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I have a few domains hosted on nameservers at Zerigo. Zerigo have 5 nameservers and I have all 5 in the nameserver records for my domains. The nameservers are in different geographical locations (3 in the US, one in London, and one in Amsterdam).

When someone goes to a domain of mine and the DNS resolution occurs, how will it choose a nameserver? Will it always go to the nearest geographical one? Will it go to the one with fewest hops? Will it just choose one at random? (This is assuming all 5 are functioning perfectly).



And does it make any difference which order I list the nameservers in on the domain name records?

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Order doesn't really matter; when the server is first started it is likely to hand them out in order, but round robin will quickly take over and the "next" request will seem randomly selected. See TomTom's answer. – Chris S Jan 3 '11 at 14:28
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Pretty much random. ROund robin, but given that they ask their providers server which may or may not have something cached....

NORMAL USERS: Ask their providers dns server for the ip address, which goes most likely to the root servers and gets a dns to ask from there (random, i.e. round robin).

COMPANIES: ask their own name server which - again - goes to root and the result is random.

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