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Customer Portal - DNS Manager
Posted by Alan Bowman on 03 February 2011 10:17 AM

Applicable Plans - eApps® Cloud Hosting Plans

User Guide - Managing your Domains in the Customer Portal (DNS Manager)

Overview

The DNS Manager in the Customer Portal allows you to fully manage the DNS for the domains that you are using in your Cloud hosting account. You can add and remove domains, and edit individual domain records in a DNS Zone.

The Customer Portal is available to all Virtual Server in the Cloud customers.

Adding domains to the DNS Manager
Name
IP
Aliases
Email handling (MX)
Reverse record (PTR)
Name servers

Editing Domains and DNS records
MX and PTR records
Adding, Editing, and Deleting DNS records
Adding a DNS record
Editing a DNS record
Deleting a DNS record

Types of DNS records


Adding domains to the DNS Manager

When you create your Virtual Server, you have to specify a domain name. You can either add the domain to the DNS Manager before you create the VS, and then add the IP address after the VS is created and the IP address allocated, or you can create the Virtual Server first, and then add the domain and IP address to the DNS Manager after the VS is provisioned. Either way will work.

Remember that you can have multiple domains answer on one IP address - this is called a “Virtual Host” and is the most common type of setup. In this case, you will need to make sure to select the existing IP address you want this new domain to answer on. You do not need a separate IP address for each domain, unless you are using an SSL Certificate for that domain.

To add a domain to the DNS Manager, click on the DNS Manager tab at the top right side of the Customer Portal. This tab is available from any location in the Portal.

DNS Manager link


This takes you to the main DNS Manager screen, which will list any domains you currently have added to the Customer Portal, and will also allow you to add new domains.

To add a new domain, click on the Add Domain link.

Client Area - DNS Manager


This takes you to the Add New Domain screen.

Add New Domain

The Add New Domain screen is divided into several sections: Name, IP, Aliases, Email handling (MX), Reverse record (PTR), and Name servers.

Name

The Name section is where you specify the domain or subdomain name.

Name

  • Add new domain - this is where you add a domain that you have registered elsewhere (like at GoDaddy or Network Solutions). Make sure to only add the base domain name - meaning that if your domain is example.com, you only add example.com, not www.example.com. The Available Domains in the drop down menu are domains that you have registered through eApps, but are not currently being used.

  • Add subdomain - for subdomain, enter the name for the subdomain in the text box, and the either select one of your existing domains from the drop down list (Own Domains), or select the eApps testing domain of vm-host.net (Provider's Domains). The eApps testing domain is useful when you wish to migrate a site to a new VS, but want to test if first before actually moving the domain name.

Note Please be aware that the Terms of Use for the vm-host.net testing domain prohibit using this domain for any production use. eApps reserves the right to block the use of this domain if we find that you are in violation of the Terms of Use

IP

The IP section is where you associate an IP address with the new domain name.

IP

  • IPv4 - enter your IP address for the domain in the text box. You can enter the IP allocated for the domain when you created the Virtual Server, or if this domain is not associated with a VS and will point to a location off the eApps network, you can enter that IP address here.

    • Own IPs - if you have already been allocated IP addresses through the Customer Portal (for existing VSs), then you can select one of those IPs from the drop down menu. Remember - you can use the same IP address for multiple domain names, unless that domain name is using an SSL certificate.

  • IPv6 - if you have an IPv6 IP address you can enter it here.

Aliases

The Aliases for a domain name are what you use to have the actual domain name answer to additional names. For example, if you have the domain name of example.com, but want your website to also answer at www.example.com, then the "www" is the alias. The difference between an alias and a subdomain is that a subdomain usually points to a standalone site, whereas an alias is just another name for an existing site.

Aliases

The aliases available by default are www, ftp, mail and webmail. Note that all but mail are CNAME, which is the DNS record used to map an alias to a domain name. The reason that mail is an A record is that some ISPs and service providers consider any type of mail server that is not an A record to be a potential spammer.

