redirect mydomain.com to www.mydomain.com without ip

Hi All, I hope you are well.

A web designer has designed a site that is hosted somewhere other than where the dns is for one of my customers

He has said that he needs to create a dns entry that will forward http://mydomain.com to http://www.mydomain.com, but he hasn’t got an ip address, only a name (somesite.somehost.com). the ip that this name eventually resolves to will change over time, hence the need for a name.

I effectively need to create a cname for the root of the domain, but obviously I cant do that.

I cant use a 301 redirect either, so I don’t know what to do.

I don’t want to move the dns from where it currently is if I can avoid it.

What I am thinking is I need a service that will give me a static ip address so I can set up a blank A record to point to it. That service will then translate the ip address to the name somesite.somehost.com

I was looking at webhops from dyn, but im not sure if that will work –

anybody got any advice please?
247computerdoctorAsked:
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asavenerCommented:
Are you talking about doing this for external DNS, or is this your internal (Active Directory) DNS?
247computerdoctorAuthor Commented:
external
asavenerCommented:
Best solution I see is to get a simple web server with a static address, and then redirect using the .httpaccess (301, permanent redirect) method, and redirect to www.

Your web developer should be able to do this for you, or just get a server with a static address in the first place.
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247computerdoctorAuthor Commented:
yeah, i agree, but he tells me he cant do that.

i can only do stuff with the dns. he keeps telling me that they can do it with godaddy dns so why cant we do it with our dns hosts. ive said that you just cant do that in dns, it has to be done on the webserver (and again as you say with a 301) but he "disagrees".
asavenerCommented:
Well, CNAME for the root of the domain is not compliant with RFCs, but some DNS providers allow it.  Problem is, you never know when they will stop allowing it and break your website.

DYN, for example, does not allow it.  GoDaddy might, but for him to demand to use a DNS provider that does NOT enforce RFC compliance seems questionable.  Yes, I've also encountered folks who claim, "well it worked for me last time" and then think it's your problem to solve, because they can't be bothered to do things the right way.

My concern would be, if <random_DNS_provider> is not enforcing RFC compliance for this, then what else are they playing fast-and-loose with?

You probably already saw this one, but here's a discussion on ServerFault of this very issue:  http://serverfault.com/questions/55528/set-root-domain-record-to-be-a-cname

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asavenerCommented:
he tells me he cant do that.

Other people can....  ;)

(I know, I know.  This is someone else's project and you got pulled in after the check was written....)
247computerdoctorAuthor Commented:
i agree! ive even sent him the rfc.

godaddy (or 123reg) seem to allow you to put a "*" record into the dns console which allows you to put a name instead of an ip address in it.

it then does this redirect somehow, but even if its in the dns "console" there, it cant actually be in the dns.

what do i do??

all i can see to do is at current dns, put blank A record in with an ip.

get that ip address to translate to a name, then we are good. basically a "dns bridge". its like reverse ddns. which is dns!

is there such a service?
247computerdoctorAuthor Commented:
thanks for the serverfault link by the way, i hadnt seen that
asavenerCommented:
Wildcard records are allowed, and used extensively, but I don't know whether it will redirect for the root of the zone.  

A wildcard will redirect anything that doesn't resolve otherwise.   Mail.domain.com, ftp.domain.com, etc. will continue to work, while *.domain.com will redirect any other addresses entered to the www page.   Prevents a page-not-found error if someone fat fingers the address.
asavenerCommented:
Good discussion of wildcard records, here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildcard_DNS_record

To quote RFC 1912, "A common mistake is thinking that a wildcard MX for a zone will apply to all hosts in the zone. A wildcard MX will apply only to names in the zone which aren't listed in the DNS at all."

So by the RFC, a wildcard should not redirect the root of the domain, since the root has SOA, NS, and possibly MX records associated.
247computerdoctorAuthor Commented:
we have one of those, and it works but not for the root


name *
type cname
data somehost.mysite.com

what you say about a wildcard of the root makes sense as you say,  because then all the other records will be invalid, and you would be just pointing the dns at the place where the wildcard is.

you can do what we want with an A record, but then you have to put an ip address in, not a name.
it_saigeDeveloperCommented:
From the GoDaddy front, yes, they do allow for you to create CName records that reference the wildcard (@) to represent the root domain, however, @ still point to an IP address; e.g. -Capture.JPG-saige-
asavenerCommented:
So I don't think this is solvable purely from the DNS server side.

I still don't understand why the web guy thinks it's OK to have a website on a machine with a dynamic address.  If the address changes, then the site will be down until the TTL on the cached DNS entry expires everywhere and people are forced to query the authoritative server....

Is he trying to set up some kind of failover or global traffic manager or something?  DYN and other providers will do it better.
it_saigeDeveloperCommented:
I agree completely.

-saige-
247computerdoctorAuthor Commented:
me too!

thanks for the clarification.

i'll leave this open for a bit in case anyone has a better idea...you'll get your points in due course!!
247computerdoctorAuthor Commented:
apparantly go daddy do allow you to put a blank cname in
asavenerCommented:
Yes.  You would have to transfer your DNS to GoDaddy.

Even then, however, you're dependent on GoDaddy to continue allowing non-RFC Compliant DNS entries.
247computerdoctorAuthor Commented:
yes, totally agree. i dont want to move it, but im in the middle of the customer and the web guy. however,the web guy seems to be coming over to my way of thinking.
247computerdoctorAuthor Commented:
guys - what do you think of this:

https://support.dudamobile.com/02DudaOne/Domain_Setup/GoDaddy

what actually is this? is it actually a blank cname?
asavenerCommented:
Looks like they created a wildcard CNAME record.
247computerdoctorAuthor Commented:
is that a sensible thing to do?
asavenerCommented:
It's what we just decided is not supported by the RFC.  It might work but it is not official and may not be supported by other DNS providers.
asavenerCommented:
The right way to do this would be to have an A record for domain.com that points to your web server, and a wildcard CNAME that points to domain.com.

Alternately, just have a www A record, and forget about redirecting from domain.com.
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