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I don't have a ton of knowledge about DNS so I want to be as cautious as possible before I pull the trigger on a re-point.

Scenario

I am doing a simple migration of a website from one server to another. During downtime I want to do the DNS switch to the new server. If something goes wrong and I switch the DNS back immediately, what could potentially go wrong here? Could the DNS get mucked up in any way?

I will have the TTL set to 5 minutes on each server prior to making this change occur.

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  • TTL on each server? Are there two different DNS servers, or? – thrig Feb 25 '16 at 21:19
  • There are just two MediaTemple servers. Going from one to another using MediaTemple's nameservers, so really just pointing the domain to another IP. – Jared Eitnier Feb 25 '16 at 21:20
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Probably you'll hit the DNS caching. First you'll need to wait for cache refresh of your visitors providers, then, if you decide to switch back, you'll need to wait again. Many Internet providers tend to override TTL and set it to 1 hour minimum.

In my experience, visitors came to old IP many hours after the DNS change.

I suggest to use some kind of reverse proxy, like nginx, in front of your sites and switch backends with it.

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