After several weeks of hard work we are happy to announce that DNSimple supports Secondary DNS starting today.

Secondary DNS UI link

As many customers are aware we have up to this point not provided Secondary DNS support. In a large part, this was because of low demand for the feature, but the feature itself posed many challenges for us. In particular, our custom ALIAS and URL records are not supported by other providers and implementing a seamless integration of proper secondary DNS support required some serious work.

On December 1st, 2014 a major DDoS attack brought our systems down. As part of our mitigation plans, we decided to review the priority of the secondary DNS implementation. We wanted to provide our customers with more flexibility to distribute their zones and gracefully handle downtime.

However it was something that we were not supporting and that couldn't be implemented in a couple days.

In the absence of official support on our side many customers decided to change the delegation of their domains and point to a mixture of our and other provider's name servers. While this may work in some cases has two very important flaws:

  • Any change you make to your domain's zone on DNSimple will need to be replicated manually on the other provider.
  • There may not be a reliable way of replicating custom records like ALIAS or URL on other providers.

From now on there is no need for these kind of workarounds anymore.

What is Secondary DNS?

Secondary DNS or AXFR is a mechanism for replicating zones across DNS servers.

What does that mean? It means that you can handle all your records from the friendly and easy to use DNSimple interface and get all the records copied over to your secondary DNS provider automatically.

I know what you are thinking: what about ALIAS and URL? Those records will be custom handled by our system and translated to standard records that other providers will understand.

Once set up, your domain delegation should change (and it automatically will for domains registered through DNSimple): the domain will no longer point only to our name servers but also to the other provider's.

At any time your secondaries will be queried for DNS results, but in the case that any one provider fails, the secondary name servers should still provide up to date responses for DNS queries.

How do I activate it?

The first thing you should do is finding a different domain name system provider that does support AXFR. Once you've found one it should be as easy as following the steps we provided on our support article about Secondary DNS. For every domain that you activate it for the zone will be automatically kept in sync on the secondary provider.