February 18, 2015

Extensive changes for the YDNS project

I've been thinking of this for some time already and made a decision that will change how the YDNS project will exist in the future. Some of you already know that YDNS was started as a small personal project, because I like to build things on my own and to see how it actually works. But YDNS grew to a level where I am not able to handle it as a one-man project anymore. Other things in my life take more and more time and even the recently launched beta test is not receiving many updates these days.

This have to change. As a result, I'm announcing that YDNS will become a open source project. The underlying source code of it's backend and front-end will be released under a liberal open source license soon. The hosting service (as provided on ydns.eu/ydns.io) will stay as-is - and users of that platform don't have to worry, nothing will change there. However I'm also looking for voluntary people who'd like to join the YDNS project to improve documentation and support of the platform.

Once the transition has been completed, all donations will go directly into funding the software, as well as for the hardware running the hosting platform. If you want to get into the team, please contact me via email at cj@tfmt.de.

February 3, 2015

YDNS closed beta

YDNS is launching its closed beta period soon. The new version is already online at https://ydns.io (Note: We're using a self-signed SSL certificate for the beta period). Registrations are not possible, except for people who apply for a beta invitation.

Interested users may send an email to beta@ydns.io with the Email address they'd like to use to get an invitation. Once your request has been approved, you'll be able to register using the Email address provided.

Please note that the beta is not final. We'll be doing excessive changes during the beta period to make sure that we'll ship the most reliable DNS hosting platform to date.

January 15, 2015

Last night's outage

Some of our users have noticed that YDNS was unavailable for almost 13 hours, starting on 12 p.m. this morning. This post lists all the details on what happened and what we will do to mitigate such issues in the future.

It all started with an unplanned maintenance in a data center, where we were moving some equipment and servers between racks. That also included the core infrastructure of YDNS, including the web site, database and the primary name server (ns1.ydns.eu). The problem here was that all secondary name servers (ns2.ydns.eu and ns3.ydns.eu) were using the database of the primary name server. While the secondary servers are on physically different locations around the globe, these servers were using the database located in the core infrastructure data center. No replication or similar techniques were used, so the loss of connectivity inevitably led to total failure of YDNS. No DNS queries - not even those to "ydns.eu" could be answered during the maintenance window. The maintenance took about 4 hours and all the servers were back up - except the storage system that hosts the virtual machines for YDNS. After some hours we finally found the cause of this and fixed it. YDNS came back to normal operation.

To avoid such problems in the future, we have changed some things. Each name server node got it's own read-only database server, which uses stream replication to get latest updates from the primary database server. That results in faster lookup speeds when querying DNS records and helps to keep YDNS answering DNS queries in case one or more servers are unavailable. If something like today would happen again, your DNS queries will still be answered, but you wouldn't be able to update any records until the primary database is back (which is linked with the web site and backend).

We currently offer three DNS servers at various locations:

  • ns1.ydns.eu (Hamburg, Germany)
  • ns2.ydns.eu (Frankfurt am Main, Germany)
  • ns3.ydns.eu (New York City, USA)

We will soon deliver a closed beta test of a brand new YDNS, which will also increase the availability and scalability of this service.

Again, we kindly apologise of any trouble caused by the outage last night.

In case you have any questions regarding this, please don't hesitate to leave us an reply or email us at support@ydns.eu.