Set up DNS Clustering for cPanel servers

DNS Clustering for cpanel servers can be realized with a set of DNS servers that share and synchronize DNS zone files. Having a name server cluster will help your domain to be online even if one of your DNS servers goes down. The standard is to have them separately in two different continents, if possible.

Requirement

At least two cPanel servers with DNS running, preferably bind. It must have DNS port ( 53 ) opened and accepting connection from the second member of the cluster. 

Enabling DNS Clustering on Each Server

First, you will need to enable DNS clustering via each server’s WHM interface:

  1. Navigate to WHM’s Configure Cluster screen.
  2. Select Enable DNS Clustering.
  3. Click Change.
  4. Click Return to Cluster Status.

Now Clustering is enabled and you will be presented with a new configuration section called Global Cluster options.

Global Cluster Options

This section decides when to drop a server from the cluster if it is not responding to commands and how many commands if not responded must be considered as a server down.

You can keep this the default and can enable notification when a server is dropped from cluster.

Setting Up The Cluster

On your web server’s WHM interface:

  1. Navigate to the Configure Cluster screen.
  2. Add a new server to the cluster box
  3. Select the server type from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click Configure. WHM will display the cPanel DNS Remote Configuration screen.
  5. Next to Remote cPanel & WHM DNS service, type the hostname or IP address of the nameserver you wish to link to.
  6. Next to Remote server username, type the WHM username for the nameserver.
  7. Under Remote server access hash, enter the nameserver’s remote access key.
You can generate and retrieve a key using the nameserver’s WHM interface. Log into WHM on the nameserver, and navigate to Manage SSH Keys. Once the key appears, cut and paste it into the Remote server access hash box

Specifying the Web Server’s DNS Role

Select Synchronize and submit. Having the members synchronised means it will sync to the changes made in other server. I’d prefer this option normally unless you need to have the server not to do so.  In that case, you have the option “Stand Alone” 

Conclusion

You will need to redo the same process in the second server too, so that both of them will be in sync.  This is a very basic set up and you can have multiple nameservers, and layers of DNS clusters, by adding this cluster as a slave to another, and so forth, depending how large your DNS servers must be.

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