DNS

Your Parallels Plesk Panel works in cooperation with a DNS server, which enables you to run DNS service on the same machine where you host websites.

Setup of DNS zones for newly added domains is automated: When you add a new domain name to the Control Panel, a zone file is automatically generated for it in accordance with the server-wide DNS zone template and registered in the name server's database, and name server is instructed to act as a primary (master) DNS server for the zone.

You can:

Performing Mass Operations over DNS Zones

From time to time administrators are faced with the necessity to perform mass operations over existing DNS zones. Such operations include adding, modifying, or removing DNS records from all or a large amount of websites and subdomains. Before 10.4 these operations were performed manually from the GUI or from the programming interfaces. In 10.4 administrator could perform the required modifications to the DNS template, and the modifications were automatically applied to all derived zones. Panel 11 introduces changes to this process to reduce the risk of corrupting zone files that may happen during the straightforward application of changes.

As before, all DNS zones are built from the DNS template that is available in Tools & Settings > DNS Template Settings. You should firstly add changes to the template and then deliver them to existing zones by clicking Apply DNS Template Changes. The following options become available after clicking this button:

To apply changes to a particular zone, open the related subscription in the Control Panel, and go to Websites & Domains > DNS Settings and select the zone. You should see the corresponding button in the toolbar.

Note: If you apply changes to all zones, the zones become unaltered and will remain in this status until somebody modifies them. The same goes for a user-modified zone if you apply the changes directly to it.

The template changes are applied using the following rules:

Note: After restoration, migration, or upgrade, all zones are treated as user-modified by default, so no changes will be applied if you update something in the DNS template and forward the changes only to unaltered zones. If you wish to perform DNS zone changes in bulk after upgrade, apply the changes to all zones at the first time.

DNS Zones for Subdomains

In earlier Panel versions, all subdomain records were included into a parent domain zone. Panel 10.4 allows each subdomain to have its own DNS zone. These subdomain zones are useful if you wish to specify a custom name server for a particular subdomain or shorten the number of domain DNS records by rearranging them to subordinate zones. Generally speaking, subdomain DNS zones bring all domain DNS features to the subdomain level.

As this new feature introduces significant changes to DNS zones organization, the default behavior is not to create subdomain DNS zones. However, if you wish to try out this feature, use the following command-line call:

server_pref –u –subdomain-dns-zone own

To turn this feature off, use:

server_pref –u –subdomain-dns-zone parent

Learn more about running Panel utilities at

Note: The default behavior in 10.4 versions before MU#9 was to create subdomain DNS zones. If you apply Update #9 to 10.4, the feature will remain active. Otherwise, the default behavior will be not to create the separate zones.

When subdomain zones are off, customers modify the parent domain's DNS zone by toggling Panel control over a particular subdomain zone. In fact, when they go to Websites & Domains > DNS Settings > Switch On/Off the DNS Service and clicks Manage next to a subdomain name, the following situations are possible.

Subdomain DNS Zones

Switch the DNS Service ON

Switch the DNS Service OFF

ON

Has no effect on the DNS zone of a parent domain.

 

OFF

A new DNS zone is created for the subdomain, and all DNS records corresponding to this subdomain are removed from the parent domain's DNS zone.

Only A and AAAA records corresponding to this subdomain are added to the parent domain's DNS zone.

 

To view the default records in the server-wide DNS template:

Go to Tools & Settings > DNS Template Settings. All resource record templates will be displayed. The <ip> and <domain> templates are automatically replaced in the generated zone with real IP addresses and domain names.

To add a new resource record to the server-wide DNS template:

  1. Go to Tools & Settings > DNS Template Settings.
  2. Click Add DNS Record.
  3. Select the resource record type and specify the record properties as desired.

    Note that you can use <ip> and <domain> templates that will be replaced in the generated zone with real IP addresses and domain names. You can use a wildcard symbol (*) to specify any part of the domain name, and you can specify the exact values you need.

  4. Click OK.

To remove a resource record from the server-wide DNS template:

  1. Go to Tools & Settings > DNS Template Settings.
  2. Select a checkbox corresponding to the record template you wish to remove, and click Remove.
  3. Confirm removal and click OK.

The Panel updates automatically the zone name, host name, administrator's e-mail address, and serial number, and writes the default values for the rest of Start of Authority record parameters to the zone files it maintains. If you are not satisfied with the default values, you can change them through the control panel.

