Hiding In Plain Sight: 24 Hours Of DNS Server Troublesmjgraves | June 1, 2012
Some time early on May 31st I received a page telling me that this site was down. This has happened occasionally in the past and was almost always the result to something that I had done. That was not the case this time.
While I could not reach the domain I found that I could reach the server via its IP address. I was able to shell into the VPS and verify its status. It was in fact alive and healthy. By adding a hosts file entry in my desktop PC I was able to provide a local DNS solution, confirming that the server itself was completely happy.
It turns out that the company that handles DNS for this domain, which is not the hosting provider, was hit by what they characterize as a “larger than normal DDOS attack.” They tell me that the attack focused specifically on the DNS servers. They had been working to thwart the attack, and also adding additional servers to help handle the load.
Whatever the case, the site was basically unavailable for one full day. Let’s just consider this yet another chapter in my education with regard to hosting my own site. Over time I’ve grown to be much more diligent about routine backups and installing patches in a timely manner.
This most recent lesson illustrates that it is convenient, but not necessarily wise, to use the same company as both registrar for a domain and DNS provider. If the had not been able to overcome the trouble I was going to be forced to move the definitive DNS entries for the domain to another provider. That would have brought the site back online, given time for the new DNS settings to propagate.
I’m still living and learning as I go..and of course, happy to be back online.
P.S. – I remain very happy with UnmeteredVPS.Net who host my VPS.