Third-Party DNS Services

By default, a Plesk server acts as a master DNS server for websites hosted on it. Alternatively, you can use external third-party DNS services to resolve domain names hosted in Plesk, for example, Amazon Route 53 (http://aws.amazon.com/route53/), DynECT (http://dyn.com/dns/dynect-managed-dns/), or Godaddy Premium DNS (http://www.godaddy.com/domains/dns-hosting.aspx). Using such services has certain advantages:

  • Reduced load on your Plesk server.
  • Improved DNS hosting reliability.

If you plan to use an external third-party DNS service, you can configure your Plesk so that it uses this service instead of its own DNS server. This will not affect website owners: From their perspective, Plesk stays a master DNS server for their domains.

To make your Plesk automatically provision DNS zones to a third-party DNS, you should write an integration script.

DNS Integration Script

The integration script is a script (written in any language supported by your server) that propagates changes made to DNS zones in Plesk UI to the selected third-party DNS service. The script should communicate with the external service by means of the service's API.

After you register the script in Plesk, the latter will pass to the script information about any change in DNS zones, for example, adding or removing resource records or entire zones.

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The script must meet the following requirements:

  • It should be able to process the input parameters given in the table below.
  • If the actions are completed successfully, the script should return errorcode0.
  • If you want your script to write information about its execution to Plesk log files, send this information to the script's stdout and sterr.

An example of the script that integrates Plesk with the Amazon Route 53 is available on our GitHub page.

Note that to use this script, you should take two steps:

  • Download the library for working with Amazon Web Services in PHP - aws.phar from http://aws.amazon.com/sdkforphp/ and place it in the same directory with the script.
  • Specify your Amazon security credentials in the script (lines 23 and 24):
'client' => array(
	'key' => '<key>',
	'secret' => '<secret>',
),
Integration Script Input Parameters

Note: All parameters are of the string type.

Parameter Description Example
 

 

 

The operation that should be performed on the specified zone (create, update, or delete) or reverse (PTR) record (createPTRs or deletePTRs)

create

zone

 

 

 

Information about the zone on which the operation is performed. Provided if the command is create, update, or delete

 

name

 

The name of the zone.

d10.tld.

displayName

 

The name of the zone without IDN to ASCII conversion.

d10.tld.

soa

 

 

Information about the SOA resource record in the zone. Provided if the command is create or update.

 

email

Contact email

domainowner@samplemail.com

status

Always 0.

0

type

Type of the DNS server. Always master.

master

ttl

The amount of time in seconds that other DNS servers should store the record in a cache.

86400

refresh

Time in seconds how often the secondary name servers check with the primary name server to see if any changes have been made to the domain's zone file.

10800

retry

Time in seconds a secondary server waits before retrying a failed zone transfer.

3600

expire

Time in seconds before a secondary server stops responding to queries, after a lapsed refresh interval where the zone was not refreshed or updated.

604800

minimum

Time in seconds a secondary server should cache a negative response

10800

serial

The number that identifies the state of the zone. Plesk uses the Unix time stamp of the moment when the request is sent.

1363228965

serial_format

Always "UNIXTIMESTAMP"

 

rr

 

 

Information about resource records within the specified zone. Provided if the command is create or update.

 

host

The host name of a node within the zone.

www.d10.tld.

displayHost

The host name of a node without IDN to ASCII conversion.

www.d10.tld.

type

The type of the record.

CNAME

opt

The part of the value without IP or hostname.

 

value

A value (IP address of host name) of the resource that will be available on the specified host.

d10.tld.

displayValue

A value (IP address of host name) of the resource that will be available on the specified hostwithout IDN to ASCII conversion.

d10.tld.

ptr

 

 

 

Information about the reverse (PTR) records. Provided if the command is createPTRs or deletePTRs.

 

ip_address

 

The reverse record's IP address. May be IPv4 or IPv6 address.

10.52.59.29

hostname

 

The reverse record's host name.

d10.tld

Integrating Plesk with a Third-Party DNS

To switch on Plesk integration with third-party DNS

  1. Put your integration script into your extension's /plib/scripts/ directory

    For example: /plib/scripts/route53.php

  2. Make sure that your script can be executed successfully from command line

    On Linux: plesk bin extension --exec <extension_id> <script_name>

    On Windows: <plesk_dir>\bin\extension.exe --exec <extension_id> <script_name>

    For example: plesk bin extension --exec route53 route53.php

  3. Set up the post-install.php script to register custom DNS backend

    On Linux: plesk bin server_dns --enable-custom-backend <script_execution>

    On Windows: <plesk_dir>\bin\server_dns.exe --enable-custom-backend <script_execution>

    For example:

    $script = 'plesk bin extension --exec route53 route53.php';

