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Customizing Primary DNS Services

Rebranding Our Primary DNS Service

Rebranding our primary DNS service is one of the most challenging features of Nettica. This FAQ explains the process. While situations vary, we recommend following the steps in order. There are checks in place to prevent you from doing any serious damage to your service, but since there are actions you can take beyond our control, problems with rebranding are not covered by our SLA. Before undertaking this work, please contact support if you have questions.

This FAQ will walk you through the process of creating five nameservers (ns1-ns5.example.com), that correspond to dns1-dns5.nettica.com. This includes creating the A records, setting up your domain registration properly, creating templates, and finally adding domains using the new nameserver definitions. Rebranding primary DNS service is one of the many features of our Bulk DNS Service; it is not included with stand-alone DNS service.

Step One: Create A Records

The first thing you must do is create A (host) records that correspond to Nettica's DNS servers. The table below lists five nameservers. You should create A records for all these name servers regardless of whether you intend to use all of our servers. It cannot be stressed enough that you must do this first. Our nameservers are authoritative nameservers; they will not go out on the Internet to resolve addresses, so if we are not hosting the DNS for these A records, it will cause problems with zone transfers and DNS resolution.

DNS records for branding

Now that the A records have been added, it's time to alter your domain registration.

Step Two: Adding Nameservers To Your Domain Registration

In the first step your setup the A records so that our servers can resolve the addresses. In addition, you must add the same servers, and IP addresses, to your domain registration. This may be called "create new host", or "create custom nameserver", "child name servers", etc. Creating these records in your domain registration adds the record's to the Internet's root servers (or more precisely, your registry's root servers). The records must be in both places, and they must match. If you cannot complete this step do not continue and contact support. While we do not require that you host your domain registration at Nettica, if you cannot setup these records using your current registrar, transferring your domain to Nettica will ensure that you can. If you already have custom nameservers defined, and you'd like to make a smooth transition to Nettica, save this step for last.

Step Three: Creating a Template

The next step is to create a template. You can use the default template, or create a new one specifically for this occassion, or modify an existing one. In this example we will modify the default template to include new SOA and NS records. Click on DNS > manage templates from the main menu. Then click on "SOA & NS".

Rebranding SOA & NS records

Modify the SOA values to your preference. You should once again map the IP addresses on the left to the A records for your domain. Click Save when you are finished making your modifications. The template will update with the new values.

Completed rebranding template

Well, look at that! Your template is now significantly different with those changes. Feel free to add any other records to preconfigure your domains. You are now ready to begin adding or modifying domains. It is not necessary to delete the domain in order to alter the nameservers; you can apply the template to existing domains in your account.

Step Four: Adding Service

To add a domain, click on dns > add primary dns from the main menu.

add primary dns

At this point, you can simply add domains as usual and they will be created using the new nameserver definitions. As always, when you add the domain you'll need to change the nameservers at the domain registrar to point to your new nameservers (ns1-ns5.example.com). Please keep in mind that your nameservers may not be in every registry, so some customers may have problems adding your nameservers at their registrar. For example, if your domain ends with ".biz", your nameservers may not automatically be added to the ".com" registry. There are many other subtle problems you may run into trying to run custom nameservers. If you cannot figure out what the problem is, create the domain using our nameservers.

Conclusion

Rebranding, while challenging, offers some compelling features. Rebranding is an ideal way to transition into Nettica's DNS services with zero customer impact. It also demonstrates to your customer base that you have the sophisticated technical capabilities, and provides you fine-grained control over your service. If you need any help with rebranding, our support team is always available to review your setup and ensure your service is configured to your requirements.

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