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How to configure Slave DNS server for Plesk Windows

Plesk Control panel is very popular control panel among webhosting industry.
Various webhosting company prefer Plesk over cPanel due to its business, developer and cross platform approach.

But Plesk has a draw back when we are talking about failover infrastructure. Plesk does not have any failover tools like cPanel provide DNS only panel to manage failover & provide DNS server support.

In Plesk there is an extension called ‘Slave DNS Manager‘ , using this tool you can create secondary DNS server.

Now question is what type of server we need to setup this secondary DNS server ?

VPS with 1 GB RAM (CentOS or Ubuntu 14.04 preferred)

In this demonstration I have chooses Windows Plesk 12.5 server.

Configure slave DNS server for Plesk Windows

Kindly follow the steps to configure slave dns server and sync with Plesk windows setup:

1. Add your slave server IP to “Tools & Settings > DNS Settings > Transfer Restrictions Template”
2. To apply the changes go to “Domains > example.com > DNS Settings > Reset to Default”
To reset default for all domains you can run the following commands:

 cd "%plesk_dir%\bin
 domain.exe" --list > C:\domains_list.txt
 for /f %i in (C:\domains.txt) do dns.exe --reset %i -ip <DOMAIN IP ADDRESS>

3. Go to “Extensions > Slave DNS Manager > Add Slave” add your slave server IP
4. Copy the configuration and paste it to salve server, as instructed on the “https://devblog.plesk.com/2013/10/slave-dns-and-plesk/”
After proper configuration the status button should turn to green.

configure slave dns server
5. Open CMD in plesk server and run the following command to transfer the zone file to slave server:

 cd "%plesk_dir%\dns\bin"
 rndc -c "%plesk_dir%\var\modules\slave-dns-manager\slave_192.168.21.17.conf" addzone example.com { type slave; file \"example.com\"; masters { <PLESK SERVER IP>; }; };

Some troubleshooting tips:

1. Keep eye on DNS log on slave server, in case of RHEL/CeonOS server check /var/log/message
2.

May 21 20:55:14 slave named[740]: zone example.com/IN: Transfer started.
May 21 20:55:14 slave named[740]: transfer of 'example.com/IN' from 192.168.21.209#53: connected using 192.168.21.17#51088
May 21 20:55:14 slave named[740]: transfer of 'example.com/IN' from 192.168.21.209#53: failed while receiving responses: REFUSED

For such error, make sure zone transfer is allowed for the domain on Plesk server.

3. If you found the following error in Plesk server while tried to transfer the zone, try to restart bind service on slave server

C:\Program Files (x86)\Parallels\Plesk\dns\bin>rndc -c "%plesk_dir%\var\modules\slave-dns-manager\slave_192.168.21.17.conf" addzone subscription02.tld { type sl
ave; file \"subscription02.tld\"; masters { 192.168.21.209; }; };
rndc: 'addzone' failed: already exists

4.
C:\Program Files (x86)\Parallels\Plesk\dns\bin>rndc -c "%plesk_dir%\var\modules\slave-dns-manager\slave_192.168.21.17.conf" addzone subscription02.tld { type sl
ave; file \"subscription02.tld\"; masters { 192.168.21.209; }; };
rndc: 'addzone' failed: Permission Denied

Make sure /var/namd folder has proper write permission

In case of RHEL/CentOS run the following command

chmod g+w /var/named

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