The New Boss is Not Like The Old Boss

Discussion in 'System Status and Announcements' started by Mark Jeftovic (#fb), May 20, 2015.

  1. Mark Jeftovic (#fb)

    Mark Jeftovic (#fb) Administrator Staff Member

    (It's long, but we'll be sending this out to legacy users shortly - discussion on same to take place here).

    Greetings Zoneedit User;

    I had an experience last week which echoed what many of you probably experienced when you received word that Zoneedit had been purchased (yet again). You see I went downtown to St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, where I've been going nearly every week to pickup organic fruits and vegetables for the family shopping. Every week we go to the same stand, we even email our order down ahead of time and they have it ready for us when I get there. At Christmas time we exchange gift baskets. This has been going on for 10 years.

    Last Friday when I got there I was saying my customary greeting to Murray, the owner who's been a fixture of St. Lawrence Market for 35 years. Behind the counter are autographed pictures of various celebrities and luminaries who have visited Murray's bodega over the years: ranging from Catherine Zeta Jones to the Dalai Lama.

    This time Murray introduced me to somebody new: "Mark, I want you to meet Anthony. He and his brother will be taking over the shop within a week or two." It was taking a few extra seconds for my brain to parse what this meant exactly, but when Murray added "and I'm sure they're going to take very good care of you and the girls" (referring to my wife and daughter). This latter statement cinched it - with a jolt I realized what was happening here. Regime change. End of an era. Murray was out, and this Anthony guy and his brother were in.

    Anthony seemed nice. He assured me nothing would change, and that he'll be happy to take my orders and have them ready for me. But as I walked away I recognized an unmistakable sense of loss and doubt. I would miss Murray, and would the service sustain that same level we'd taken for granted over the years?

    Then I realized that what I was feeling then was possibly very similar to what you experienced when you found out that Zoneedit had been acquired by easyDNS. I know it's been a long road for you as a Zoneedit user. When it launched, Erik Aronesty and Michael Krebs were "Murray". They were very engaged and personally invested into the success of Zoneedit.

    In those early years Erik and I would occasionally speak on the phone, comparing notes on what we were seeing - DDoS attacks, spam gangs and any other manner of what were becoming near constant existential threats to centralized managed DNS platforms.

    After Erik and Michael sold, Zoneedit entered a kind of long, wandering phase. I know when Dotster bought Zoneedit they had the best of intentions, (around the same time Dotster also approached easyDNS but we turned them down. They were buying a lot of companies in those days).

    Perhaps what ensued could best surmised as that Zoneedit was in a sense "left behind". It was never consolidated into the main platform with all the other acquisitions and additionally it did not have the benefit of having somebody or some team personally invested and at the helm.

    Then Dotster itself was acquired and the problem was exacerbated. We had the idea to "carve out" Zoneedit from the even larger acquiring entity because we realized that there was quite literally "nobody at the wheel" at Zoneedit. A couple of truly heroic engineers there were assigned part-time duties to keep it on life support, but under the new regime there were no new signups being allowed, there was no capital spending on infrastructure maintenance, even the twitter account was deleted. I'm personally stunned when I hear Zoneedit customers tell me now that "the system ran flawlessly for over 10 years" because since the serial acquisitions started there were numerous outages. Those who were somehow never affected were truly blessed with a unique combination of fortuitous name server delegations and outright luck.

    I know that since this last acquisition there have been some hiccups and glitches. But what has changed that there is now somebody who is personally invested in making Zoneedit work and succeed, and there is a team actively working on it. In this sense, the new boss isn't the same as the old boss (but perhaps we're similar to the original boss).

    The point of this email today is to thank you for sticking with Zoneedit after all these years and to let you know that the long dark tea time of the soul is over for Zoneedit. Since taking over we've:

    • completely rebuilt the entire Zoneedit infrastructure from scratch, including replacement of all nameservers (which were previously running unpatched bind8 on Red Hat boxes which were years past end-of-life).
    • Brought back the 5-free DNS zones for all legacy users
    • Deployed a completely new user control panel (some of you hate it, that's ok, because we're listening - tell us how to improve it).
    • Fixed the URL forwarding (half the old forwarders were broken)
    • improved the functionality of host monitoring and DNS failover.
    • Rolled out The Support Zone user community.
    • Added Registrar transfers for .com, .net .org, .biz, .info domains - including free Whois privacy
    • Added support for .CH domains
    • Added RapidSSL certs

    And over the next few weeks and months we will continue to add more useful stuff for running your domains:

    • Support for .CA domains
    Outbound SMTP / Mailout
    Geotargeted URL Forwarding

    This is just the beginning of a steady stream of useful domain tools to make running you more effective at managing your online presence.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you do reply please understand that sometimes the volume of replies precludes me from replying individually, but I do read every single email I get.

