Setting up a DNS cluster with cPanel & DNSOnly

cPanel is the most used control panel in the World through which we can manage our websites and settings easily via a User-Friendly interface. If you have more than one cPanel server, it would be good to set up cPanel’s DNS cluster to lower the risk of a DNS failure on a nameserver taking down all of your sites. A DNS cluster is a service and it has a group of name servers that share records with each other. It allows physically separate nameservers that handle the domain name requests from web servers. In the event of, a power outage, currently, you still have DNS functionality. In this way, visitors can easily get websites on your server more quickly after the webserver comes back online. DNS resolves domain names to an IP address. This is one step in loading a website. In this type of instance, the DNS cluster will give a backup for name resolution. The requirements to setup DNS cluster is listed below:

1) At least two cPanel servers are required with DNS running (bind).

2) The bind must have been configured on port 53 on both servers and accepting connections to each other.

Let’s see the steps on how we can set up the DNS cluster on a cPanel server.

1) First thing is, you will need to enable DNS cluster on each server’s WHM interface. For this navigate to WHM (root) » Clusters » DNS Cluster option on each server and enable the clustering by clicking on the “Enable DNS clustering” button.

Once you have enabled the DNS clustering, you can see a new configuration there as “Global DNS Cluster options”. This configuration decides when to drop a server from the cluster (if they are unresponsive to commands) and how many commands if they are unresponsive must be considered as server down. You can keep the default settings and can enable notification when a server is dropped from the DNS cluster.

2) For setting up the DNS cluster, select the Backend type as cPanel and then select the “Configure” button there.

3) On the new interface enter the details of additional nameservers such as server IP on host field, the username (root) of the remote server, and SSH key of remote nameserver server. You can create the SSH key using the nameservers WHM interface.

Additionally, you may create API from the WHM ~ root (where you've installed DNSOnly) » Development » Manage API Tokens. Once you navigate to the mentioned, click on the "Generate Token" option and type name (example: DNS cluster - ns1), Select the following privileges:

Initial Privileges » Manage DNS Records, Nameserver Configuration

DNS » Add DNS Zones, Remove DNS Zones

Clustering » DNS Clustering

and save the changes. An API token will be generated, keep it in a safe place. You will have to use it in the 3rd-step 's text area (Remote server API token or access hash).

Select the DNS role as ‘Synchronize Changes’ and click on submit button at the bottom. This means the changes made on this server will propagate to any server in the cluster that is linked to this server.

You will need to repeat the above same steps on another server too so that each server will be in sync.

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