Monday, October 13, 2008

Custom Domain Publishing, And Google Apps - October, 2008

When you setup a Google Custom Domain, either using the "Buy A Domain For Your Blog" wizard, or using Google Apps manually, you'll get a complement of 4 DNS records defining the domain. 3 "A" records will define the primary domain ("root") by IP address, and one "CNAME" record will define the "www" alias by server name ("ghs.google.com"). This has been the standard since Google Apps started being used to setup the DNS for custom domains.

Here's the setup for my latest custom domain, "nitecruzr-test.net", as of 12 October, 2008.

nitecruzr-test.net. 3600 IN A 64.233.179.121
nitecruzr-test.net. 3600 IN A 66.249.81.121
nitecruzr-test.net. 3600 IN A 72.14.207.121
www.nitecruzr.net. 3600 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.


Recently, some bloggers have been seeing unstable DNS performance. One blogger, of unknown background, has "authoritatively" stated that
66.249.81.121 is gone forever. Removing that A record will help.


We can't verify the latter claim, but we can examine the current status.

C:\>ping 66.249.81.121

Pinging 66.249.81.121 with 32 bytes of data:

Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.
Request timed out.

Ping statistics for 66.249.81.121:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 0, Lost = 4 (100% loss),

C:\>ping 64.233.179.121

Pinging 64.233.179.121 with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 64.233.179.121: bytes=32 time=223ms TTL=243
Reply from 64.233.179.121: bytes=32 time=212ms TTL=243
Reply from 64.233.179.121: bytes=32 time=211ms TTL=243
Reply from 64.233.179.121: bytes=32 time=244ms TTL=243

Ping statistics for 64.233.179.121:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 211ms, Maximum = 244ms, Average = 222ms

C:\>ping 72.14.207.121

Pinging 72.14.207.121 with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 72.14.207.121: bytes=32 time=1583ms TTL=244
Reply from 72.14.207.121: bytes=32 time=231ms TTL=244
Reply from 72.14.207.121: bytes=32 time=238ms TTL=244
Reply from 72.14.207.121: bytes=32 time=218ms TTL=244

Ping statistics for 72.14.207.121:
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 218ms, Maximum = 1583ms, Average = 567ms

It does look like the server in question is out of service, at least right now. A brief examination of the Google Apps forum provides no useful details.

(Update 10/13): A very authoritative source has confirmed that "66.249.81.121" is out of service, permanently. A new configuration is pending, and for right now, I will go with 2 servers. I recommend that you do the same, if you're able to change your DNS setup.

nitecruzr-test.net. 3600 IN A 64.233.179.121
nitecruzr-test.net. 3600 IN A 72.14.207.121


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