Primary Reloading and Secondary Zones Expiring

Goode, Peter pgoode at
Wed Nov 17 16:41:27 UTC 1999

Thanks Mark!

I'll look into upgrading, but it looks like I mispoke a little.  Our EXPIRE
value was changed from 7 days to 30 days NOT 24 hours to 7 days.


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark_Andrews at
To: Goode, Peter
Cc: 'bind-users at'
Sent: 11/16/99 10:29 PM
Subject: Re: Primary Reloading and Secondary Zones Expiring 

	Firstly, reasonable expire values are of the order of weeks
	not days.  Expire is the time the secondary will continue to
	answer without being able to contact the primary.

	Also the following bug could stop zones being transfered.

 527.   [bug]           we were not reliably reaping our children.

	There have also been other fixes which help with large sites
	in this area.

	I would upgrade both boxes.


> All-
> I'm a little confused about secondary zone expiration and am looking
> some help.
> I have 2 primary DNS servers running BIND 8.2.1 (for load balancing
> redundancy) and a secondary DNS server running BIND 8.1.2.  These
> are SOA for thousands of domains.  By default I'm letting DNS Notify
> the new/modified zones and their transfers to the secondary.
> I was recently checking the secondary server to make sure that new
> were getting transfered.  I read in "DNS and BIND" that DNS notify
> causes the zone transfers to happen within 15 minutes.  Some of the
> zones were taking 3 and 4 days to transfer to the secondary.  I then
> on debugging level 1 on the secondary server and found what looked
like the
> server being overloaded with zone maintenance, ie., expiring and
> secondary zones.
> After discovering this I changed all zone files from a 24 hour EXPIRE
to 7
> days, and a 4 hour TTL to 24 hours.  I then ran a script on the
> server to manually run named-xfer against all zones and used the
> number of 0 to force transfers, after which I rebooted the secondary
> to give it a "fresh" start.  I expected to see the zone maintenance
> decrease greatly and new zones added to notify and transfer in a more
> reasonable amount of time.  What I see now is that some of those new
> are still taking days to transfer to the secondary and more zone
> than I would have expected.
> The only thing that I can see that may affect the way all of the zones
> being handled is that the primary server gets reloaded on a regular
> to rebuild named.conf and propogate the new/modified/deleted
information to
> the other primary server.  We also reload the secondary on a regular
> interval to pick up the changes made to named.conf.  These reloads
> because there are zone additions/modifications/deletions every day.
> This all leads me to some questions:
> 1. If we reload the primary server does that cause the primary to
notify the
> secondary to transfer zones?
> 2. If we reload the secondary server does that somehow cause the
> zones to expire and need to be transfered?
> 3. Is there a better way of handling all of the
> additions/modifications/deletions that occur on a daily basis?
> Thanks in advancefor any help and/or suggestions.
> ==========================
> Peter Goode
> Exodus Professional Services
> peter.goode at
Mark Andrews, Internet Engines Inc. / Internet Software Consortium
1 Seymour St., Dundas Valley, NSW 2117, Australia
PHONE: +61 2 9871 4742                 INTERNET:
Mark_Andrews at

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