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Procedure to Change Nameservers

  • From: Crist Clark
  • Date: Tue Sep 16 18:50:56 2008

This should be easy. But sometimes things that seem like they
should be easy are not.

I want to change the nameservers for a bunch of domains. Really,
all I want to do is change the IP address, but it seems easier
just to change both the name and IP to avoid any possibility of
confusion. However, I am not "physically" moving the services.
These are the same physical servers, just an additional IP address
assigned to the appropriate interface. I want to do this the
"right" way.

Here's what I want to do. Am I doing anything wrong? (Am I being
way too careful?) For the example, let's use the names, old-dns1,
new-dns1, old-dns2, and new-dns2. I think you can guess what they

1) Add new-dns1 and new-dns2 to the NS records for a domain. (Possible
problem: I have NS records in my authorative DNS for the zone that
are not in the hints at the gTLD server level. But that's not really
a problem, right? They are not lame servers.)

2) Change the NAMESERVER entries at the registrar from old-dns1 to
new-dn1 and old-dns2 to new-dns2.

3) Wait for the change to be reflected in the gTLD servers.

4) Wait for the TTL on the records to expire.

5) Wait a little bit longer just to be safe (maybe do some query
logging to see who still is using the old ones).

6) Remove old-dns1 and old-dns2 NS records from the zone.

7) Wait for the TTL on the records to expire.

8) Wait a bit longer.

9) Turn off DNS services at old-dns1 and old-dns2 (i.e. take out
the firewall rules that allow queries to those addresses).

10) ...

11) Profit.

Not really too bad. At least we don't have to send in host
record templates anymore.

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