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I have a domain, call it DOMAIN.NET, which is an Internet service provider. DOMAIN.NET has Glue Records that I put in via the existing registrar, which enable the client domains like FOO.COM, BAR.COM, BAZ.COM, etc. to use NS1.DOMAIN.NET and NS2.DOMAIN.NET as their DNS servers. For anyone who doesn't know, Glue Records are essential for the functionality of NS1, NS2, etc., not going to explain it here, but these explain it

I want to transfer DOMAIN.NET to another registrar. But, do the Glue Records get transferred? My guess is no, because I would think registrars all send and manage Glue Records themselves, and send the Glue IPs directly to the Internet root servers for .Net, so how would the new registrar know about it during a domain transfer?

I need to know before I transfer, because if the Glue records disappear, all my client domains that have NS1.DOMAIN.NET and NS2.DOMAIN.NET as their dns servers will likely start failing for a period of time until I get the Glue records re-added.

Is there a magical way to transfer Glue Records to the new registrar when transferring a domain?

EDIT Jan 2, 2013 I am happy to report that the Glue Records did get transferred with my domain. Before transferring my live domain, I transferred a "test" domain which had Glue Records. Transferred from Network Solutions into Godaddy. After transfer, when I query the root servers, it still shows my glue records are there. When I look at the Godaddy Domain Control Panel, the domain shows all the Glue Records under "Host Summary", meaning they did transfer into the new registrar with the domain. For others resting this, I would be safer to use a different DNS during the transfer of that domain, just in case the Glue Records were lost to avoid loops.

I imagine others may be in similar positions as me at some point, and I hope this is very useful information, since I couldn't find the answer anywhere.

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1 Answer 1

It depends on the registrar and on who's providing the DNS servers for DOMAIN.NET

In your example .NET is the top-level domain. Omitting some details, when a computer on the Internet is trying to get to a computer in DOMAIN.NET

  • it already knows how to find the nameservers for .NET (and the other top-level domains like .COM .ORG .CA and so on), so it goes to one of those and asks for the address of the nameservers for DOMAIN.NET
  • the nameservers for .NET know the IP addresses of the nameservers for DOMAIN.NET (those are the glue records)
  • and then the nameservers for DOMAIN.NET know the IP addresses of computers within your domain

In principle, if you are running your own DNS servers and simply change registrars, the glue records don't change and you could probably switch by doing nothing.

The way your question is worded, it sounds like the registrar is also providing the DNS servers for your domain, in which case the glue records don't need to be transferred, they need to be changed, and that's not going to happen automatically.

If you're relying on your registrar's name servers, you need to talk to the new registrar and find out when they'll change the glue records after you transfer the domain to them. Then you need to talk to the old registrar and make sure they continue to provide services (with the old glue records) until the change takes place.

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Thanks! Yes, I run my own DNS. The more I read about Glue records, I think it's only really an issue when DNS queries for DOMAIN.NET get response from .Net root saying "go ask NS1.DOMAIN.NET and NS2.DOMAIN.NET" which would cause an infinite loop. If I set up another domain with say NS1.NEW.NET and NS2.NEW.NET pointing to my DNS, point DOMAIN.NET nameservers to those, then I think all queries for all client domains plus queries for DOMAIN.NET would all work perfectly while the transfer is in progress. No infinite loop if DOMAIN.NET nameservers are another domain name, right? –  Crash Override Dec 29 '12 at 2:08
    
I am happy to report that the Glue Records did get transferred with my domain. I transferred the domain from Network Solutions into Godaddy. When I query the root servers, it still shows my glue records are there. When I look at the Godaddy Domain Control Panel, the domain shows all the Glue Records under "Host Summary", meaning they did transfer into the new registrar with the domain. It was still safer for me to use a different DNS during the transfer just in case the Glue Records were lost. This will be very useful information for others, since I couldn't find the answer anywhere. –  Crash Override Jan 1 '13 at 15:54

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