functional, then people can still find and load your website.

Granted, if you website's server goes down, then no matter how many DSN servers you have, your site is down. (Well, duh!)

But, if your DNS is served by a cluster of servers, and your website server is down, then your mail is queued by the sender's mail server, instead of being "returned to sender" due to delivery failure. Once your site comes back online your mail is then delivered.

Another benefit is the response time to your website is shortened, since resolvers (usually) query the closest namservers to provide your user's browser with your website's IP address.

Why did I read all this?

We use a fully redundant DNS cluster using multiple nameservers to provide geographic robustness in serving our clients DNS' records. This is included at no cost to our clients in all our managed hosting plans.

Faster, better, cheaper ...

What are the Nameservers?

We have DNS servers in the US on the West Coast, in Dallas, and on the East Coast.

For those clients that we don't manage their registrar accounts, the nameserver list is:

USA, California, Los Angeles
ns1.srv01-inet-design.com
ns2.srv01-inet-design.com

USA, Texas, Dallas
ns1.srv02-inet-design.com
ns2.srv02-inet-design.com

USA, Florida, Jacksonville
ns1.srv03-inet-design.com
ns2.srv03-inet-design.com

UK, England, Berkshire (Maidenhead)
ns1.srv04-inet-design.com
ns2.srv04-inet-design.com

We added a European nameserver in the summer of 2014 (srv04-inet-design.com).

If your registrar won't accept 8 nameservers, use:

ns1.srv01-inet-design.com
ns1.srv02-inet-design.com
ns1.srv03-inet-design.com
ns1.srv04-inet-design.com

GoDaddy?

Edit: GD no longer supports trouble tickets...
http://wptavern.com/godaddy-removes-ticketing-and-email-support-in-favor...


Unfortunately, we can no longer interface with GoDaddy for our clients.

Just Don't. GoDaddy is shunned by about every professional Information Technology (IT) person I know. Here's a few actual examples of why.

If you are using GoDaddy as your registrar, these are some of the errors you might receive. IDA can't help you fix this, they seem to be errors exclusive to GoDaddy, and you will need to contact GoDaddy directly for resolution.

The modifications you requested for the domain {domain-name} have failed.

Error: nameserver check failed
========================== CONFIGURATION ==
NS <= : ns1.srv01-inet-design.com. [107.182.141.141]
NS    : ns1.srv02-inet-design.com. [162.251.114.146]
NS    : ns1.srv03-inet-design.com. [23.226.131.43]

============================ ERROR(S) ==
f> [TEST SOA record present]: answer refused from server (IN/SOA:
{domain-name}) => ns1.srv01-inet-design.com./107.182.141.141

In the above error mssage IDA had not yet setup the domain on our servers. GoDaddy apparently plays big brother and won't let you input valid Nameservers until they decide you can.

Error: nameserver check failed
========================== CONFIGURATION ==
NS <= : ns1.srv01-inet-design.com. [107.182.141.141]
NS    : ns1.srv02-inet-design.com. [162.251.114.146]
NS    : ns1.srv03-inet-design.com. [23.226.131.43]
NS    : ns2.srv01-inet-design.com. [107.182.141.141]
NS    : ns2.srv02-inet-design.com. [162.251.114.147]
NS    : ns2.srv03-inet-design.com. [23.226.131.49]

============================ ERROR(S) ==
All addresses should be distinct
  Adv: ZoneCheck
    To avoid loosing all connectivity with the authoritative DNS in case
  of network outage it is advised to host the DNS on different networks.
 
  Ref: IETF RFC2182 (Abstract)
    The Domain Name System requires that multiple servers exist for every
  delegated domain (zone). This document discusses the selection of
  secondary servers for DNS zones. Both the physical and topological
  location of each server are material considerations when selecting
  secondary servers. The number of servers appropriate for a zone is also
  discussed, and some general secondary server maintenance issues
  considered.
 `----- -- -- - -  -
 :   The nameservers ns1.srv01-inet-design.com.,
 : ns2.srv01-inet-design.com. are using the same IP address
 : (107.182.141.141).
 `..... .. .. . .  .
=> generic

Yes GoDaddy, ns1.srv01 and ns2.srv01 are on the same cPanel DNS only server that only has a single IP. Duh. How many hundreds of thousands of cPanel DNS only server exist, I don't know. And, out of the tens, if not over a hundred, other registrars I've had to deal with in the almost 20 years I've owned IDA, no one has REJECTED! a nameserver list for this reason.

Error: nameserver check failed
========================== CONFIGURATION ==
NS <= : ns1.srv01-inet-design.com. [107.182.141.141]
NS    : ns1.srv02-inet-design.com. [162.251.114.146]
NS    : ns1.srv03-inet-design.com. [23.226.131.43]
NS    : ns2.srv02-inet-design.com. [162.251.114.147]
NS    : ns2.srv03-inet-design.com. [23.226.131.49]

============================ ERROR(S) ==
f> The primary nameserver doesn't match the given one
 :   The primary nameserver (ns1.srv02-inet-design.com.) doesn't match the
 : given one (ns1.srv01-inet-design.com.).
 

I'll guess it's the order the GoDaddy user entered the nameserver list in, as even GoDaddy's error message shows it's GoDaddy's error, as it shows the primary NS in the list, but throws an error that it's not there.

But!, if this is true, there is a potential problem with using GoDaddy for any sort of FailOver Backup solution. Who knows when GoDaddy might decide the necessary DNS changes to perform a FailOver are no longer valid, and throw all DNS records out. Your site would then be completely offline.