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eNom: Fix Your DNS Servers!

For over 2 months, we've been seeing reports from blog owners who published their blogs to custom domains, with domain DNS hosted by eNom, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
I bought my domain name through Blogger,last week. It is being hosted by eNom. Ever since I bought it some of my followers, and sometimes myself, can't access my site. There is either a DNS search or a "Ooops, Google Chrome can't find..."

I tried contacting eNom, and they said they can see my site and that all of my settings are correct. They say it must be Google's problem.
The keyword here is "sometimes".
Ever since I bought it some of my followers, and sometimes myself, can't access my site.

A simple Dig, for the domain in question, will frequently show normal results. The usual DNS configuration, for a domain purchased using "Buy a domain", will be asymmetrical aka "Google Apps". 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 1800 IN CNAME
The problem, which not so many people appreciate, is that eNom uses multiple DNS servers, possibly geographically separated. This is normal DNS hosting technique, and guarantees redundancy if one data center goes offline.

However, for redundancy to work, all DNS servers have to be kept consistently synchronised. If we examine the 5 eNom DNS servers individually, we will frequently see discrepancies. @ 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 3600 IN NS 3600 IN NS 3600 IN NS 3600 IN NS 3600 IN NS @ 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 1800 IN A @

com.   3601 IN SOA 2010 10001 1801 604801 181 @ 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 1800 IN A @ 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 3600 IN NS 3600 IN NS 3600 IN NS 3600 IN NS 3600 IN NS @ 1800 IN CNAME @ 1800 IN CNAME @

com.   3601 IN SOA 2010 10001 1801 604801 181 @ 1800 IN CNAME @ 1800 IN CNAME

This is one of the more subtle discrepancies, which I have observed, in the past couple months - only DNS Server #3 is out of synch, in this case. But that's enough, to make the domain unreliable.
The problem is intermittent. All of a sudden my site loads, but 10 minutes ago it didn't.
That's one eNom customer, out of over a dozen, which I have documented. And that's one eNom customer, who should be complaining, to someone above eNom Customer Service.

eNom: fix your servers!

(Update 2012/07/03): Suspicion that the problem is related to Anycast DNS led me to a bud, who is a fellow TC, and a network expert in India, and who provided an intriguing blog post, neatly diagnosing the underlying problem. It appears that eNom server monitoring policies may be a bit superficial.

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Roopa said…
Is there a way when buying custom domain for blogger through google apps, that I can choose godaddy instead of eNom?
Thanks for the post!
Nitecruzr said…

When you purchase your domain using "Buy a domain", you do indeed have an option to select "eNom" or "GoDaddy" - though the option is not clearly displayed.
Roopa said…
Thanks for the reply! Need to keep this in mind for future. You have been very helpful.
Nathan Nobis said…
Ugh, I am having this problem and cannot get Enom or Google to help me. Do you know someone who can fix this problem? I am not super tech savvy here. It all used to happen seamlessly with Godaddy! :(

Nathan Nobis,
Unknown said…
There is a major communication breakdown between Google and Enon, each one blaming the other one and it's still not resolved in 2017. There should be a smooth transition, not a pervasive nightmare for the users.
Nitecruzr said…
Hi Kim,

Thanks for the observation - and welcome to Real Blogger Status.

The problem with eNom is with their use of AnyCast DNS, and NXDOMAIN not holding delegation. It's way beyond Blogger, and their use of DNS for custom domains.

The only way that Blogger contributes to this problem is that custom domain published blogs require consistent and stable DNS service. Period.

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