Migrating DNS domains/records from VPS.NET to Linode

As I am now back to using Linode after suffering a while with VPS.NET (which I would no longer recommend to anybody after the unbelievable and ridiculous outages, software bugs and what have you, I have experienced with them over the past months), I needed to migrate the DNS settings for my domains from VPS.NET to Linode.

Unfortunately while Linode does support DNS zone transfers, VPS.NET does not… but luckily both have APIs which allow this among other things. So I have quickly put together a ruby script, and got all my domains migrated in a very short time.

However, I have a doubt: because, while importing, Linode API did not support the value "@" used by VPS.NET to define the default value for a host, I have omitted the "host" parameter when creating domain resources with Linode API having that value as host. The parameter in fact is optional, so I guess that omitting it would make the API set the correct default value, but now in Linode DNS manager I see something like this:

~~![](<URL url=)http://img.skitch.com/20101017-k5m19fsw … qjrjmp.png">http://img.skitch.com/20101017-k5m19fswq4mdscsmkejqqjrjmp.png" />

Is this correct or should it show something other than an empty string?

I want to double check before chaging name servers for these domains.


6 Replies

As far as I can tell, @ and are interchangeable for the hostname in Linode DNS Manager. Hit the "Render" link at far bottom to see a BIND zonefile, the empty ones should shouw up as @s there.

Blank is correct.

Also, if you want to make sure everything is OK on linode's nameservers before moving over, use the dig command:

$ dig hoopycat.com @ns1.linode.com
;hoopycat.com.            IN  A

hoopycat.com.        86400   IN  A
$ dig hoopycat.com mx @ns1.linode.com
;hoopycat.com.            IN  MX

hoopycat.com.        86400   IN  MX  10 mail.hoopycat.com.

Also check @ns2.linode.com, ns3, ns4, and ns5 to make sure those are well too.

Thanks, I also thought to check with dig soon after posting - thanks for the suggestion though.

Am happy to see that Linode have DNS service in London too!

Query time is great, so I have set ns5.linode.com as the main name server, followed by Neward/NS4 (which if I remember rightly still is the best option for Europe, among the other data centres), and then the others.

For what it's worth, there's no preference for authoritative nameservers… they're all equally likely to be chosen by a resolver. Same applies to having multiple A records for a name, etc.

A smart resolver will tend towards preferring the best-performing of the available nameservers, so stick all five in there.

Ah OK, good to know. I was always of the impression that the order had some meaning. I added all of them anyway, in the order I said earlier but I added all of them. But for users, for instance, in London, which one would be first choice? Would it be the London one?

London would be my first guess. Of course, someone's computer could be configured to query a nameserver in California (unlikely, but possible), in which case Fremont would probably be quicker. Either way, the difference isn't much worse than a tenth of a second.


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