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I have registered and delegated a domain name with the domain name registrar, which allows me to edit a zone file for my domain. I have also set up a VPS with a hosting company, which allowed me to manage DNS records for my server zone.

Originally zone records matched each other. Since then I changed the hosting company and changed some DNS records with the domain name registrar. However, even after SOA TTL expired, DNS queries to public DNS servers are getting records from the VPS hosting company's zone file, which I am not using (for example, returns my hosting company as a nameserver, not as it should be according to the domain name registrar records).

What determines zone delegation, if both zones claim being the SOA for the domain? Is TTL greater than I expected?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You have to understand that DNS is a hierarchic system. This means that whatever DNS-servers the .ru-registry ( means are authoritative for your domain will also be the DNS-servers that will be asked when people try to resolve the domain.

Until the .ru-registry has updated the information regarding the domain to use your new name servers, your old name servers will be used.

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I thought I understand this. I even checked O'Reilly's "DNS and Bind" book. What I don't understand is what forces (or should force, but does not) ru-registry to select the DNS zone from my domain name registrar in favor of DNS zone of my hosting provider, while both have equally valid SOA records. – Alexei Danchenkov Nov 7 '12 at 9:23
You have to tell the Russian registry what name servers to use. They have no way of "finding it out" in some magical way. Whoever registered the domain can tell the Russian registry through EPP or maybe through some web-interface which name servers that should be used. – miono Nov 7 '12 at 9:33
Obviously. The registry records have a different name servers ( than what I get from the public DNS ( The question still remains how come VPS provider SOA and NS records have preference over domain registrar zone records? dig SOA gives me back this ANSWER SECTION: 42595 IN SOA 2011081101 10800 3600 604800 3600 and yet, is not a registrar. – Alexei Danchenkov Nov 7 '12 at 9:42
It's not about preference. It's about setting the correct name servers at the .ru-registry. ( These guys: ). The registrar of the domain can assist you with this. – miono Nov 7 '12 at 9:48
It turned out domain registrar had two different menus for a) editing a zone and b) setting nameservers. It is solved now. – Alexei Danchenkov Nov 7 '12 at 10:08

The domain registrar sets the authoritative name servers for the domain. The VPS will only become authoritative if you properly assign hostnames (such as & and tell your registrar to use those as your authoritative name servers.

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The problem is that dig SOA gives me back the VPS provider records, while the registrar's records indicate (dig SOA) a different and correct SOA. Should I wait another 48 hours? – Alexei Danchenkov Nov 7 '12 at 8:04
I think the problem is that your own server thinks it's authoritative and the 'dig' command is asking your own server. If you can, I'd try removing from the VPS DNS configuration. – user16081-JoeT Nov 7 '12 at 20:36

Changing a hosting provider means you need to re-register any new name servers with the domain registrar. You can check the authoritative name servers with nslookup.

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nslookup returns the records from the VPS hosting provider, which is a) non-authoritative and b) incorrect. The original question is what indicates the authoritativeness of zone delegation other than an SOA record? – Alexei Danchenkov Nov 7 '12 at 8:10
This is very TLD-specific. .COM works the way you describe, not .FR (no idea for .RU). – bortzmeyer Nov 7 '12 at 20:56

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