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What  instructions should I be giving the GlobalServers engineers to get my server back on-line

Posted on 2008-06-12
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Last Modified: 2013-11-30
I rent a Linux server from GlobalServers, but for the past 5 days there has been no internet access possible to the domain name associated with this server www.cardinalenv.com. This means I cannot view the web material held there from the internet (and noone else can either). In addition, I cannot access the server via SSH or FTP (although I can see the webfiles that I have stored there via the GlobalServers web-based control panel which I can access and in this control panel I can see that the web server continually stops running.)  GlobalServers tell me their engineers are working on this, but I find it very hard to believe that this server could have been down for so long. I have used DNSstuff.com to compare the DNS report for this domain www.cardinalenv.com with another domain I have there associated with another domain which is working - this comparision has identified that the A records for the www.cardinalenv.com have been lost and accordingly the domain is not resolving and this is causing the web server to crash and its a circular problem - i.e. the DNS has to be rebuilt. I have requested GlobalServers do this 18 hours ago - but still no internet access. Does anyone have any ideas at all ? (I have checked the obvious things - my server billing account is up-to-date and my domain name registration has not expired. This server and domain name had been working perfectly for all of the 6 months since it was established.
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Question by:christineAH
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by:Blaz
ID: 21776643
Are you trying to access the server (SSH) by its IP not by the DNS name? This is to avoid all possible DNS troubles they might have. If you can't access it by IP then DNS has nothing to do with it.

Otherwise - as you say - it seems that www.cardinalenv.com is not written in their DNS. However cardinalenv.com is (without the www) and its IP is 64.136.59.110 and I can establish a connection via SSH to this server.
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by:christineAH
ID: 21776816
I did try yesterday to access the server by its IP as well as its DNS name (having observed that cardinalenv.com is written in their DNS server). I could gain access and I can gain access now. But I am observing that the connection keeps dropping - and I see from the GlobalServers contrrol panel that the web server is continually showing stopped. I suspect that the key problem is because www.cardinalenv.com is not written in their DNS (it obviously was written - but now it is not) the web server keeps falling over when the domain name fails to resolve.

Is there anything further I can do ? - it seems incredible to me that after advising GlobalServers of the source of the problem 18 hours ago - there is no apparent visible change in any area.

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by:Blaz
ID: 21777008
A not written DNS should have NO effect on the web server or dropping of connections.

It is perfectly legal to attach the web server to a (yet) non existent domain (www.myxdomain.com for example). You could put that domain in your hosts file to resolve to your server and from your computer you will access the www.myxdomain.com with no problems.

The provider might have bigger issues - network crashes, server crashes, attacks etc. and that may be the reason why they did not resolve your request yet. Although I would expect a response from them saying that...
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by:christineAH
ID: 21777652
Thanks - realistically I seem only to be able to access the GlobalServers control panel. This allows me to use an existing domain registered (or not yet existent perhaps) and allows me to view the MX records for the domain cardinalenv.com (but not at code level). It does not allow me access to the DNS server direct. I further have the problem that I cannot seem to access the server via SSH via any passwords that I may hold (and the request I put in for the password to be reissued to me has not resulted in any password email being received by me - although their system identified a password email as dispatched). Is there any way I can access the hosts file to attach a new domain to this inaccessible server ?
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by:Blaz
ID: 21777737
I didn't mention this - I have no experience with GlobalServers so I don't know what their control panel can do and not do.

The hosts file should be changed on the client(s) not the server. That was my point - the web server does not need to know anything about the DNS records for the site it is serving.
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Author Comment

by:christineAH
ID: 21778046
OK - this is a new one on me. How do I change the hosts file on the client - given that all the client ever does is access the server via the internet ?
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by:Blaz
ID: 21778262
I believe we are not on the same page here :-).

Your home computer (the client) has a hosts file. In that file you can enter any domain name - IP combination you want. Your client will resolve to the IP you wrote in the file regardles of the domain registration status on the internet.

This has nothing to do with solving your problem other than that you can write the following in your hosts file: 64.136.59.110  www.cardianlenv.com

And you can test if your server would work if the DNS was not an issue. Do not forget to delete this entry in the hosts file after you are finished testing - it can be sometimes frustrating.
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Author Comment

by:christineAH
ID: 21779139
Umm - yes - sorry I did know about the HOSTS file in the local PC client - when I test it the server does work - but it keeps falling over. However, as you say - this doesn't solve my problem. Any other ideas ?
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Blaz earned 500 total points
ID: 21779366
I believe we agree that solving this issue requires some response from your hosting provider - at least for the DNS issue.

However if the server is not responsive you may have to additionally figure out what is wrong. I am not sure what you mean by falling over. Could you explain how you test your server and exactly what happens.

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Author Comment

by:christineAH
ID: 21780578
I am not achieving a proper test of the server - accessing via HOSTS is not working and I am thinking this is because it is constantly seeking to resolve the domain name and failing - I cannot access any error logs and  I am not achieving SSH access (because the passwords that I have are not functioning). Realistically I feel that I am at a deadend with this server.
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Author Closing Comment

by:christineAH
ID: 31466839
Thank you for all your help - I have gone as far as I can
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