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Use Two DNS with one domain

Posted on 2006-07-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-24
Hello Experts,

I have a registered domain name (mydomain.com), I'm using Zone Edit as my name server. I am hosting this domain on a web server in my office (Windows 2003). I'm working on a Windows 2003 Server at home to set up as a failover. I am planning to set up the home Windows 2003 as a web/name server. My question is:

Can I use the one domain (mydomain.com) on Zone Edit DNS and the Windows DNS without conflict? I'm using IIS on the office server and hosting mydomain.com. What will happen if set up mydomain.com on my home Windows 2003 web/name server, and use Zone Edit's failover service to point to it's IP? Will this be a successful failover -- and still use the mydomain.com name? I do have another domain name but I want to keep the domain name during a failover (so users still see mydomain.com).

I'm sure I could host my other domain name on the home server, sychronize the files between the two servers, and use Zone Edit's failover to point to the other domain, but I'd rather use the other domain for something else.

Also, if I add my home Windows 2003 name server to my registrar's list of name servers (along with Zone Edit), could this be a failover instead of using Zone Edit's failover option?

I may be going about it all wrong but I basically want to have an alternate web server kick in if the main one goes down, I know I need to synchronize the web files between the two points and have that figured out already. Thanks!
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Question by:tracyms
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coreybryant earned 400 total points
ID: 17158118
>>Can I use the one domain (mydomain.com) on Zone Edit DNS and the Windows DNS without conflict?
I am assuming that Zone Edit is only hosting your DNS.  If so - yes, usually people have two DNS servers - in case one of them is down.  In your case though, if your server is down, then so is that DNS

>>What will happen if set up mydomain.com on my home Windows 2003 web/name server, and use Zone Edit's failover service to point to it's IP?
Usually for DNS it depends on where the person is located.  Sometimes people will hit the secondary name server and some will hit the first.  

>>Will this be a successful failover -- and still use the mydomain.com name?
If the DNS server is down on your server, won't the website be down?

>>Also, if I add my home Windows 2003 name server to my registrar's list of name servers (along with Zone Edit), could this be a failover instead of using Zone Edit's failover option?
Yes this is why web sites have two dns usually.  Some have more.  

-Corey
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Author Comment

by:tracyms
ID: 17158268
Thanks coreybryant,

If I add the home server dns to my registrar's list, will it go in order? Zone Edit may be more reliable than my home server (testing for now as I'm thinking of going to a paid service for backup) so I would want to use Zone Edit as the primary and mine as the secondary if possible.

I understand that if my home sever is down so is my DNS that it's running on, it's mainly a cheap (free) way for me to set up a backup. I don't anticipate my office isp to be down much as it's very reliable but I may want to bring down the sever for maintenance from time to time and keep the site up. Thanks for your quick reponse!



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by:owenli27
owenli27 earned 100 total points
ID: 17158835
Usuaally, a regular DNS nameserver is rarely down because it could have hundred thousands domains zone files on it.

The registry always know and pick up your primary nameserver at first. To make sure your domain primary nameserver is correct.  Open command window and type nslookup; set type=SOA and then type your domain name.
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by:coreybryant
ID: 17161993
It usually will go in order but sometimes I have seen it try to go to the secondary just because that was closer to the ISP.

-Corey
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Author Comment

by:tracyms
ID: 17162886
Thanks all, I went by this article to set up everything on the home server -- although I didn't set up AD, just DNS:

http://www.awprofessional.com/articles/printerfriendly.asp?p=405516&rl=1

I put my name server first in the registrar's list and zone edit second, I'm waiting (24-48 hrs) for it to update the changes, and will bring down the server (office) zone edit points to in order to test it. Do you know how long it takes to detect a name server is down and then switch to the alternate? I guess it depends on the registrar -- I'm using GoDaddy. I'll let you all know how it goes. Thanks again.
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Author Comment

by:tracyms
ID: 17162901
Oops, I guess the name server won't be down only the ip it points to (mine)! I should thus make changes in zone edit I suppose to go to the alternate ip at home for it to be successful! Would all agree! :-)
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by:owenli27
ID: 17163873
How long it takes to detect a name server is down -- It depends on how often the client computer ISP's default Nameserver cache cleaning up.  For example: Comcast is my home PC Internet ISP, When I first time to access your domain and my ISP nameserver(cns.inflow.pa.bo.comcast.net) never know your domain Webserver IP or your domain's NS before, it will send request to registry to ask your domain NS(s) and then query each of them until get your Web server IP and redirect my browser to your web server IP. The cns.inflow.pa.bo.comcast.net will save your Web server IP in its cache .  If I submit request to your domain at second time, the cns.inflow.pa.bo.comcast.net will get your web server IP from its cache and redirect me there no matter your Nameserver down or up.  
My ISP namserver may flush DNS cache every 2 or 3 days - maybe once a week. :)
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