DNS questions

I have my domain, a few subdomains, and DNS hosted by dreamhost. Everything’s great so far, I love the service. I want a high-availability site, however, so am looking into DNS failover using a DNS hosting service - dnsmadeeasy or the like - and have a couple questions:

  • If I use dnsmadeeasy, can I still have subdomains here?
  • If so, would I have to purchase a static IP for each domain/subdomain I have?
  • Would i have to do anything special other than simply transferring my dns hosting?

Thanks for your help!

You should note there is another thread in the board with similar questions that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention - probably because it’s not an area that a lot of folks is familiar with.

One thing to note is that your use of the term “static IP addresses” will confuse a lot of people. Are you asking whether you will need “unique IP addresses”? You will not need a unique IP address.

From what barbara said, the dnsmadeeasy solution involves nameserver failover so you will be depending on the DreamHost nameserver to map addresses to IP addresses when it is up.

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I actually did mean ‘static’ (not unique), but a quick search through the DH site indicated that static ip isn’t offered. I figured that if i was using a third party DNS then I would need a static IP address route to - otherwise if DH decides to reshuffle the IP of the server my account is on, how will the dnsmadeeasy nameservers know about it? Can someone explain that for me? I don’t know too much about the subtleties of DNS.

Only if your DNS is hosted at DNSMadeEasy. If you read the fine print for the failover service there:
"Note: This service is integrated with the DNS Made Easy Enterprise Managed DNS solution. Your domain must be managed with our DNS services for you to use this product.

If you’re going to have DNS hosted elsewhere, almost certainly.

Not as simple as ya might think.

Yes, I plan to use DNSMadeEasy to host my DNS. Sorry I didn’t state that explicitly, but I thought the context would have made that obvious.

‘Almost’? What’s that mean? Is that just a muddled way of saying ‘yes’?

Care to elaborate?

From the other thread:

[quote]1. through my registrar, I change the dns records to point to dnsmadeeasy

  1. through dnsmadeeasy my primary route to my website is through ns1.dreamhost.com etc. then I use the other ones they give me.[/quote]
    Regarding “static” IP addresses. I’m pretty sure that IP addresses at DreamHost are not “dynamic” in the DHCP sense. That is, they don’t change every time your server is rebooted. They only change if DreamHost has to move you from one IP address to another or (more likely) from one server to another.

It would be interesting to hear whether people’s IP addresses have changed other than from having to move to a different server. Mine haven’t.

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My IP addresses differ depending on some settings I haven’t quite figured out yet. Some of it must depend on PHP4 vs. PHP5, but for my one server and all its sites, I have at least three separate IP addresses. Maybe FastCGI is another factor.


No fuss. I was just pointing out that the failover product requires that you use their DNS service as well.

See Lensman’s post above. He explains the IP situation perfectly - whereas it’s unlikely the address will change, there is some reasonable possibility. It’s your choice of whether or not to trust it.

Depends - do you need failover for your MX (mailserver) records as well?

Each of our domains or subdomains is potentially assigned to a different IP address, but this address doesn’t change very often (or at all unless you move servers).

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No. Just for a single subdomian (eg server1.mydomain.com) that serves (more-or-less) static content.