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Disclaimer: I have read too many questions which appear same. However, my exact use case couldn't be found.

Scenario: Domain bought on GoDaddy Current nameservers are AWS R53 All R53 records work fine (TTL is usual values)

Requirement: I want to transfer the domain to another AWS R53 account with the exact same hosted zone records which I created (except the 4 nameservers which I still have to put on GoDaddy)

What would be the correct way to do such a thing with as little downtime as possible? The records include (in decreasing order of priority) A records, cloudfront distributions, s3 buckets for static hosting.

Since this is something I can only try while doing it, I can't really move forward and land in a ditch without a well thought out plan.

What I think may work:

  1. Set minimum possible TTL values in origin R53 for all records
  2. Set minimum possible TTL values in destination R53(i have already created the requested hosted zone)
  3. Now switch the nameservers at GoDaddy without deleting the original R53 zone or its records.
  4. Hope it happens really quickly
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    I changed your title to not say "domain transfer". It sounds like you don't want to transfer your domain to a new registrar, which is what "domain transfer" means. You want to move your website to a different hosting account. – Stephen Ostermiller Oct 30 '18 at 20:08
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The simplest way to do things is to have both sets of nameservers (old and new ones) supply the zone for some time (with the same data), so that the switch is handled without any interruption.

Then what counts is the parent zone TTL on the NS records, as this may dictate for how long recursive nameservers may continue to hit old nameservers, which is why it is important for them to continue replying for the zone in the same way.

Most of the time you have no leverage on parent zone TTL values.

The TTL values on your own records will just make the recursive nameservers query more often, but they may still hit the previous nameserers, so diminishing your TTLs may not prove useful in this case, but you can try if possible to lower the TTLs of the NS records in your zone as recursive nameservers may prefer to obey these ones instead of those in the parent zone.

Sadly, most of the time, DNS providers do not let you change TTLs on NS records.

  • I can change the TTL on AWS R53 but not on GoDaddy nameservers. Will changing the TTL to a lower value on AWS R53 help? – Utkarsh Narain Srivastava Oct 31 '18 at 3:15
  • @UtkarshNarainSrivastava not sure to follow you (things would be simpler if you just gave the domain name), I understood that you were changing current NS records being at AWS R53 for another set still at AWS R53, so if that is the case I do not see where GoDaddy nameservers are relevant. If you can lower TTL on the NS records of the current nameservers set then it can help yes. – Patrick Mevzek Oct 31 '18 at 13:21
  • I wanted to change the nameservers on GoDaddy. I needed to hand-over control from an existing R53 to another R53 (separate AWS account). I was able to move without any downtime by creating exact copy of records in the other account and letting both R53 serve the same records. The change happened in some hours with no downtime. – Utkarsh Narain Srivastava Nov 1 '18 at 14:10
  • @UtkarshNarainSrivastava Yes if both sets of nameservers can supply the same zone content then you are in the perfect spot that no changes will be visible as the reply will be the same whichever nameserver (old or new) replies. This is unfortunately not always possible. As for GoDaddy you just use their interface to change namservers from one set to another. At no point you are using GoDaddy nameservers in this case. – Patrick Mevzek Nov 1 '18 at 17:14
  • That's exactly what the case is, all of it worked out. – Utkarsh Narain Srivastava Nov 2 '18 at 13:50

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