To change the Start of Authority (SOA) record settings in the server-wide DNS template:

  1. Go to Tools & Settings > DNS Template Settings.
  2. Click SOA Records Template.
  3. Specify the desired values:
  4. Click OK. The new SOA record parameters will be set for the newly created domains.

Usage of serial number format recommended by IETF and RIPE is mandatory for many domains registered in some high-level DNS zones, mostly European ones. If your domain is registered in one of these zones and your registrar refuses your SOA serial number, using serial number format recommended by IETF and RIPE should resolve this issue.

Parallels Plesk Panel servers use UNIX timestamp syntax for configuring DNS zones. UNIX timestamp is the number of seconds since January 1, 1970 (Unix Epoch). The 32-bit timestamp will overflow by July 8, 2038.

RIPE recommends using YYYYMMDDNN format, where YYYY is year (four digits), MM is month (two digits), DD is day of month (two digits) and NN is version per day (two digits). The YYYYMMDDNN format will not overflow until the year 4294.

To change the Start of Authority (SOA) serial number format to YYYYMMDDNN for the server-wide DNS template:

  1. Go to Tools & Settings > DNS Template Settings.
  2. Click SOA Records Template.
  3. Select the Use serial number format recommended by IETF and RIPE checkbox.

    Note: See the sample of SOA serial number generated with the selected format. If the resulting number is less, than the current zone number, the modification may cause temporary malfunction of DNS for this domain. Zone updates may be invisible to Internet users for some time.

  4. Click OK.

To restore the default Start of Authority (SOA) serial number format (UNIX timestamp) for the server-wide DNS template:

  1. Go to Tools & Settings > DNS Template Settings.
  2. Click SOA Records Template.
  3. Clear the Use serial number format recommended by IETF and RIPE checkbox.

    Note: See the sample of SOA serial number generated with the selected format. If the resulting number is less, than the current zone number, the modification may cause temporary malfunction of DNS for this domain. Zone updates may be invisible to Internet users for some time.

  4. Click OK.

By default, transfer of DNS zones is allowed only for name servers designated by NS records contained within each zone. If your domain name registrar requires that you allow transfer for all zones you serve:

  1. Go to Tools & Settings > DNS Template Settings.
  2. Click Transfer Restrictions Template. A screen will show all hosts to which DNS zone transfers for all zones are allowed.
  3. Click Add New Address.
  4. Specify the registrar's IP or network address and click OK.

If you are using third-party DNS servers, and are not running your own DNS server, you should switch off your control panel's DNS server:

  1. Go to Tools & Settings > DNS Template Settings.
  2. Click Switch Off.

To restore the original configuration of server-wide DNS template:

  1. Go to Tools & Settings > DNS Template Settings.
  2. Click Restore Defaults.

You can specify whether your DNS server should provide recursive service for queries.

With recursive service allowed, your DNS server, when queried, performs all the lookup procedures required to find the destination IP address for the requestor. When recursive service is not allowed, your DNS server performs minimal number of queries only to find a server that knows where the requested resource resides and to redirect the requestor to that server. Therefore, recursive service consumes more server resources and makes your server susceptible to denial-of-service attacks, especially when the server is set to serve recursive queries from clients outside your network.

After your install Parallels Plesk Panel, the built-in DNS server defaults to serving recursive queries only from your own server and from other servers located in your network. This is the optimal setting. If your upgraded from earlier versions of Parallels Plesk Panel, your DNS server defaults to serving recursive queries from any host.

If you want to change the settings for recursive domain name service:

  1. Go to Tools & Settings > DNS Template Settings > DNS Recursion.
  2. Select the option you need:
  3. Click OK.

By default, users can create new subdomains and domain aliases in the DNS zones belonging to other users. This means that they can set up websites and e-mail accounts which could be used for spamming, fishing or identity theft.

To prevent users from setting up domains and domain aliases in the DNS zones belonging to other users:

  1. Go to Tools & Settings > Server Settings.
  2. Select the Do not let users create DNS subzones in other users' DNS superzones checkbox.
  3. Click OK.

If you need to assign a new host name to your server:

  1. Go to Tools & Settings > Server Settings.
  2. In the Full host name box, type the new host name and click OK.

 

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