DNS... I screwed up


#1

Was enjoying Dreamhost so much… everything just worked. So I got overconfident and decided to use it to host my DNS (moving from godaddy). GoDaddy DNS “total management” is a pain (interface wise).

The key to the whole thing is the fact that I’m not using Dreamhost to host my actual site (opensourcerails.com). I’m using to host all the stuff around opensourcerails. The blog, the email, file shares, etc.

Anyways. Really, really bad move on my part. So it turns out, custom nameserver settings will are NOT the preferred mappings. I wanted opensourcerails.com to be hosted on dreamhost (with a simple redirect www), so I had a www mapping that went to my VPS server.

For the life of me, www would not map. It kept defaulting back to the IP for dreamhost. Even though it was specifically set, and showed up in the custom dns records section.

Oh well. Had to switch things back. Site was dead (and probably still is for some people). Tremendously frustrating experience.

Hopefully I can help warn people of the fundamental rule of sysadmins. If its not broke, dont fix it!


#2

You may want to refer these articles on how to host your domain in DH.
http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Transfer_your_site_to_us
http://wiki.dreamhost.com/DNS_-_Viewing_site_before_DNS_change

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#3

Hopefully I can help warn people of the fundamental rule of sysadmins. If its not broke, dont fix it!

True, yes. But there is 2 minor exceptions to make to that rule. First is to make the change if you gain a significant benefit by doing to. And second, only make a change if your sure it can be implemented properly without any serious issues to work around. (Best way is to test it outside of the actual production system or site. I’ve found having an additional domain and server to test dns/email/etc is good, running the services on a home gentoo server prior to going anywhere near a live setup is a good way to test it. running a beta.domain.com is always a nice place to test code changes without affecting the live system.)

Just figured I’d throw in my 2 cents.

–John V


#4

[quote]The key to the whole thing is the fact that I’m not using Dreamhost to host my actual site (opensourcerails.com). I’m using to host all the stuff around opensourcerails. The blog, the email, file shares, etc.

Anyways. Really, really bad move on my part. So it turns out, custom nameserver settings will are NOT the preferred mappings. I wanted opensourcerails.com to be hosted on dreamhost (with a simple redirect www), so I had a www mapping that went to my VPS server.

For the life of me, www would not map. It kept defaulting back to the IP for dreamhost. Even though it was specifically set, and showed up in the custom dns records section.[/quote]
I’m not quite sure what you did, but I can certainly say that I’ve done lots of DNS configs with Dreamhost where I have the main domain hosted here and subdomains hosted elsewhere as well as the situation where the main domain is hosted elsewhere and the subdomains are hosted here. I also have domains where subdomains are hosted at my home and the main domain and some other subdomains are hosted at Dreamhost.

The one configuration that is complicated is when you want the main domain hosted at your home and want subdomains hosted at Dreamhost and you have a dynamic IP address at home. This is because you can’t have a CNAME defined for your main domain (no blank CNAME records allowed for a domain) - and at Dreamhost I don’t think it’s possible to redirect your main domain to the www subdomain.

Anyway, I suppose it’s live and learn.

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