In system or network administration, there is an adage: “When it rains, it pours.” This refers to multiple failures that can happen at one time. This morning was such a time.
First problem: I haven’t sprung additional cash for a static IP address so I’m still going ghetto with dynamic IP. Problem with dynamic IP is an ISP can arbitrarily reset it at any time. In my experience, with a decent ISP, such as Road Runner by Time Warner Cable, this happens maybe once or twice a year. For some reason, with AT&T DSL, it happens almost every week! I’m not sure if it’s just an unstable DSL modem connection, or they’re doing this on purpose to frustrate me. I’m thinking the latter. This morning around 10:30am Pacific, the dynamic IP lease expired and my DSL was assigned a new IP address. I got paged that my site was inaccessible, so now I had to find out what my new IP was and tried to enter it into my DNS server.
Now for the second problem. My DNS is hosted by Network Solutions. They have a nice warm & fuzzy GUI that I can use to modify my DNS info at any time, anywhere. Sounds cool. It worked great in the past. But for some reason this morning the site was dog slow! It would take me 5 minutes to load each page. As a customer, I was able to call their tech support and attempted to find out what went wrong. After a few minutes on hold, a friendly (American) voice answered and informed me that they were performing, and I quote, “maintenance on the site to improve the customer experience.” I got an estimate of 30 minutes for the down time. They weren’t improving my customer experience, especially in light of Network Solutions domain name phishing and hijacking incidents.
I did manage to input the new IP address afterwards. My site was inaccessible for an hour. Maybe more because DNS changes may take upto 24 hours to propagate everywhere in the world. This is what I have deal with when trying self-host a WordPress install with a crappy ISP and DNS providers. Too many moving parts that can go wrong, and they often go wrong at the same time. I’m still crossing my fingers!