    $result = pm_ApiCli::call('server_dns', ['--enable-custom-backend', $script]);

To switch off Plesk integration with third-party DNS and restore the default settings

Set up the pre-uninstall.php script to disable custom DNS backend

On Linux: plesk bin server_dns --disable-custom-backend

On Windows: <plesk_dir>\bin\server_dns.exe --disable-custom-backend

For example: $result = pm_ApiCli::call('server_dns', ['--disable-custom-backend']);

You can find a complete example of the integration on github: https://github.com/plesk/ext-route53

Remarks

Verifying Successful DNS Zones’ Synchronization

Following the integration of Plesk DNS with an external DNS service, domains’ DNS zone records are synchronized with that service. The successful synchronization of a certain domain’s DNS zone adheres to the following:

  1. The DNS zone for this domain is created at the external service.
  2. All the domain’s DNS records are correctly copied to the external service.
  3. In the extension UI, the domain is marked as synchronized with the external service.
  4. The user receives a message that the DNS zone for the specified domain is now successfully synchronized with the external service.
  5. If a certain DNS record is not supported by the external service, the user receives a message in the extension UI that this record is not supported by the external service.
  6. If the entire DNS zone cannot be synchronized, the user receives an appropriate message in the extension UI.

Synchronization Specifics Related to Different Supported Domain Types

Plesk supports a wide variety of different types of domains. Some of these pose additional important considerations.

Note: By default, DNS zones for all domain types are Enabled and Master, except for the subdomains. The subdomains use its parent domain’s DNS zone. Individual DNS zone for a subdomain can be enabled in the DNS Settings for that subdomain.

Domain type Specific issues

Subscription

n/a

Addon domain

n/a

Subdomain

Synchronization is only possible for the subdomains with own DNS zone.

Subdomains with parent DNS zones cannot by synchronized.

Domain alias

Domain alias DNS zone may or may not be synchronized with the primary domain DNS zone. The result of synchronizing the domain alias DNS zone with an external service must not depend on it.

No hosting domain

n/a

Forwarding

n/a

Domain on IPv6

Add an IPv6 IP address (if there are none) at Tools & Settings > IP Addresses, and use it to create a subscription, to verify synchronization for such a domain.

IDN domain

Make sure, the domain name is displayed in national encoding in the extension UI.

Domains Unavailable for Synchronization

Due to Plesk’s policies, the following domains’ DNS zones cannot be synchronized to an external service:

  • domains with Disabled DNS zone
  • domains with Slave DNS zone
  • disabled domains
  • suspended domains

Observing Service Limits

If the external DNS service enforces certain resource limits, the extension must not allow the user to execute a resource-consuming action when the corresponding limit is reached. An appropriate message must be displayed to the user in the extension UI.

Verifying Operations with Synchronized DNS Zones

The basic idea is to make sure that all the changes to the DNS settings done in Plesk are correctly propagated to the external service.

Choose a domain with its DNS zone synchronized with an external DNS service, and check the following.

Operations with DNS Zone

  1. Switching DNS Zone from Master to Slave prevents synchronization. If a domain DNS zone has already been synchronized with the external service, switching it from Master to Slave changes nothing, the DNS zone records remain on the external service untouched. If a domain DNS zone has not yet been synchronized, once switched to Slave, it must be impossible to synchronize it.
  2. Applying DNS Template must be correctly reflected. When a user applies DNS Template for an active DNS zone, DNS records must be correspondingly updated on the external service.
  3. Resetting DNS settings must be correctly reflected. When a user resets DNS settings to defaults for an active DNS zone, its DNS records must be correspondingly updated on the external service.

Operations with DNS Records

  1. Adding any type of DNS record in Plesk adds the record on the external service. Must work for all types of DNS records.
  2. Editing a DNS record in Plesk changes the corresponding record on the external service.
  3. Removing a DNS record in Plesk removes the corresponding record on the external service.

Operations with Domain

Make sure that changes to the domain’s hosting settings are reflected appropriately in the external DNS records.

  1. Changing the domain name. When the name of the domain is changed, you can choose to either update the external service DNS records accordingly or to erase them completely. This change must be appropriately reflected in the Plesk extension UI.
  2. Changing the domain’s IP address in Plesk causes updating the IP address in the external service DNS records.
  3. Disabling a synchronized domain does NOT cause its DNS records to be erased from the external service.

    Note: If a domain is disabled before synchronizing with the external DNS service, it cannot be synchronized at all.

  4. Suspending a synchronized domain does NOT cause its DNS records to be erased from the external service.

    Note: If a domain is suspended before synchronizing with the external DNS service, it cannot be synchronized at all.

  5. Removing a domain in Plesk must cause all its DNS records to be removed from the external service.