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Tracking DNS: The Network Solutions DNS errors

April 2, 2013 – Network Solutions DNS, a major provider of domain name server (DNS) services, experienced an issue over the Mar 30-31, 2013 weekend resulting in many websites, including websites owned by Dotcom-Monitor clients, having website DNS time out errors. Intermittent Network Solution DNS issues were noted late afternoon and evening hours on March 29. Dotcom-Monitor then began tracking consistent DNS time out errors involving Network Solutions DNS servers early on Saturday morning, March 30, 2013. The Network Solutions DNS servers involved were NS22.WORLDNIC.COM (206.188.198.11) and NS21.WORLDNIC.COM (205.178.190.11).

Tracking DNS: The Network Solutions DNS errors

Network Solutions DNS, a major provider of domain name server (DNS) services, experienced an issue over the Mar 30-31, 2013 weekend resulting in many websites, including websites owned by Dotcom-Monitor clients, having website DNS time out errors.  Intermittent Network Solutions DNS issues were noted late afternoon and evening hours on March 29. Dotcom-Monitor then began tracking consistent DNS time out errors involving Network Solutions DNS servers early on Saturday morning, March 30, 2013. The Network Solutions DNS servers involved were NS22.WORLDNIC.COM (206.188.198.11) and NS21.WORLDNIC.COM (205.178.190.11).

> Run a free worldwide DNS response time check here (select Trace Style: DNS)

Network Solutions DNS Error
Network Solutions DNS Error

Detecting the Network Solutions DNS errors

Dotcom-Monitor does not cache DNS look-ups, therefore it detected and alerted on the Network Solutions DNS issues instantly. Because it was a weekend, organizations using Network Solutions DNS but without monitoring in place may not have been aware of the DNS error until hearing from their clients on Monday morning. Starting at approximately 09:27 AM on Saturday, March 30, 2013 Dotcom-Monitor external monitoring agents detected anomalies in Network Solutions DNS that resulted in consistent DNS time out errors. These DNS errors lasted for several hours, until approximately 12:44 PM.

The DNS time out errors were not uniform across all geographies.  Starting Saturday morning the DNS time out errors were verified by external monitoring agent locations across the world. The locations that were effected are as follows: Europe, Frankfurt, Germany and London, UK; North America, Montreal, Canada, and VA, USA; Middle East, Tel-Aviv, Israel; Asia, Hong Kong and Shanghai, China.  For example, NS22.WORLDNIC.COM was resolving a query from a monitoring agent located in Minnesota, USA but the same resolution failed from London, UK with a DNS timeout error.

At the time of the issue Dotcom-Monitor surmised that the error was due to the Network Solutions DNS Servers themselves, or with the network routing to the Network Solutions DNS Servers.

DNS timeout alerts and verifying with Social Proof

At the time of the DNS time-out error, Dotcom-Monitor also began alerting Dotcom-Monitor clients regarding the issue as part of its monitoring and alerting process. Dotcom-Monitor automatically conducted trace routes at the time when the monitoring agents were unable to connect to the Network Solutions DNS servers (as it always does in instances when errors are detected), which verified that the issue was a Network Solutions DNS time out error.  Many clients also performed additional “social proof” verification of the Network Solutions DNS time out errors by checking social media, such as Twitter for “#NetworkSolutions down” and @netsolcares.

Based on continued monitoring of Dotcom-Monitor client sites using Network Solutions DNS as well as social proof verification the Network Solutions DNS time out error was resolved as of Saturday, 5:00 PM CST on March 30th, 2013.

> Run a free worldwide DNS response time check here (select Trace Style: DNS)

Network Solutions DNS time out error
Dotcom-Monitor records Network Solutions DNS time out error

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*Update: On Oct. 22, 2013 Dotcom-Monitor saw another Network Solutions down issue – a DNS outage which involved an email deliverability issue due to email blacklisting.*

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