DNS Server Issues

Date

June 11, 2013 by Brian Ghidinelli

Beginning yesterday at 3:00pm Pacific time we began receiving reports of intermittent access problems with MotorsportReg.com. Initially it appeared to be a routing issue but as we worked with our vendors to peel back the layers of the onion we found it was a problem with a DNS server. For a small percentage of our users this made the site unavailable and we are very sorry for the interruption.

DNS is the system that changes names (like MotorsportReg.com) into addresses (in this case, IP addresses, like 69.36.240.124). At the moment, one of the six DNS servers our vendors run has lost our address and is giving out bad information to anyone who asks it for directions. It's like asking six people for directions and one of them tells you to make a left instead of a right.

The issue manifested itself as certain people not being able to reach our site while they are able to reach other websites and/or intermittent access problems reaching our site.

The reason is because DomainMonger.com changed the IP address of one server without a formal notification and our firewall rules blocked the new IP address from updating. Our network and services are locked down extensively to comply with PCI DSS so this new, unauthorized IP address was unable to continue updating its records. Unfortunately this lack of communication for infrequent events (this is the first time DomainMonger made a change like this in 9 years) is not entirely uncommon in the web industry and is difficult to track.

We have updated our firewall rules to permit the new IP address to update and they should start resolving again within 120 minutes or so. We apologize for the hassle - please let us know if we can do anything to help.

On a side note, if you are an organizer we strongly recommend you follow us on Twitter or at least bookmark our twitter page at @pukkasoft because it runs through an entirely separate network that is not impacted by issues related directly to MotorsportReg.com. We also directly post issues reported by our monitoring partner, Pingdom, which give you an early warning if issues arise.










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