We have quite a couple of domains where the rightful owner is us, but the nameserver is managed by a third party (subcontractor), who doesn't allow us to change the zone files.

Thus, we are moving to our new nameservers, which we can manage on our own, namely DigitalOcean's free DNS service.

Is it possible and if yes, what disadvantages would it bring if instead of requesting the nameserver change at the registrar for DO's nameservers, I would request a change for ns1.example.com, then I'd create a CNAME record that ns1.example.com points to ns1.digitalocean.com? Would that work?

In that case, if we ever have to move our DNS service from DigitalOcean to some other service, the registrar wouldn't need to change a hundred domains at once with all the administrative hassle, we could simply modify the abovementioned CNAME record.

  • Someone edited my question the wrong way. It's important that I wouldn't use ns1.example.com to resolve example.com, the NS for example.com would be independent and different, so as far as I understand I don't need a glue record. The question is however, should I use CNAME or A for my vanity nameserver and what drawbacks can I expect? – Rápli András Mar 20 '19 at 9:58
  • If you think you don't need a glue record, you haven't understood DNS properly. – Jenny D Mar 20 '19 at 9:59
  • Then please help clear my confusion here. Let's say user wants to visit example2.com and it has its NS record set to ns1.example.com. When querying ns1.example.com, to find out where it is, it must first find example.com. The authoritive nameserver for example.com however, is ns1.digitalocean.com, not ns1.example.com. So there is no circular dependency. Am I wrong? – Rápli András Mar 20 '19 at 10:05
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    Your latest comment is correct, except that the way that you point out the authoritative nameserver is with a glue record, not just with a cname record. Otherwise, if the zone for example.com were to be unavailable, none of the domains using ns.example.com would be reachable. – Jenny D Mar 20 '19 at 10:35
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    CNAME records for namesevers are not recommended. – Patrick Mevzek Mar 26 '19 at 0:20

Yes, it is possible. We have 7 domain and only one domain has glue records. The disadvantage is you nameservers needs to do recursion queries and it is a bit if problem. And btw you don't need to have CNAME record. Just use the main glue records in SOA for other domains. Also you can define ns records for other domains in your main domain (the one with glue records) and use define other one rather than the same as normal one.

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