You can add additional aliases after you add the domain to the DNS Manager. See Types of DNS Records for a list of the different types of DNS records available, but be aware that most aliases will be CNAMEs.

Email handling (MX)

Email handling for the domain is done by the MX record, also called the Mail eXchanger. This is the DNS record that tells the Internet where to route the e-mail for this domain.

Warning The SpamExperts and SpamTitan MX options can incur additional charges for your account. Please read carefully!

Email

  • SpamExperts - this is the default choice. This routes your e-mails through a spam filtering service located on the eApps network. The first 5 domains are at no cost, any additional domains are billed at $1.00 per domain per month.

  • SpamTitan - this is a spam filtering service that is located off the eApps network. The cost for this service is $0.50 cents per mailbox per month. A domain level admin interface and a user level interface is included with the service. This service is available from the eApps Store - select eMail Services, and then SpamTitan. As part of the SpamTitan provisioning service, your MX records will be set up for you by eApps Support.

  • No Spam Filtering - this will route your e-mails directly to the Virtual Server where this domain is located, with no spam filtering. If you want any type of spam filtering, you will need to implement it yourself. If you choose this option, you will also be able to manually edit your MX records.

  • No MX (this domain will not be able to receive any email) - if you choose this option, then no MX records will be created in the eApps DNS for this domain. If you are using a third party solution for your e-mail, such as Google Apps for your Domain, then select this option and add in your MX records manually once the domain is added to the eApps DNS. See Editing Domains and DNS Records for more information.

Reverse record (PTR)

A PTR, or Pointer record, is used for a reverse DNS (rDNS) look up. This allows a host (another mail server, for example) to do a lookup on your domain name and verify that the domain points back to a valid IP address. Domains that do not have a valid rDNS record are often considered to be potential spammers. Many of the large Internet services, such as Yahoo! or AOL, will reject e-mail from your domain if you do not have valid rDNS.

PTR record

  • Reverse record (PTR) - the default is Yes, but you can set this to No. This will create a PTR record in the eApps DNS. If you are hosting your domain in the eApps DNS, then leave as the default of Yes.

    Note that this is only available for IP addresses in the eApps netblock. If you are pointing your domain at an IP address outside of the eApps netblock, then you will have to contact the people responsible for that netblock to configure your PTR record for you.

Name servers

These are the default name servers for the eApps Cloud Hosting service. If you did not register your domain through eApps, you will need to make sure that you have the name servers for this domain pointing at these name servers at your domain registrar. At a minimum, you will need to add ns11.eapps.com and ns12.eapps.com at your domain registrar in order for your domain to point to your eApps hosting service.

Name Servers

If you are adding your domain to the DNS Manager, then it will use the eApps name servers.


If you are satisfied with your choices for this new domain, click on Add Domain.

Add Domain


If everything is successful, you will see a message saying "Domain your domain added successfully." The newly added domain will now show in your Hosted Domains List. If you selected to add the Reverse record (PTR), then that record will show also.

Note Please note that it can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for the new domain to resolve to your IP address and Virtual Server.

The DNS information for the domain is immediately added to the eApps name servers. However, these changes still have to propagate across the globe to all the other DNS servers, and eventually to your ISPs DNS servers. Depending on where you live, this could take 10 minutes, or several hours, or the full 48 hours allowed by the DNS specification. eApps has no control over how quickly your ISPs name servers refresh their information.

You can check the global propagation of your domain by using a tool like the DNS Propagation Checker from ViewDNS.info - http://viewdns.info/propagation/.


Editing Domains and DNS records

Once you have added your domains using the DNS Manager, you can then edit those domains if necessary.

To edit a domain, click on the Edit icon to the right of the domain name in the Hosted Domains List.

Hosted Domains List


This brings up the Edit domain name screen, where you can make changes to the DNS settings for the domain.

Edit Domain

Here you can Edit a record, Add New Record or Delete a record.

Warning Before making any changes to a DNS record, or deleting a DNS record, make sure you understand exactly what you are doing, and why you are doing it! Making changes to your DNS can cause your sites to no longer resolve correctly, meaning that they will not be reachable from the Internet.

