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I have an A record in GoDaddy pointing to my web server. I want to move this now to Route 53. The last time I did this it took almost 48 hours to propagate. I think because of the order I did things.

This is the process I think should hopefully minimize downtime:

  1. Create hosted zone for my domain to get the 4 name servers that I'll use as my delgation set.
  2. Add the 4 name servers to GoDaddy. GoDaddy has 2 other "Informational" name servers defined that look like you can't delete them?
  3. Now in Route 53 add a record set. Create A record to IP of my web server.
  4. Wait to see if dns propagation has happened. With dig?
  5. Remove A record from GoDaddy.

Will this process work with minimal or no downtime? Will dig tell me enough information to see that it is safe to remove the A record from GoDaddy?

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1 Answer 1

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The first thing you want to do, is reduce the TTL (Time to Live) on your DNS records to be as small as acceptable. This will keep cached DNS servers from holding onto stale data for too long when you switch.

Next, I assume your web site is going to be moving to a new IP address. There is no reason switching the site to a new host IP address has to happen at the same time as your DNS changes. Load the site up at the new host, and in the old (current) provider's DNS, change the A record to the new IP. If you really require a hard switchover, at the old provider you can set up forwarding to the new IP.

In your new provider's DNS records (which are not yet authoritative) also set up the A record (and any others you need).

Now your site is (almost instantly) running at the new host.

However your DNS is still being handled by the old host, and as soon as you stop paying them, they might remove your entries. ;)

At this point you can submit to change the authoritative NameServers from the old host to the new host. It doesn't really matter when the change goes through (or if it's cached), because BOTH hosts' DNS servers are hosting up the same IP address information anyway.

After the change is complete, remember to raise the TTL back up to a reasonable time to lessen stress on the root DNS servers.

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The web site is not moving so the IP address is the same. Essentially I'm just moving the current A record in GoDaddy to a different A record in AWS Route 53. The domain is owned by GoDaddy so I need to keep them but only for the domain. Does this change your answer? –  Tom Apr 11 at 18:00
    
It just simplifies it really. Add the records at Route 53, leave them up at GoDaddy, and process the change of authority. If all nameservers agree on the IP, there is no chance of outage. –  Digital Chris Apr 11 at 18:08

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