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Our company hosts about 400 websites, divided over multiple shared hosting environments on 4 virtual servers. All the virtual servers are getting a new IP address, so we need to update the DNS settings for every domain and we need to change the settings on the servers. We use Plesk on all servers (different version though, 3 on Windows and 1 on Linux).

How can we handle this IP update smoothly? Simply updating the DNS records and the IP of the domain on the server will cause downtime because the DNS update is delayed. What are standard procedures for this?

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Unfortunately, there isn't a great way to handle it smoothly. What you can do is lower the TTL on your zone to something very short in advance of the move. Note that if you have a zone TTL now of, say, 7 days, you have to wait 7 days for all the resolvers to age it out. Then, you can change the IPs of the servers, and change the zone as well with a minimum of stale data, then increase the TTL again. Some resolvers will ignore your TTL settings and cache it for "X" time, and there's nothing you can do about that, unfortunately.

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