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We have had our domain registrar change the 'A' record to point to a web host's server (dedicated IP) where our site is set up.

The registrars say they are unable to change the nameservers (their nameservers) for the domain - the only way would be to transfer the domain away from them.

We are experiencing intermittent access problems with the site (some people can view it/some can not).

I am wondering if this issue has anything to do with the nameservers not pointing to the hosts nameservers? Does it matter?

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Can you clarify "intermittent access problems"? It certainly could be DNS, but it could also be dozens of other things. A better approach would be to do troubleshooting on what works and what doesn't (name resolution being one factor) when the site's not accessible. –  Shane Madden Mar 1 '12 at 22:44
    
Hi Shane, I can give examples of what has been happening * I can be viewing the site at my office, when someone else in a different office can not * One person can not access the site at all from their home on any device * 2 people in one office using wireless can view site while someone in the same office but on the cable network can not –  James Mason Mar 1 '12 at 23:51
    
On a system that's not functioning, do some testing. Try an nslookup on the site's name, and see if the name resolves. Try a ping by name, and see if it figures out the IP. Try a telnet to port 80 on the server, both by name and IP. And what errors appear in a browser when someone tries to access the site? –  Shane Madden Mar 2 '12 at 0:06
    
In one case, on a non-functioning system, they could not ping it or tracert it (failed at 4th hop). The browser message that appears on all non-functioning systems is "Oops, can not connect to..." I am trying to collate more info but this is all I have at the moment –  James Mason Mar 2 '12 at 0:22
    
Can you at least write domain-name, which have troubles? –  Lazy Badger Mar 2 '12 at 2:48
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2 Answers

If the register is hosting your dns, they can change the A record.

If the registrar is hosting your dns they can't change the nameservers for your domain cause they are using their own servers. Usually though you can have another entity host your dns aside from your registrar. But if changing an A record is causing problems, changing dns providers now is probably not the solution.

Is this a public web server ? Have you confirmed intermittent connection from outside and inside ? Or just inside ?

Anyway, what's the domain ? What is the correct current ip address ? That way we can look for ourselves and see what the problem most liely is, at least from the outside. Could be that the old ip address is cached. Oh, when did this happen ?

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Hi Karyn, yes it is a public server but I am unable to give out the IP. I realise this will limit any help that you can give and apologise for that. But yes, all problems are from the outside. Further info I can provide is that on an intodns.com check I am getting a 'Same Glue' warning : Looks like the A records (the GLUE) got from the parent zone check are different than the ones got from your nameservers. –  James Mason Mar 2 '12 at 0:29
    
@James, there is no conceivable reason why you should not freely give out the IP address of a public server. Every single person that can access it already has access to that address if they want it. –  John Gardeniers Mar 2 '12 at 1:51
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James: Considering the top secret nature of the domain name and ip address, it's probably a good thing that the site is inaccessible. Problem solved! –  joeqwerty Mar 2 '12 at 3:19
    
If you are unable to share the domain name I would strongly suggest you hire someone. It is too hard to try to walk someone through this in the dark. –  kls Mar 2 '12 at 20:40
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Let's start from defining correct terminology

  • Registrar's domain-server (server with parent domain of your domain) must have glue records about nameservers of your domain, because (in shortest form) DNS is hierarchical tree, and parent must answer on question "where they are" about direct childs. Only in this case client, asking host a.b.c.d.e.f.com (host a of domain b of domain c of domain dof domain e of domain fof domain com) will get answer (from server, which have b.c.d.e.f.com domain).

What is and why glue

Glue records in parent zone provide exactly this ability: if we'll continue to use example above, in c.d.e.f.com zone definition we must have b IN NS somename, where somename is|are hostname(s) of NSes for domain b.c.d.e.f.com (and this records must be identical to righthand of IN NS RR in domain b.c.d.e.f.com - parents and auth. servers give same info).

Glue records have extremely big value, then NSes of domain located on hosts inside served domain. Just imagine - we have to find NSes of domain b.c.d.e.f.com, placed (for simplicity - 1 NS) on names.b.c.d.e.f.com, but in order to know IP of names, we have to get zone b.c.d.e.f.com, for which task we have to know IP of names... etc. Loop.

In order to avoid such loops, glue records for domains, which have own NSes inside itself, carry additional data - IP of hostname

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