custom nameservers

Hi all…I'm new to Linode, but like what I see so far. I just have a quick question to see if anyone else here does (for the lack of a better term) custom nameservers through the DNS Manager.

In other words, let's say I have a domain (mydomain.com) that I want to use as a "front end" for my hosting business, and I want to host several other client domains here as well. While I don't necessarily want to go into all-out "reseller" mode, I would like to be able to tell my clients to point their domains to ns1.mydomain.com and ns2.mydomain.com, then I'll handle adding their domain info in the DNS Manager here at Linode. That make sense?

I realize there's some discussion here on the forums about a resistance to doing too much DNS stuff on Linode servers and instead using external DNS managers, but this is exactly the setup I have right now on hostgator, and I'm just wondering if I can duplicate it here. I'm kinda caught in the middle ground of needing to handle more domains than the freebies allow, and not wanting to pay for external DNS management if it's part of what I'm paying for here. I'd love to get off of hostgator if possible, but I'm checking to make sure I can do what I need here at Linode before I make a move.

Thanks for any info, advice, etc.


Eric Imboden

Common Context, LLC .:. http://commoncontext.com

my tech thoughts -- http://redsquiggly.com

10 Replies

You could try creating a CNAME record for ns1.yourdomain.com that points to ns1.linode.com, but I don't think the registrars will accept such a solution. Besides, Linode won't be terribly happy if you used their DNS service but tried to hide the fact that you do…

On the other hand, if you're planning to run a hosting business out of a VPS, you could easily set up your own DNS server(s) and do whatever you want from there. Most web hosting control panels, including Webmin, allow you to easily manage a DNS server such as BIND.

Thanks for the reply, hybinet…managing DNS through a control panel was going to be my next question, but I wanted to keep it simple for the first post. I toyed with Virtualmin for a bit, and saw that it did some DNS stuff, but I was unsure about how that would play with the DNS stuff I'd already setup through DNS Manager.

I also thought Virtualmin kinda funkified my Apache setup a bit, and I wasn't as familiar with how it was configured…nothing I couldn't get used to in time, but was just a bit hesitant to go that route until I knew more about it. The more I read in this forum and the more I learn about some of the control panels (specifically Web/Virtualmin), sounds like this is probably the direction I want to go.

So do you know whether I would need to leave the DNS Manager alone and manage DNS strictly through Virtualmin? That would make sense…I'll try to play with that scenario if I get some time today.

By the way, my intention is certainly not to hide the fact that Linode is doing the work behind the scenes. I just like to keep it simple for my clients, most (ok, pretty much all) of which have no clue about servers, DNS, etc. Also, if they're all pointing to my custom names, then it makes it much simpler to switch to another provider in the future, like I'm hoping to do by moving from hostgator to linode right now. Instead of changing 20+ domains at GoDaddy or wherever, I can make one change that affects all of them.

Also, this isn't necessarily even something I thought of myself…hostgator made it trivial to do it, and it was basically offered as part of their service. If it's a feature that Linode doesn't want to get into, I'm fine with that…I'm just trying to compare apples-to-apples.

Thanks again for your reply and your help.

[email protected] ~$ dig markwalling.org NS +short ns1.dontlike.us. ns4.dontlike.us. ns3.dontlike.us. ns5.dontlike.us. ns2.dontlike.us. [email protected] ~$ dig ns1.dontlike.us. A +short 67.18.208.100 [email protected] ~$ dig ns2.dontlike.us. A +short 69.93.127.10 [email protected] ~$ dig 10.127.93.69.in-addr.arpa PTR +short ns1.linode.com.

If someone did a rDNS lookup on one of my name servers, they would see that it was a linode.com name server, as opposed to a donlike.us.

@sitecooker:

So do you know whether I would need to leave the DNS Manager alone and manage DNS strictly through Virtualmin? That would make sense…I'll try to play with that scenario if I get some time today.

IMHO, that would be the best way to go. Of course, your main domain should still use Linode's DNS Manager, your registrar, or some other third party. Doesn't make much sense to point yourdomain.com to ns1.yourdomain.com :)

Just one thing to watch out: you need to register your nameservers with the appropriate authorities before you can tell your clients to point their domains to them. You probably don't have to pay anything this time, but you still need to register them. And some registrars require that your two nameservers be on separate networks, so if one of them gets blown away by a hurricane, the other would still serve requests. Might be a good idea to run two separate servers, say, 1 in Newark and 1 in Dallas. If you also replicate the data between the two servers, then you can boast to your clients about having geographical redundancy; otherwise you could just use the second server for daily backups.

@hybinet:

Doesn't make much sense to point yourdomain.com to ns1.yourdomain.com :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_nam … ue_records">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domainnamesystem#Circulardependenciesandgluerecords

DNS Made Easy is an excellent service and pretty damn cheap, $14.95 per year. The reliability and the ease IMO is worth a buck a month ;)

Setting up the "Vanity DNS" servers is simple BTW 8)

Seconded; DNS Made Easy is a great service.

@Xan:

Seconded; DNS Made Easy is a great service.

Everydns is another good alternative. They are free but like a donation

if you can.

Fred-

@flb:

Everydns is another good alternative. They are free but like a donation

if you can.

If you donate to Everydns you get to customise TTLs.

They are a decent service.

Thanks everyone for your help and suggestions. After a quick look, DNS Made Easy certainly does look like it would be worth it for only $15/yr. I'll have to take a closer look, but I think I might just have my answer.

As for EveryDNS, it looks like it would probably work as well, but if I'm going to pay to get "vanity" name servers, I don't see why I shouldn't go with DNS Made Easy.

Anyway, thanks again for the suggestions…great help!

Eric


Eric Imboden

Common Context, LLC .:. http://commoncontext.com

my tech thoughts -- http://redsquiggly.com

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