Category Archives: DNS

Updated SPF Requirement

A couple years ago, we published a post on the proper configuration of SPF records when sending emails through our servers. Although not a default configuration, this is very important when you’re enforcing validation of SPF using “-all”. Due to some internal changes, the required entry has changed a little. Previously, you needed to add an A record for spf.gzo.com (+a:spf.gzo.com) and now you’ll need to simply include spf.gzo.com (+include:spf.gzo.com). A screenshot of this entered correctly in cPanel is shown below.

For those with DNS hosted by us, your SPF record has already been updated with this change. If you’re not hosting your DNS with us, the existing A record will continue to function normally in the short term, but please be sure to make the necessary change. If you have any questions or concerns, please submit a ticket and we’ll be happy to assist.

Adding Office 365 DNS Records via WHM or cPanel

Office 365 has quickly become a popular option for clients requiring Exchange hosted email. As a result, we frequently see tickets seeking help with setting up the required DNS records. Even if you’re familiar with editing DNS zones, the required SRV records may¬†throw you off.

Microsoft does provide a general guide for all of the necessary DNS records here but it doesn’t specifically address adding them via WHM or cPanel. If you have WHM access, using the “Edit DNS Zone” link under “DNS Functions” on the left menu will be the easiest option. From there you can add the necessary records at the bottom of the page. You will have to do this in batches since there aren’t enough fields to add all of the records in at once. Once you’re done, the added records should look like this:

You’ll notice we’re using “dathornexample.com” as the domain there. Your own records will instead use your own domain. The “msXXXXXXXX” value is provided by Microsoft to verify your domain, yours will have numbers instead of the placeholder X’s. When editing DNS records via WHM, you should always put quotes around TXT values, as can be seen in the SPF record above. You’ll notice the other “MS=” TXT record doesn’t have quotes shown, that’s because they were automatically removed since they were not needed in that case. With WHM, you’re best off putting quotes around the TXT values and letting WHM decide what to do. Continue reading

The Importance of Redundant DNS

In a nutshell, the Domain Name System (DNS) acts as a phone book that allows you to easily find the IP address that is associated with a particular domain. For example, it is much easier to remember “example.com” than it is “93.184.216.119” (IPv4) or even “2606:2800:220:6d:26bf:1447:1097:aa7” (IPv6). This is critical functionality that every internet user depends on, often without even realizing it. DNS is likewise a critical part of any hosting provider’s services. It does little good if your web servers and email servers are online if your DNS servers are not. Your domain will not be functional.

Domain names and internet concept

It is for this reason that we provide a geographically redundant DNS cluster for all of our clients to use. In the past it was common for all of a domain’s services (web, email, etc.) to be hosted on a single server. As such, it didn’t matter too much if the DNS was also hosted on this same single server because it was largely a case of it all being online or not. Today, though, it is very common for users to host their websites, email, and other services in different places. The most common, of course, is hosting email off site with Google (Gmail) or another such provider. If you’re using a hosting provider that hosts DNS on the same server as your website, then you will lose all services if your website goes down since the DNS will not function. This is why it is important to host DNS separately and redundantly such that an outage like this does not occur. This prevents a website outage from turning into a complete domain outage. Continue reading