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We run a couple named DNS servers for our block of static IP addresses. When we make some IP address changes or dns name changes on our servers, we can see it propogate out into the net very quickly.

However, we are doing some major static IP address changes and the external static IP addresses of our actual nameservers are changing. If I change the IP address of the nameservers on our nameservers, will the changes propogate out to the internet just the same as any other change?

Kinda sounds like a dumb question maybe, but it seems like if the IP address for the nameserver changes, then other servers can't connect to that nameserver to determine the changes. Make sense? Kind of a chicken or the egg problem. Is there anything else I need to do, or will it just take time for the changes to get out there?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You will have to update your registrar (where you registered your domain with) with the new nameserver IPs. ie. if you registered bigdomain.com with GoDaddy, you have to go tell GoDaddy your new nameserver IP addresses so they can update the upstream servers.

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Ya I realized this answer right after posting this question. Obvious really. Thanks! –  Jakobud Jun 22 '10 at 4:13

You'll just need to keep the existing nameservers and the new ones running concurrently for a while. You'll need to setup the new nameservers, then make the switch, and keep the existing ones running for a while.

The length it takes for dns updates to propogate is related to the TTL (Time To Live) of the record. Individual records and domains as a whole have TTL entries. You'll want to be slowly dropping the TTL up until you start making these big changes and then start ramping it back up again. Mind you, ISP dns servers around the world tend to cache dns results for as long as they see fit and don't always take your TTL into account.

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Suppose your domain is example.com. You described changing IP addresses for names that you're authoritative for, like www.example.com. After the TTL expires, other name servers on the Internet will again query your authoritative nameservers and pick up the new IP address the name points to.

So who speaks authoritatively for what the nameservers (the NS record, similar to the A record for addresses) are for example.com? It's the TLD nameservers for .com. These entries come from he information you've listed with your registrar (as @peelman mentions).

You can look up some of this information with commands like

dig in ns example.com @8.8.8.8

dig in ns example.com @8.8.8.8 +trace

where 8.8.8.8 one of the Google public nameservers (could be some other if you choose) and example.com is your domain. One thing to note would be the TTL of the NS records, which will tell you the minimum amount of time (in seconds) you ought keep your existing name servers up for to avoid inconsistencies due to caching.

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