Monday, December 26, 2011

Hosting, DNS, and Domain Name Regstration

I'm moving from my n00b setup of using my domain name registrar's DNS servers to a third party. This way, my registrar, authoritative DNS servers, and web hosting will all be run by separate companies. This makes it less troublesome to change any one of them. (Separating web host and registrar is probably the most important, as your web host is most exposed to your actions, and therefore probably most likely to cut you off. But as long as they don't control your DNS or your domain name, you can swap them out in a matter of hours.)

I'm completely ignorant of the general situation among DNS hosts, but it seems like a pretty straightforward business. Unlike registrars and web hosts, there don't seem to be that many large players here. (Perhaps because the space between people who use their registrar, and people who run their own DNS servers isn't that big? I desperately don't want to be in the business of babysitting BIND, though, so I want someone else to run this stuff or me.) The general pricing scheme seems to be price-per-zone + price-per-X-queries. Seems completely reasonable.

Setup I'm looking at right now:
DNS: Amazon Route 53
Hosting: Google Apps
HTTP redirection: Google Apps (for naked domain/zone apex to subdomain)

I don't have a replacement for my previous host's more-flexible redirection.

Of course, I don't actually *need* any of this bureaucratic fault-tolerance, but it's a nice exercise in paranoia.

For more options, I found this comparison page here, which is mostly useful as an enumeration of options to evaluate. There's also an anemic thread on /r/sysadmin.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Things I Have Learned to Understand After Moving to the East Coast

Context: I moved from San Diego (where there is no cold) to New York (where there is; [shut up, Midwest]) two years ago.
  • Hot drinks. When it's cold outside, drinking anything hot is very satisfying.
  • Hot showers. When it was cold yesterday and you think it will be cold today, hot showers are a great relief.
  • Scarves. Not just for the French anymore.
  • Gloves. When I was in San Diego, I always silently judged people who wore gloves. After being out in the snow during a Massachusetts winter and discovering my own gloves were inadequate and I in fact needed stronger gloves, I've changed my mind.
  • Long underwear. Only in extreme circumstances. They make regular pants into super pants.