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My company uses CloudFlare for its DNS, but as our site is HTTPS-secured and we're on the free plan, we can't utilize CloudFlare's CDN services.

Our host has fairly rare but not insignificant downtime. We can't migrate servers just yet, and I'd like to be able to either have the main domain redirect to the status domain, or simply resolve to the alternative status host in the event of downtime so users will stop bugging me asking if the site is down.

Is this possible to do automatically using the free CloudFlare plan, or will I have to manually edit my DNS every time the site goes down?

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Manually editing your DNS won't help since visitors DNS cache and root zone records may not be updating as quickly as you'd hope. Visitors will still get errors if your site is down. Why can't you migrate servers? There are so many options and i'm sure plenty all within your price range for hosting. If your host is going down that often that you're asking about this. I'd like for a new host. –  Anagio Oct 29 '13 at 8:25
    
@Anagio CloudFlare's TTL is 5 minutes, so DNS changes are propagated rather quickly. We are unable to switch providers because we also host online gaming servers, and moving providers means that we would have to change our IP addresses. Because our users' favorites lists are stored by IP and not domain, it would be devastating to our player base. –  Dr. McKay Oct 29 '13 at 17:09
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1 Answer

I've had a similar problem before and have solved it using CloudFlare's API. I had a Dedicated server and a large VPS for backup. Mirrored the data on the two servers, and used CloudFlare to switch between them (DNS Failover) if the Dedicated went down. Initially did reboots via SSH/IPMI to verify and it worked as configured.

Here's the link to the article: http://blog.booru.org/?p=12

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Is this your blog? If so, please indicate that in your answer as a disclaimer. –  dan Dec 24 '13 at 5:39
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