SUMMARY: DNS domain name and server change

From: Maes_Eric (
Date: Mon Sep 23 1996 - 05:25:34 CDT

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The question:

> We have recently obtained permission to merge two existing DNS domains into
> a single new one. At the same time we will use a new machine to serve as the
> DNS primary name server.
> The new primary server is a Ultra running Solaris 2.5, while the old primary
> servers which we intend to use as secondary servers are SS10 running SunOS
> 4.1.4.
> I was wondering what the most appropriate procedure would be to accomplish
> with the least impact on the users and downtime of our systems. Is there some
> checklist out there with what to do and what certainly not to do?

I didn't receive that many answers so they are all included below.
I did receive a number of me too's however, indicating that this may be
something that comes up more frequent...

Thanks to:

Weldon S Godfrey 3 <>
Daniel J Blander - Sr. Systems Engineer for ACS <Daniel.Blander@ACSacs.Com>


From: Weldon S Godfrey 3 <>

You should set up your domain so that BOTH ways works (using the old
domainname and new domain name...
(you are allowed to have multiple A records pointing to the same IP address)

Also, set up your new DNS server, leave up the old DNS server. When you
tell internic where the new primary/secondary name servers are, the
changeover should be seemless. I would have them both running during the
changeover. If you need to change your primary/secondary with internic,
the modification takes up to 3 weeks to process (it also could take a
few depends on when you make the change). After internic makes
the change, it takes up to 2 days for the entire world to understand
where the new default nameserver is.

Once the nameserver is changed. and you feel you have waited enough lapse
time for users to get used to it, you can remove the OLD domain from the
dns table, if you want to. If these are internic registered domains, and
you want to free them up, register to have the OLD domains removed.

if you are merging don't need to go through internic of
course, just who manages your root/parent domain. The procedure is
simular, just less delay.


I did this 8 months ago and although it was not much fun it went very well, all
we did was:

o construct the new domain name space
o generate the new names for each machine, luckly we kept
        the same IP addresses so it was only a name change, changing
        IP address would have been a little more complex.
o generate a list of per platform (we have 7 UNIX vendors) of
        which files needed changing, (hosts, resolve.conf,
        fstab, etc etc etc)
o write a script which changed the necessary files - took the
        opportunity to setup template files so we had consistant
        configurations over all machines - not required for the
        task in hand, but it made life a lot easier.
o rebooted systems.

It sounds so simple and it was, it just took 2 people 2 days!

From: <Daniel.Blander@ACSacs.Com>

Dump the data, the SOA/db files over, fire up the system and see if
lookups work (since no one will reference it, no one will know the
diff). Once it works, cut people over (specifiying their primary
DNS as new system...)

Eric Maes
UNIX System Administrator/DBA, EDS/CSG-Europe
Noorderlaan 147 email :
B-2030 Antwerp Tel : +32 3 544 6328
BELGIUM FAX : +32 3 544 6755

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