MX and PTR records

MX and PTR records

  • Email handling (MX) - you can change the spam filtering options for the domain here. If you are going to change your DNS from using one of the eApps provided spam filters (SpamExperts or SpamTitan) to either No Spam Filtering or No MX, you can make that change here. If you are going to use a third party service like Google Apps, then select No MX, and then add the necessary MX records in the next section.

    Remember - the SpamExperts and SpamTitan MX options can incur additional charges for your account.

  • Reverse record (PTR) - you can add or remove the rDNS PTR record.

If you make any changes here, you will need to click on Update Domain for those changes to take effect. Remember that changes to DNS records can take upwards of 48 hours to fully propagate across the Internet.

Adding, Editing, and Deleting DNS records

You can also add new DNS records, edit the existing DNS records, and even delete DNS records. Again, before making any changes to a DNS record, or deleting a DNS record, make sure you understand exactly what you are doing, and why you are doing it. Making changes to your DNS can cause your sites to no longer resolve correctly, meaning that they will not be reachable from the Internet.

Adding a DNS record

To add a DNS record, click on the Add New Record button. This brings up the Add/Edit DNS Record for Domain: domain name screen.

Add DNS Record

  • Name - usually used for a CNAME, but can be used for other types of records such as A or MX records.

  • Type - select the Type of record from the drop down menu. See Types of DNS records for more information.

  • TTL - this is the Time To Live, in seconds. This is the length of time the DNS record is active before the record is refreshed at the authoritative name server for the domain. The eApps DNS servers use a TTL of 600 seconds, which is 10 minutes. You can enter any value you want here, but it will default to 600, and cannot be changed.

  • Priority - this value is only relevant for an MX or SRV record. The lower the number, the higher the priority.

  • Value - the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) or IP address for the new DNS record

Once you have added the information for the new DNS record, click on Save Record. This will add the new record to the DNS for this domain. Remember that changes to DNS records can take upwards of 48 hours to fully propagate across the Internet.

An example of adding a DNS record would be if you were adding the Google MX records to your domain so that you could use the Google Apps e-mail service.

Editing a DNS record

To edit a DNS record, click on the Edit icon to the right of the name of the record you wish to edit.

Edit icon


This takes you to the Add/Edit Record for Domain: domain name screen. This is similar to the screen to add a DNS record, except that the information for the DNS record being edited is already pre-populated.

Edit DNS Record

The values here are the same as for Adding a DNS record. Note that you cannot edit the NS (name server) or SOA (start of authority) records.

An example of editing a DNS record would be if you had allocated a new IP address for a domain, and then had to edit the A record for that domain so that it used the new IP.

Deleting a DNS record

To delete a DNS record, you can click on the Delete icon to the right of the Edit icon for the record you wish to delete. Or, you can check the boxes to the left of multiple records, and then click on the Delete Record(s) button.

As with adding a DNS record, it may take 24 to 48 hours for the DNS record deletion to propagate across the Internet.


Types of DNS records

These are the types of records that are available to use when adding a new DNS record. A full list of DNS record types is here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_DNS_record_types. Only a small subset of all the DNS records is available for use.

  • A record - the DNS record that points your domain name to the IP address assigned to the Virtual Server. If the A record doesn’t exist, or points to an incorrect IP address, your domain will not resolve properly.

  • CNAME record - used to map an alias to a hostname. Remember that in the eApps DNS, the hostname of www.example.com is actually just a CNAME for example.com. Since they both resolve to the same domain and site, one is an alias of the other.

  • MX record - the hostname of the Mail eXchanger for the domain. This is where the incoming e-mail for a domain is delivered to.

  • TXT record - used for human readable text, but usually now has machine-readable data, such as an SPF record or Domain Keys.

  • SPF record - used for an SPF (Sender Policy Framework) record. Originally stored in a TXT record, now can be standalone.

  • SRV record - used for new protocols such as SIP or XMPP.

  • AAAA record - used for IPv6 A records.

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