If you are reading this document we are assuming three things:
- You have a server with the InterWorx Control Panel installed on it.
- You own a domain which you would like to use for a nameserver (you only need one, even if you host many sites).
- You want to use your own (ns1.mydomain.com and ns2.mydomain.com) DNS servers instead of those provided by your data center/server provider, registrar, or a third party.
You MUST own the domain in question. If you do not currently own the domain you will need to register (rent) it from a registrar such as:
These are only a few examples of the many ICANN accredited registrars and resellers on the Internet.
This document will take the reader through the steps of creating their own DNS nameserver.
The following will find it helpful:
- System Administrators who want to host their own DNS
- System Administrators can perform these steps to create DNS servers for their resellers
- Resellers who want to host their own DNS nameservers or were not provided with generic nameservers by their provider
Procedure – Author Custom Nameservers
This is a four step process.
STEP 1: Registering a domain (if you have not already done so)
The first thing you need to do if you want to run your own DNS server is to register it with your registrar. This service is normally free if you have the domain with them.
STEP 2: Creating a Name Server
- Pick a domain that you own to use for a DNS server.
- Go to your registrar and log in.
- Go to a screen called ‘manage my domain’ or ‘domain management’. (You are looking for the screen that lets you make changes to an already registered domain.)
- Go to the option Register
Create DNS Server,
Domain Host Summary, or something similar — NOT Edit DNS Servers or Modify DNS Servers, you will use that later — and fill out the form.
- The next screen or two will ask for both your IP address provided by your server provider when you signed up. and the name of your name server (for example “ns1”). Just follow their prompts.
- The DNS system requires you to register at least two nameservers, so you need to repeat the steps at least once. InterWorx allows you to specify up to three if you so choose.
Primary DNS Server: ns1.mydomain.net on IP address 126.96.36.199 Secondary DNS Server: ns2.mydomain.net on IP address 188.8.131.52 Tertiary DNS Server ns3.mydomain.net on IP address 184.108.40.206
ABOUT IP CHOICES:
Conventional wisdom says that you should use different IPs for different nameservers, and in the past it was generally required. However with modern technology/software this is not necessarily the case anymore. You can generally put two or three name servers on the same IP if you want, just as you can (and generally are required under ICANN rules) to use shared hosting and put multiple domains on the same IP. Some registrars may have a problem with this so you may want to avoid doing so if at all possible.
The purpose of having two or three nameservers is for redundancy, but being that all of your nameservers are on the same physical machine and network card anyway, odds are all of them will be down if any of them are down. Syncing two or more physical DNS servers for redundancy will be handled in a future document.
The exception here is if your data center null routes the IP (blocking all incoming and outgoing traffic) which your nameserver is on because of a spam/abuse complaint. In that case your whole DNS would be nonfunctional, and your websites would stop resolving, even if they are hosted on different IPs.
Because of the null route issue mentioned above, it is not recommended to put your nameservers on an IP address used by websites, particularly if you are only using one IP for all nameservers. The same is true of the IP you bind your InterWorx license to (normally the prime or first IP of your box), because InterWorx needs to contact license.interworx.com four times a day for it to keep working.
Many server providers only hand out one or two IPs with a server and make you justify a need for any additional IPs (using ICANN rules) with the potential that you may have to pay for the additional IPs; the individual server administrator will have to weigh the pros and cons here and decide if the extra cost of the IPs (generally $1/month) outweighs the possible headache.
STEP 3: Setting the default settings in NodeWorx
When you log into NodeWorx for the first time you are prompted to enter nameserver info. If you are installing InterWorx on your own server, go ahead and enter the data when it is promoted and click the Save changes button. The same is true if you are a reseller the first time you log in as the reseller.
If you have bought your copy of InterWorx preinstalled with your server, it is possible that your provider has already entered their own default nameservers for you. In this event, please follow the instructions in this How-To document to change them to the ones you just created.
Resellers can change this if needed on the following screen: System Services ⇒ DNS Server ⇒ Overview
STEP 4: Pointing Your Domains to the new nameservers
In years past you used to have to wait several days for the new nameservers to propagate across the Internet but in most cases you only need to wait a few hours in order to be able to start pointing domain names to them.
The default Time To Live (length of time other servers check for updates) for most DNS records is 21,600 seconds, which is about a week, causing delays in some updates. This is normal. If you make changes more often you should set a lower Time To Live setting for your A records.
To Point Your Domains:
- Go to the registrar’s site and log in.
- Go to the page where you edit the settings for the domains.
- Go to the “edit nameservers” page.
- Replace the registrar’s or your provider’s with your own. ns1. and ns2.yourdomain.com servers.
ns2.domainsite.com) assigned. It is necessary to remove both of theirs and put yours in. It is safe to ignore the warnings that they give about not being able to use their “free” dns services. They are just telling you that if you change the servers the other add-on services they provide will not work. Since you are creating your own nameservers on your server, you do not need their services. If you do not remove their servers, your name servers will not work correctly.
When you click ‘add’ or ‘ok’ you should get a message that the server was added successfully. If you get the message that you have specified an invalid name server then you haven’t waited long enough for it to propagate. Try it again in a few hours or contact your registrar for assistance if necessary.
You will need to do this for every domain which you wish to point to the new nameservers. Some registrars such as Domainsite will allow mass account editing (letting you change the nameserver or other settings for all of your domains or a specified set of them at the same time).
Registrars (selected list)
- Network Solutions