Skip to content

Keeping track of DNS

Right now we have a whole heap of domains registered for our department. About 30% of websites on core servers are not * but some are under the same registration, like and

We’ve never kept track of these registrations in any really organised way. I build a daily list of the primary DNS for every virtualhost on our infrastructure kit, but not for the 100 or so research webservers. People may have registered DNS in any old place, not just our own DNS server!

  • ECS (280)
  •,, (3)
  •,,, (4)
  • ns.hosteurope.COM., ns2.hosteurope.COM. (2)
  •, (1)
  •,, (1)
  •, (1)
  •, (1)
  •, (1)
  • (1)
  • unknown (16)

My system regards “” as ECS. It’s odd that we’ve got a site on ns1 & ns2 only, and also one with raven.ecs listed as the DNS (this is the true name of ns0, but it should be using the alias in case we wish to move ns0 to another server)

It’s getting the data by parsing the output of /usr/bin/dig -t any domain and also checking an external DNS to ensure they tally.

The newdream and dreamhost entries are for my own personal projects, so I’m hardly blameless.

I’ve not got any solutions to this one yet, and it’s not really an urgent problem, just one I’m mulling over. In an ideal world we’d force everybody to use only but there’s plenty of good reasons not to do that.

The best compromise would be to insist that we handled all DNS registrations and kept a careful track of both the person and the project which pays for it. Forcing people to pay upfront for years of registration to put-off the problem of what to do when registration runs out and the site remains with valuable content (research output, or worse URI’s which mean something which someone else could usurp!) – this solution is also too draconian for our users.

A more reasonable solution will be to:

  • Find out about the existance of all non * entries referring to our IP range. Using some clever web-fu or what-not.
  • Keep track of one or two “owners” for each, linked with a website db entry if appropriate.
  • Any sites registered in external DNS’s should be gently encouraged to move them to our DNS.
  • We should make the path of least resistance to get people to let us register DNS for them and for many years past the end of the project.
  • We should collect all relevant info. when the domain is registered.
  • We should discourage people from creating non domains if there’s no good reason. Especially when using such domains to create URIs.

But, like I said, this is a gentle plan of attack. What we’re already doing works well enough, the above ideas would just streamline what we already do, and move knowledge into a database rather than a few people’s heads.

Posted in web management.

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.