[nsd-users] Seeking advice for deploying an anycast cluster

Daniel Corbe daniel at corbe.net
Sat Jan 4 02:22:46 UTC 2020

Thank you for taking the effort to type this up.   I think you've hit
on a solution here.   At least I believe you've got me thinking in the
right direction now.

On Fri, Jan 3, 2020 at 3:32 PM Niall O'Reilly <niall.oreilly at ucd.ie> wrote:

> NSD is well capable of, and easily configured for, handling much
> greater fanout than two. In case the anycast cloud is really
> enormous, it may be sensible to use some intermediate distribution
> servers, as described below using the term "hidden slave".

It is.  38 servers and counting.  Spread out over the globe.

> > So for that to work, I'd need to somehow
> > cluster my NSD instances together or I'd need some sort of proxy
> > server that can listen for incoming NOTIFYs and then distribute them
> > to the rest of the constellation.
> Any of the authoritative name-server codes is designed to do exactly
> this kind of proxying. The old-fashioned terminology for a server
> which does only this, and which is not announced to the world in an
> NS record, is "hidden slave". Setting one of these up is particularly
> easy to do with (perhaps another instance of) NSD. Other choices might
> be BIND (named), Knot, or PowerDNS.

I've been thinking about using PowerDNS anyways to front a web
interface for my customers.  Seems like the shortest path to market
considering it supports pgsql out of the box.

> An NSD-based hidden slave needs to refer to the upstream master
> in 'allow-notify' and 'request-xfr' configuration directives and to
> refer to each dependent downstream server in 'notify' and 'provide-xfr'
> directives. Of course, the downstream servers must be configured
> correspondingly to accept NOTIFY and request a zone transfer when
> appropriate.

So I'm worried about nsd getting the right information from the right
source.   If I put my nsd instances in a "full mesh" so to speak,
where they are all XFR and NOTIFY each other, my "A" and "B" PowerDNS
servers would still need to be the authoritative source for
information.  I'm assuming that's where the serial number of the zone
comes into play?   Highest provided serial number wins, right?

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