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A Seamless Way to Manage a Smooth DNS Transfer

Posted by Allura Murray-Cruz on 15 11 2017.

Moving DNS from one provider to other is generally done as a last resort, the reason being that this can cause some downtime. Nobody likes downtimes, especially frustrated clients, continuous phone calls or pile of tickets due to downtime.

We will use the terms old DNS and new DNS.

Lets run through the below steps to make your DNS transfer as smooth as possible

 	Take Backup of the old DNS zone.

Go to the old DNS panel, check if you are able to download the DNS zone file. Or else try to copy all the records to a notepad. This will allow you to have backup of the records for future reference.

 	Copying the DNS records

Depending on the features available you can import the DNS records to the new DNS zone. Copy all the records from the old DNS. Once copied, verify all the records.

 	Lower TTL values

TTL value means “Time To Live”.…

Moving DNS from one provider to other is generally done as a last resort, the reason being that this can cause some downtime. Nobody likes downtimes, especially frustrated clients, continuous phone calls or pile of tickets due to downtime.

We will use the terms old DNS and new DNS.

Lets run through the below steps to make your DNS transfer as smooth as possible

  1. Take Backup of the old DNS zone.

Go to the old DNS panel, check if you are able to download the DNS zone file. Or else try to copy all the records to a notepad. This will allow you to have backup of the records for future reference.

  1. Copying the DNS records

Depending on the features available you can import the DNS records to the new DNS zone. Copy all the records from the old DNS. Once copied, verify all the records.

  1. Lower TTL values

TTL value means “Time To Live”. This is the time which DNS servers recognize while refreshing the DNS records. If you lower the TTL value before changing the DNS records this will minimize any downtimes.

Most DNS servers allow minimum TTL of 30 seconds or 300 seconds (i.e. 5minutes). So Lower the TTL for all the records in old DNS and the new DNS zone. To be on safe side lower the TTLs at least 24 hours before you plan to change the DNS records.

It’s ideal to do the DNS switch at non peak hours or one weekends to avoid any downtimes.

  1. Switching the Name servers

Once you have verified that the records are same on the old DNS zone and the new DNS zone, and you have done the TTL settings 24 hours earlier. Now it’s right time to make the name server switch.

You will need to login to the domain registrar panel to change the name server information. Select the domain name for which you want to change the name server information.

Note: It may take 24 hours for DNS to propagate.

  1. Test DNS propagation

If you have followed all the above steps and taken the necessary precautions mentioned in the above steps, your DNS propagation should be ideally completed in 30 minutes to 1 hour approximately.

You can check if the DNS has propagated from the below sites

  1. https://mxtoolbox.com/DNSLookup.aspx
  2. https://toolbox.googleapps.com/apps/dig/
  3. http://network-tools.com/nslook/

By following the above steps you can minimize or totally rule out any chances of downtime when you change DNS. Wishing you all the best!