How long does it take for DNS changes to propagate?

DNS change propagation times depend on the time-to-live (TTL) setting for the DNS record.

The default TTL is one day, which means any modifications to a domain name take one day to propagate throughout the entire internet. TTL can be lowered if you plan to make changes frequently, however, the lower the TTL is, the higher the load becomes on the name server. Higher loads have a potential to increase the response time to end users, which could impact their overall satisfaction.

The higher the TTL setting, the higher DNS performance will be due to local ISP caching. The lower the TTL setting, the lower DNS performance will be due to increased name resolution.

To verify TTL, check the Start of Authority (SOA) record for the domain. A great tool for reviewing domain information is offered by CentralOps.net

TTL is listed in seconds.Divide by 60 to convert TTL to minutes, or by 3600 to convert to hours.

What are the SoftLayer name server addresses?

We have two addresses for Authoritative Name Servers and two addresses for Resolving Name Servers.

Authoritative Name Servers

  • ns1.softlayer.com
  • ns2.softlayer.com

Resolving Name Servers

  • rs1.service.softlayer.com
  • rs2.service.softlayer.com



What is the difference between the public and private name servers at SoftLayer?

Public name servers act as authoritative name servers for domain names that reside in our DNS servers and are managed through the Customer Portal. These servers "answer" and "resolve" domain names to your IP address for the general internet population.

Resolving name servers are located on the private network and act as DNS resolvers for your server. The private resolvers query the Internet's root nameservers for domain lookups. For example, sending mail from your server requires an NSlookup of the destination domain name. The private DNS servers resolve this information over the private network to keep your bandwidth usage down, reduce the load on the authoritative servers, and offer quick resolution. Private network resolvers are a convenience service for our customers.

What are my name server options?

With a Bare Metal Server there are four typical options for name servers:

1.   Use your domain name registrar name servers to manage your domain names

2.   Use SoftLayer name servers to manage your domain names

3.   Use a third party DNS service to manage your domain names

4.   Run your own name servers on your server to manage your domain names

Numbers 1, 2, &3 will want use name servers of the third party (ex. ns1.softlayer.com and ns2.softlayer.com). Option number 4 will use your domain as the name server (ns1.yourdomain.com & ns2.yourdomain.com). Option number 4 requires you to run DNS services on your server and you must also register your domain as a name server with your registrar. This is usually free, but requires an additional step beyond the basic domain name registration process. 

SoftLayer offers free DNS services that are fully managed through the customer portal. We highly recommend allowing SoftLayer to manage your DNS and to act as your name servers due to our redundant systems, ease of management, and ability to quickly troubleshoot DNS related issues.