DNS Problem!

flyingpylonflyingpylon Major grinsFishers, IN USARegistered Users Posts: 260 Major grins
edited November 1, 2004 in SmugMug Support
I'm using a custom host name for my smugmug account. Right now, that host name is not working because it appears that the IP address for my account has changed.

It used to be 63.81.33.213, now it appears to be 63.81.134.23.

Is this permanent?

Was the IP change known in advance? If so, some kind of notice should have been sent out to users with custom host names. I check in to Digital Grin on a regular basis and I read the notice about the data center move, but I don't recall seeing anything about IP changes. Because these changes can have much more of an impact than "oh, my photos won't show up for a few hours" and require action on the part of the user, there should at least be something like a high priority e-mail message sent out.

Better yet, there should be some overlap where both the old IP and the new IP function at the same time. With DNS entries being cached, it could take a while for everyone to get the new IP address.

Comments

  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Mountain View, CaRegistered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 2,853 moderator
    edited October 31, 2004
    I'm using a custom host name for my smugmug account. Right now, that host name is not working because it appears that the IP address for my account has changed.

    It used to be 63.81.33.213, now it appears to be 63.81.134.23.

    Is this permanent?

    Was the IP change known in advance? If so, some kind of notice should have been sent out to users with custom host names. I check in to Digital Grin on a regular basis and I read the notice about the data center move, but I don't recall seeing anything about IP changes. Because these changes can have much more of an impact than "oh, my photos won't show up for a few hours" and require action on the part of the user, there should at least be something like a high priority e-mail message sent out.

    Better yet, there should be some overlap where both the old IP and the new IP function at the same time. With DNS entries being cached, it could take a while for everyone to get the new IP address.
    Hi flyingpylon,

    Ouch, I'm really sorry this happened to you. We've always been very uncomfortable with our customers configuring their DNS with an IP address and hope everyone uses a CNAME record. Here's a help section on how to do it for the common registrars:

    http://www.smugmug.com/help/professional-accounts

    Let us know if you have difficulties.

    Thanks,
    Baldy
  • flyingpylonflyingpylon Major grins Fishers, IN USARegistered Users Posts: 260 Major grins
    edited November 1, 2004
    Baldy-

    Thanks for your reply. I'm not as upset about this issue as I might be because the site that's using the custom host name has not been launched yet.

    I understand your point about using a CNAME record instead of an A record. My DNS is managed through my web host, not my domain registrar. When I originally set this up, I'm pretty sure they were not allowing customers to create CNAME records, so I had to create an A record using the IP address. Of course this all worked fine until the data center move.

    At any rate, I've gone back and discovered that I can now create a CNAME record that points to www.smugmug.com, so that is what I have done.

    Maybe it would be helpful to include a paragraph on the help page you referenced that explains exactly why it's important to use a CNAME record instead of an A record if at all possible. And I still think that if you know ahead of time that an IP address is going to change and affect customers with custom host names, a warning e-mail would be helpful.

    Thanks again.
  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Mountain View, CaRegistered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 2,853 moderator
    edited November 1, 2004
    Thanks, flyingpylon. I went back and re-read that help section and you're right, we need a paragraph on why CNAME records are better practice. I originally had it in there but when we did the rewrite for some reason I didn't include it the second time.

    A records are really a last resort for people who use Register.com and feel they can't change registrars for some reason. (Register.com doesn't support CNAME records but there are many other reasons not to use them. Another is some of their DNS records are so unbelievably out of date.)

    I wish we could promise that our IP address could be permanent, but alas we can't.

    Thanks,
    Baldy
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