    I'd love to hear your feedback. Please post it to this thread. So the team and I can address each and every one of them.


    Mark Jeftovic
    President/CEO ZoneEdit
    The easyZone Corp, 300A-219 Dufferin St, Toronto, ON, M6K 3J1
    Anthony Vella likes this.
  2. Wildoug

    Wildoug New Member


    I just read your email and it is great to hear someone is finally steering the ship. Prior to you guys taking over I was just about to desert Zoneedit forever. The fact that no one ever responded to support emails was my biggest frustration. I look forward to enhancement of the service going forward.
  3. Jon Åslund

    Jon Åslund New Member

    Brilliant post.

    I was one with fortuitous name server delegations and outright luck. The only thing that has affected me was e-mail forwarding. That is basically what I rely on most these days. I forward the e-mails to a gmail address (because I like the app) and I send them from gmail with my own domain. This was something normal around 10 years. Over the years of combating spam, this solution does not seem to work that well any longer. The proper google solution would be to just use Google Apps for Work for my domain or send through the correct smtp server.

    I guess this is what you mean with Outbound SMTP / Mailout. Looking forward!
  4. tknospdr

    tknospdr New Member

    Glad to see someone at the helm.
    What I'd really like to see is a native OS X compatible daemon for easily updating dynamic DNS with your service.
    Right now I'm using a solution I found on the net that requires me to create my own .plist file for each zone.
    Can you guys get one going with a nice GUI front end that will work with no user logged in and official support?
    Your own FAQ points to which is a dead URL.
  5. Mark Jeftovic (#fb)

    Mark Jeftovic (#fb) Administrator Staff Member

    We have a native OSX for easyDNS, I will ask the developer about spinning off a Zoneedit version. Let me look into it.
  6. Klortho

    Klortho New Member

    > Prior to you guys taking over I was just about to desert Zoneedit forever.

    Ditto. I'm very pleased that the lights are back on.
  7. NealT

    NealT New Member

    I would just like to say "Thank you". I have been a ZoneEdit user for many years and at times felt like the ugly stepchild.

    I'm glad to see there someone steering the boat and we're on a new course.
  8. NathanT

    NathanT New Member

    I guess I was two of the "fortuitous name server delegations and outright luck" users. I really didn't have any problems per say with the DNS from early 2000's; neither as a user for my employers' domain names; nor as a user for my personal domain name. Only nearing the switch to easyDNS I did notice that the control panel of ZoneEdit became practically unusable for making changes; but I the servers running the picked settings worked without a hitch.

    However, I guess this does explain why the ability to manage the DNS settings went south with nobody "at the helm." So, I am very glad for this change; and it appears from the additional services; that the new boss is a lot better than the old one ;)

    So I too say "Thank you."
  9. Kirill Harkin

    Kirill Harkin New Member

    I guess, that this makes me third of the "fortuitous name server delegations and outright luck" users. :)

    Yes, the new panel is different, but it's not unusable or anything, just different.
    Login alerts are a bit annoying, but excellent security mechanism. I like it!
    Oh and I was pleasantly surprised about alert that one of my domains had both NS servers in the same datacenter.
    In any case I recommended ZoneEdit for DNS hosting before and I still do it.

    The only thing missing is IPv6 support on ZoneEdit servers (and maybe education of support people about what IPv6 is).
  10. NathanT

    NathanT New Member

    IPv6? I think that was dead before it was born. I haven't seen any push toward it for at least a decade. And what is more, I use fewer IPv4 public addresses now then I did then. With NAT enabled routers available in nearly every store (even Walmart); most people just have a LAN using private IP address spaces, and one gateway on the public address space given by their ISP. Even though there as been a continual increase in network nodes in every household and business; I just don't see the need to move to IPv6 to the point I even literally disable that protocol on all my machines. I wont re-enable it unless or until my ISP requires it as the only protocol.

    I have no specific comment on the new control panel, I don't find it any better or worse than any other web based UI. The old control panel was fine until it because unresponsive much of the time about six months before the the switch.

    I think you can turn off the login alerts if you find them too annoying. I am pretty sure I did that for my work's account; since the alerts would go to my boss's e-mail; and in her late 80's she would have no clue what they meant--printing each off to give to me sometimes multiple time lol.

