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I have domain.com, and it's currently served by ns1/ns2.oldisp.com. I need to change the authoritative nameservers to ns1/ns2.newisp.com.

Please tell me if my understanding of this is correct:

  • Every domain has NS records which are authoritative for the domain in question.

    domain.com. IN NS ns1.oldisp.com.

  • Every domain also has an authoritative nameserver that can be set via the registrar. My registrar says: "Changes to your name servers are sent to the registry immediately. However, it takes 24-48 hours for the changes to fully take effect."

  • When a client asks for my domain, it will ask the root servers for the authoritative domain server for .com. That will give them a.gtld-servers.net (for example), and then it will ask that server for the authoritative server for domain.com, e.g. ns1.oldisp.com. That's provided, and away we go....

I want the switch to happen quickly, so how do I tell the authoritative server for .com (e.g. a.gtld-servers.net ) to lower the TTL on my domain.com record, so clients don't cache which nameservers are authoritative (and thus keep ns1.oldisp.com around for 24-48 hours)? Is that even possible?

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2 Answers

No its not possible, and it's very, VERY rare for a client to connect directly to the tld or root nameservers. Almost inevitably they will use a local nameserver, then the ISPs nameserver which in turn may use further intermediate servers before the request goes to the tld servers.

How quickly the changes propogate depends on the existing TTL you've published. But the length of time for the a changed TTL on your current nameservers will take is dependant on the old value, and even if you set this to a minimal value (6 hours) then you've got another 6 hours on top of the last update before your new nameservers propagate - so its going to take even longer.

Just do it.

BTW if you don't know when your old nameserver is going to drop your SOA records, it can be a good idea to publish an interim zone record naming both old and new as authoritative during the transition.

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"How quickly the changes propogate depends on the existing TTL you've published" - true for your zone, not for glue NS-records in uplevel domain –  Lazy Badger Oct 18 '11 at 10:31
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Short answer - You have not ways to decrease TTL on domains, which you don't manage

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