Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Malaysian NIC downtime

Please be informed that .my DOMAIN REGISTRY will be conducting planned maintenance works as below:

Date/Time Start : 18th July 2010 (Sunday) / 11.00 PM
Date/Time End : 19th July 2010 (Monday) / 5.00 AM

Please note that the .my DOMAIN REGISTRY website and Whois service will be not available during the maintenance time. However, please note that all domain names registered with .my DOMAIN REGISTRY will not be affected by this maintenance work.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

CO.CC sites can be geotargetted in Google!

In Google webmaster tools, you can choose a country to target your .com, .net or .org domain, where there is no particular country associated with the TLD.

This means, if you have a .com domain selling Pizzas in prestwick, you don't want Terry from Arkansas asking if you can deliver to his house. So, you can say, my .com is for UK visitors. Giving you a boost in the UK, where you need it, and a drop everywhere else where you don't

You can't do this with a .ie or .fr domain, since google says, that if you buy a .ie, you must be targetting ireland, and you can't change that.

However, it doesn't have the same view on .co.cc domains (Cocos Islands), and actually lets you say that my .co.cc is not for residents of the Cocos islands, but I'd like to sell to america, or india or whatever.

Best bit is, that .co.cc domains are free for the most part, and you can set them up on our nameservers for free too!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Romanian NIC Nameserver Migration

Interesting news that the Romanian NIC are migrating their DNS infrastructure

Additional secondaries are not currently supported.

They will shortly move name servers and already included your request manually to the new nameserver (which will go live in the next couple of days):

dig @ smsgratis.co.ro NS

; <<>> DiG 9.6.0-APPLE-P2 <<>> @ smsgratis.co.ro NS
; (1 server found)
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 53223
;; flags: qr rd; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 3, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0
;; WARNING: recursion requested but not available

;smsgratis.co.ro. IN NS

smsgratis.co.ro. 2400 IN NS ns4.openmerchantaccount.com.
smsgratis.co.ro. 2400 IN NS ns3.openmerchantaccount.com.
smsgratis.co.ro. 2400 IN NS ns5.openmerchantaccount.com.

;; Query time: 40 msec
;; WHEN: Fri Jul 9 14:33:33 2010
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 110

In the near future also offer this option as a user-configurable feature.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

How to check if a DNS change is propagating

Sometimes, you make a change to the DNS at your registrar, and nothing happens for a day. You could be forgiven for wondering if anything has changed, or if the change is just propagating.

Simple way to check this is, find out a name server responsible for the top level domain, or in the case that you bought a second level domain, a level above your domain.

For example, with BesplatnoSMS.co.rs, the level above my domain is co.rs, I can find the responsible Name servers for co.rs with:

C:\Windows\system32>nslookup -q=ns co.rs
Server: dir-615

Non-authoritative answer:
co.rs nameserver = odisej.telekom.rs
co.rs nameserver = ns1.nic.rs

odisej.telekom.rs internet address =

Then, I can check the record held by this DNS server with a specific NSLookup request

C:\Windows\system32>nslookup -q=ns besplatnosms.co.rs ns1.nic.rs
Server: ns.etf.rs

besplatnosms.co.rs nameserver = ns3.openmerchantaccount.com
besplatnosms.co.rs nameserver = ns4.openmerchantaccount.com
besplatnosms.co.rs nameserver = ns5.openmerchantaccount.com

Even though at the time of writing, the change (the addition of a third nameserver) hadn't propagated to my laptop.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Redundant DNS servers

A domain name normally has 2 DNS servers, but it is possible to increase this to ensure more redundancy, i.e. ensuring that a full datacenter failure doesn't bring down your domain.

I've added ns5.openmerchantaccount.com, as a new DNS server, on the same machine as my webserver - A windows 2003 box. This is what I did.

Started the DNS server service (Services> DNS Server > Right click properties > Automatic > start). Start > Run > DNSMgmt.msc > Refresh.

Click on Forward lookup zone > Primary Zone.

Now add Three NS records, for Ns3.openmerchantaccount.com, Ns4.openmerchantaccount.com, and Ns5.openmerchantaccount.com. And an Three A records, one for @, * and www, the * being my preference.

Importantly, go to the registrar of your domain and enter the three Nameservers as above.

Now, to test this, I waited until the NS records had delegated from the registrar, by checking

NSLookup -q=ns freesms.org.il during the day until all three nameservers appeared.

I then momentarilly stopped the two other nameservers, NS3 and Ns4 using

rndc stop

After the cache timeout period of about a minute, I tried pinging domains on the ne NS3/NS4 nameservers, and as expected, they failed to return.

But happily, the domain with the third nameserver did respond!

So I restarted the DNS server again by using named in /etc/init.d.