Managing Your Domains in the Customer Portal (DNS Manager)
Posted by Alan Bowman on 03 February 2011 10:17 AM
Applicable Plans - All Cloud Hosting Plans
Managing your Domains in the Customer Portal (DNS Manager)
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
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.
To add a new domain, click on the Add Domain link.
The Add New Domain screen is divided into several sections: Name, IP, Aliases, Email handling (MX), Reverse record (PTR), and Name servers.
The Name section is where you specify the domain or subdomain name.
The IP section is where you associate an IP address with the new domain name.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you are adding your domain to the DNS Manager, then it will use the eApps name servers.
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.
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.
Here you can Edit a record, Add New Record or Delete a record.
MX and PTR records
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.
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.
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.