Sean Cavanaugh wrote:
 > Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 08:30:08 -0400
 > From:
 > To:
 > Subject: DNS Question
 > Good morning.
 > I have been asked by my co-workers and sales why I always create a A
 > record for new domains we host instead of a CNAME.
 > The issue I run into lately with some domains is that a client has a
 > website with a industry host such as and he wants to
 > have DNS point to with a CNAME. The
 > client does not want an A record for
 > Somewhere, in a class far far away, I was taught a DNS zone had to have
 > a A record to function properly. I can't seem to locate anything in the
 > RFCs.
 > Am I wrong?

I think you are confusing basics of DNS records. you are partially correct in that a DNS zone needs an initial A record to be able to translate a name to an IP, but there is nothing wrong about setting up a CNAME to point to a record in a different zone instead. you just cannot do a zone that has a CNAME only that does not at some point to a valid A record. CNAMEs are forwarders only whereas A records are actual lookups. for proper way to set this up.... The A record would be assigned for the main name that you want to associate to an IP address. The CNAME record just relates a different name to that original name. this allows you to change the IP address of the server and only have to update the original A record instead of every DNS record for that server. for small number of vhosts, this would not really be an issue, but imagine if you were hosting a couple hundred vhosts from a single IP and then had to change that IP because you switched your ISP. It would take you a LONG time to update them if they were all A records, but only a couple of seconds if you had it properly set up as CNAME's <> A <> CNAME <>. <> CNAME <>. <> CNAME <>. <> CNAME <>.


All true, and I did not do a very good job of explaining it. My issue was that we have requests to use a CNAME for the domain record. Such as this.  CNAME  CNAME

I was taught this was not good form, but allowed. I can deal with it. But what of having a SOA record for, no A or CNAME record for the TLD, only hosts such as www, ns1, ftp, etc.

I tried it an it seems to work fine, but doesn't look proper to me. Then again I remember when CNAME were considered evil.


"Posterity, you will know how much it cost the present generation to
preserve your freedom.  I hope you will make good use of it.  If you
do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to
preserve it." John Quincy Adams

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