    I have been using ZoneEdit for DNS since oh about 2000 or 2001; at a time when 1) the ISP that had provided DNS services for my work got bought out by one that wouldn't, 2) no ISP anywhere that serviced our area would do DNS because none of them wanted their customers (even those paying for a business level service) to run their own web servers [paid for co-location at the ISP was all the rage], 3) the ONLY registrar out there couldn't legally do DNS [beyond URL forwarding] because they were a monopoly so the government wanted to limit their powers. Now that is all changed, but I have remained with ZoneEdit; and quite glad its getting even better now.
  11. Kirill Harkin

    Kirill Harkin New Member

    v6 is far from dead! And in small internal systems, yes, You can live on IPv4 for a long time, but let's remember that DNS is used publicly and I'd like to avoid a situation where a contact in China can't send me an email because my mailserver is "unreachable".
    Also, regarding going v6 on day zero... When I was configuring my router for IPv6 support, it turned out I had to reconfigure vrfs. That means reconfiguration of all interfaces, regardless of whether they need v6 or not. Now I was lucky because this configuration was done on a router that's not in production, but when zero day hits, I'd rather be ready then sorry.
  12. MumbleNZ

    MumbleNZ New Member

    Thanks so much for your email Mark.

    "Fortuitous name server delegations and outright luck."

    (This should be the zoneedit slogan :))
    I have been with zoneedit almost since the beginning. I too was getting very close to abandoning zoneedit, I know all too well when a service gets abandoned that its only a matter of time before things start dying. However that being said, I had never had any issues at all with zoneedit, so much so I had forgotten that it was a vital and critical part of my global web presence. Until I started looking into the possibility of moving DNS to my own servers, I had not realized that my entire infrastructure relied on 2 NS records in the same datacentre lol. I will be changing things around shortly to move my DNS presence closer to my customer base, but I will still have a place for zoneedit within my infrastructure, why get rid of something that works as flawlessly as zoneedit has done.

    I know the feeling you described and was quite unsure if I wanted to stay with zoneedit after it was bought a few times. The previous owner (or one before that) had been good to everyone. I wasn't sure if you would continue that, or move everyone onto your paid system and run zoneedit into the ground. I'm glad you have reached out to us and explained your stance, and your plans for the future. Zoneedit has retaken its place as an important part of my infrastructure going forward.........(not as that service that I rely on that may fail at anytime and cause untold chaos to my whole network, so the sooner it can be replaced the better.)

    Lead Admin | MumbleNZ
  13. Rick van Rein

    Rick van Rein New Member

    To me, the change is not threatening at all. ZoneEdit has been very useful for small things, but I've also experienced that it is limited in others. An update of the infrastructure was a necessity and I'm really happy that you've taken it upon you to make it happen.

    A specific wish that was impossible with the outdated BIND8 was DNSSEC. I sincerely hope that this technology, which is growing to a mature one, will be actively supported in the ZoneEdit / EasyDNS product; under BIND8 it was not even possible to setup a slave supporting it. To me, this meant that ZoneEdit was growing useless for anything professional.

    In short, I encourage you guys to pickup where ZoneEdit left off, and I welcome your changes and improvements!

    Rick van Rein
  14. Hi Mark,

    I was one of the fortunate one who never had any problems with the "old" Zoneedit.

    I do have a problem now. I am on a VDSL line which sometimes (not regularly) get some sync problems. As you most likely know, a VDSL/ADSL line will sync and if unstable, will resync to a lower rate. But this causes my dynamic IP update to fail.

    You have some rule which do not allow an IP update in fewer than 600 seconds. But in the above case, it will be 2 or 3 IPs in about a minute. This will cause my domain to point to the wrong IP. I hope you can relax that rule. On the previous ZoneEdit, they had a rule whereby they will block updates for a while, for any "unnecessary" updates. That worked perfectly. This current rule sucks.


  15. Mark Jeftovic (#fb)

    Mark Jeftovic (#fb) Administrator Staff Member

    We can look at that with an eye toward making it per hostname, not per domain. That could work for you. Alternatively - are they all being set to the same IP?
  16. Mark Jeftovic (#fb)

    Mark Jeftovic (#fb) Administrator Staff Member

    If you ran DNSSEC on your own primary, ZE could now slave it no problem. We don't have DNSSEC enabled within zoneedit yet, we do support it on easyDNS. We just got a functionality upgrade from our backend registry provider wrt DNSSEC so we're going to retool the functionality on the easyDNS side first (DS key insertion, etc).

    We're just not sure how to fit it into the current zoneedit offering - maybe we don't allow it on free DNS? Paid only? Is that crusty? Open to comments.
  17. jolcese

    jolcese New Member

    How do I access my Free Zones? I paid back in 2010 for the 5 free zones but now I have only one zone and when I want to add others I'm requested to buy credits...

    EDIT: Ouch... I just found the link to get Free zones. Thanks
  18. Hi Mark, Unfortunately the updates are for the same hostname. What Zoneedit used to do, is warn you if you are sending an "update" without actually changing anything.
  19. John Sulikowski

    John Sulikowski New Member

    Hi Mark,
    Thanks for the email, I don't normally read lengthy emails but I did get through this one. Glad to hear ZoneEdit has survived and still providing continual great service.
    All the best for the future.
    Cheers, John

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