Preference of Master Name Servers

David Hall rndcreload at
Wed Dec 5 22:28:41 UTC 2012

I have some questions and would really appreciate if someone would be able
to assist. I just started a new job at a hosting company and am in a little
bit over my head.

Question 1:
In our secondary / slave name servers we specify the master name servers in
the normal manner:
zone { type slave; file "m/y/"; masters {;;; }; };
What I have found is that the order of the master name servers does not
matter and one is used at random. That name server is tried for all AXFR /
IXFR attempts until it is unreachable.
Is there a way to set a dedicated preference of which name servers to use

Question 2:
I am also seeing many entries in our logs that look like:
Dec 4 10:28:49 mysys named[28103]: zone refresh: retry
limit for master exceeded (source

Does this mean that the master name server is unreachable? I have confirmed
that it is reachable by UDP and TCP.
Or does it mean that we are hitting one of our limits? Our current values
serial-query-rate 500;
transfers-out 300;
transfers-in 300;
transfers-per-ns 100;

Question 3:
We have over 100,000 domains on the name servers. What we see is that once
we start seeing many of these "exceeded" messages in the logs then our "soa
queries in progress" will go up significantly and never goes back down.
We have to shut down the name server and restart it, and then the "soa
queries in progress" goes down to 0 or 1 and he "exceeded" messages go away.
Has anyone had a similar problem? If so, how did you resolve this?

Sure hope someone out there can help, thank you in advance!
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