The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Yes, that is a hard DNS problem

… Instead of starting with a new zone and copying over some necessary entries from the old zone (what I would have done), someone had simply(?) aliased the new zone over to the old one. Then, when it eventually became necessary to change the new zone (these things take time, and memories can become lost, like rings at the bottom of a river) the records would not take as the whole zone was still aliased to the old one.

I cannot reproduce the (reported) issue with nsd, as nsd fails the zone with a "DNAME at has data below it" error. However, they were not using nsd; probably their name server allowed a mix of DNAME and thus shadowed-by-the-alias records …

The Long Tail of DNS Record Types

As I last wrote, “I can see it either being something very trivial and I'll kick myself for not seeing, or it's something that I've not had experience dealing with at all,” and it does appear to be something I've not had experience dealing with at all.

The DNAME RR is to delegate name resolution to another server, mainly for address-to-name mappings, but also for aliases. I recall doing a form of name delegation using a non-kosher method back in the late 1990s and early 2000s (back when I was wearing a “sysadmin” hat) involving NS RRs but not with DNAME. DNAME didn't exist when I started with delegations, thus, no experience with it.

And yes, that would be a hard DNS problem if you never encountered it before.

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