Appies
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DNS Service

DNS Service

Each Appies server is also it's own name server which serves as both the primary and secondary name servers for all domains on the server.  Since only domains registered on the physical server are using the name server, resource use is kept at a minimum. Every domain name you own must be registered in name servers before they can be viewable by the world. You can choose to use our name servers or use your Registrar's name servers, if they provide that service.

 Awesome Feature...

Appies DNS service gives you complete control over your DNS records where you can customize and modify records in real time.  No more sending in tech support requests for this and waiting days!

A quick lesson on DNS. The Domain Name System was established to make Internet addresses more human readable and ultimately more marketable. Each Internet address uses an IP address (ex. 123.123.123.123). Domain names bind to IP addresses and to certain folders on Web servers allowing more than one domain to share an IP address.

There is a global registry that controls root name servers that each DNS server looks to for information on where to find authoritative information on domains.  Registrars are companies setup to market domain names and maintain their own databases with these domains.  The Registrars send their name server information updates to the global registry several times per day. Authoritative information on domains, specifics like the IP address to bind to, A records, MX records, CNAMES are all maintained on name servers.

Do you need to use our name servers for your domains? No. You can use third party DNS service like those provided by registrars or even the free DNS service providers out there.  So why use our DNS service?

  • Ease of use. Appies DNS Service is very easy to use and allows you complete control over your DNS record including modification/addition/removal of A records, MX records, and CNAMES. Using our DNS Service keeps everything "under one roof".
  • Timely updates. Any change made is immediately sent to the name server and read by the name server within 15 minutes.
  • Support. We provide support for the DNS service interface plus we have DNS experts on staff to provide consulting if needed.

 
The DNS Service interface. When you click "Domain Management" >> "DNS Service" you may notice a delay.  This delay is associated with the lookup of each domain you have listed in "Your Domains".  The lookups provide valuable information on most domains such as expiration date, name servers, and registrar. 
 
 Helpful Hint...

When you have many domains, the lookups can cause you to wait longer than you would like.  In this case, deselect the "Domain Lookups On" checkbox and click the "process" button at the bottom of the page.

 Technical Note...

The root server that are queried using the whois tool are often very busy and timeout after 2 seconds.  Your domains may show "Registration information for this domain is currently not available" at times.  You can ignore this or refresh to attempt to get the information again.

Domain Name - This column list the domain name linked to the website of that domain. If expiration date information is available, it is listed here as well.  This expiration date is when the domain expires with the registry and has nothing to do with the name servers.

Registrar - If available, the registrar and a link to the registrar for this domain will be in this column.

Authoritative Name Servers - This reads the current information that is being sent out by your registrar.

 Technical Note...

When name servers are first registered or modified with a registrar, the root name servers are not updated right away.  It usually takes up to 6 hours for the root name servers to pick up the change being broadcasted by your registrar.  Therefore, just because your registrar is showing current name servers, does not mean that other name servers are picking these changes up yet.

Options - Clicking the edit icon will take you to the confirmation page (if an additional domain and never clicked before for that domain) or to the edit DNS record screen (if your masterdomain or if an additional domain and never clicked before).

Activating DNS Service for a domain. Your masterdomain ( ) is already added in our DNS by default, unless you specified otherwise during server setup.  Any other domains you have on your server (sub domains NOT included, since they do not require their own DNS record) that you would like to register in our DNS servers, can be added simply by clicking the edit icon to in the right column on the main screen.  This will take you to the confirmation page where your Host provider's DNS policy will be stated, along with any extra charges associated with DNS Service.  Once you click "Continue" on this page, your domain is now registered in the DNS server and there is nothing more you need to do except perhaps wait a maximum of 15 minutes before the name server starts broadcasting your domain.  However, you will be presented with other options.

Managing DNS Records. Once your domains are in the name server, clicking the edit icon will take you directly to the "Managing DNS Record" window.  Here you can customize your domain if needed.

 Be Careful...

Very few DNS records ever need to be modified.  DNS modification is a fairly sophisticated topic that requires good understanding of DNS.  Entering incorrect information can cause your domain to stop working.

Without getting into too much detail on DNS, here are some basics on modifying your DNS.

  • Each domain is setup with a wildcard (*) A record. This means that subdomains can be used that all forward to your master IP address. This wildcard host name includes subdomains like "www", "ftp", "mail" and everything else so there is no need to create these.
  • For the MX record, if you wish to redirect mail for that domain to another mail server, edit the default mail record and change the "Destination" to a hostname.  If you only know the IP address, look up the hostname using nslookup or dig.
  • Use the commands under the "Options" column header to access any line of the DNS record.  As soon as you click the "Save Changes" link, your changes will be saved (did I really have to say that?)

Creating Offsite MX Records. In some cases, you or your customers may wish to have all of their mail forwarded offsite to another mail server, often an Exchange server.  This is easy to do with the Appies DNS service.  You just need to know the IP address of the mail exchange server you will be forwarding all mail to. To show how to do this, we have created a "how to" viewlet that can best explain how this is done.

Canceling DNS Service. Within the edit screen is the "Cancel DNS Service" link.  This will take you to a screen basically warning you of what you are about to do.  You have a chance there to back out or to continue.  Once you continue, the domain will be removed from the name servers. 

 

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