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8 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 202069 15-Sep-2016 18:44
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I work for a web design/web hosting company that uses Spark Fibre for our office internet. We are on a business plan, not a residential plan.

 

As part of what we do we often update the DNS records on our clients domains in order to move them over to our hosting, I completely realise that DNS changes take time to propagate, that's not what the issue is.

 

What I'm noticing is that ns2.xtra.co.nz is usually pretty quick about picking up the updated record, but ns1.xtra.co.nz is much slower, and more alarmingly, for a reasonable period of time (a few hours at least) it will randomly return either the old or new IP address.

 

This is frustrating because it means that for a period of time we can only inconsistently access the new site, and I found it pretty concerning that a single server doesn't consistently return the same result, I can understand it being stuck on the old IP address but returning two different results within seconds of each other is very strange.

 

I've noticed this on a few different domains on separate occasions, so it doesn't appear to be a one-off thing.

 

I'm testing this using a command along the lines of "nslookup example.co.nz ns1.xtra.co.nz", so I believe I should be bypassing any caching on my end, whether in the OS or at the modem/router level.

 

I have attempted to contact Spark support using the usual channels but to be honest, the ones I've talked to don't seem to have the level of technical knowledge to understand what I'm talking about.

 

The other frustrating thing is that it will resolve itself after a (seemly random) period of time, so often by the time I notice the issue, and get through the hold times to manage to talk to someone beyond the first line of defense the DNS server has started being consistent again, even though it was definitely playing up all morning.

 

I do have another client domain that was updated today, which I suspect will be in the midst of the issue, however I can't confirm that it's playing up as I have a different ISP at home and can't query the xtra servers. I'm happy to PM this to one of the Spark guys for them to test.

 

So basically I'm asking, has anyone else noticed this issue or can confirm what I'm seeing?

 

Is there some secret code (shibboleet?) that would allow me to talk to someone at Spark who understands what I'm actually talking about, when the issue occurs again?

 

 

 

Thanks in advance,

 

James


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1631227 15-Sep-2016 19:08
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I have come across this several times before, the hard part is trying to get someone at xtra / spark to believe you.

 

You are not going bonkers.

 

Moving the DNS & Name server does not always fix the problem as one or two of the spark DNS servers are very sticky.

 

John

 

 





I know enough to be dangerous


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  Reply # 1631229 15-Sep-2016 19:13
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Are they caching things beyond your TTL on the domain?

 

I have rarely had any problems with any ISPs holding onto records in excess of the 5 min TTL I usually run with.

 

Also the reason that you will get different results from the "same" server is that it will not be the same server, they have heaps of them.





Richard rich.ms



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1631250 15-Sep-2016 19:36
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SATTV:

 

I have come across this several times before, the hard part is trying to get someone at xtra / spark to believe you.

 

You are not going bonkers.

 

Moving the DNS & Name server does not always fix the problem as one or two of the spark DNS servers are very sticky.

 

John

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn't get the impression that they didn't believe me, just that they didn't understand what the issue was. One person I spoke to basically said that verbatim. At least they didn't tell me to turn the router off and on again laughing

 

The domains in question are mostly using our nameservers, but none of them are using the xtra nameservers.




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1631254 15-Sep-2016 19:45
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richms:

 

Are they caching things beyond your TTL on the domain?

 

I have rarely had any problems with any ISPs holding onto records in excess of the 5 min TTL I usually run with.

 

Also the reason that you will get different results from the "same" server is that it will not be the same server, they have heaps of them.

 

 

 

 

It's less about the TTL and more about the inconsistent results. Anyway, ns2 updates relatively quickly, it's just ns1 that is problematic.

 

I don't doubt that they run multiple servers, but then doesn't that suggest that the cluster (or whatever) isn't keeping in sync? They manage to have ns2 be consistent, why not ns1?


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  Reply # 1631257 15-Sep-2016 19:51
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The individual servers behind the load balancer will just time out as the records TTL on that server expires. Why would they bother putting stuff in to keep independent customer facing DNS servers in sync when things will naturally age?

 

Its not like the bad days when they would hang onto things for well in excess of the TTL and even serve up records for domains they previously hosted but had been moved elsewhere and claim to be authoritive at the same time.

 

What TTL were you running with and has it been that long since all your servers were updated?





Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 1631294 15-Sep-2016 20:25
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PM me a clear description of what happens, with examples if possible, and in as much detail as possible. I can't promise to get it fixed (it's not my area) but I can promise to make sure someone appropriate at least sees it.

 

 

 

Cheers - N




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 1631296 15-Sep-2016 20:28
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richms:

 

The individual servers behind the load balancer will just time out as the records TTL on that server expires. Why would they bother putting stuff in to keep independent customer facing DNS servers in sync when things will naturally age?

 

 

To prevent the kind of annoyances I'm having? Still doesn't explain why ns2 doesn't exhibit the same behaviour, although I guess it could have just been coincidence so far that ns1 has been the flaky one.

 

 

 

 

 

richms:

 

What TTL were you running with and has it been that long since all your servers were updated?

 

 

I haven't done any definitive testing to see if it always comes right after the length of the TTL. My concern is mainly around the inconsistency within ns1, especially compared to how ns2 always seems to be returning what I expect.


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