eNom Datacenter Move Borks DNS

eNom really borked their datacenter move resulting in two days and counting of no DNS.

I first noticed the issue Saturday (15 Jan 2022) night when my inbox remained clean for several hours, yes, I am one of those people that like to keep email organized and the inbox clean. A bit of head scratching and googling led me to a reddit post laying blame on the Enom Data Center Migration gone wrong.

I registered my first domain in 2000 over a dialup modem. Over time I’ve registered several more domains with several registrars (based on regional or TLD requirements of the day). In 2006 I consolidated all my registrations with eNom, in 2011 eNom transferred my account to BulkRegister, and in 2020 BulkRegister transferred my account to Hover. So, today I am a Hover customer, and Hover is an eNom reseller, using eNom DNS services.

My primary concern was getting Google Workspaces email working again, no MX records, no email. I manage a few workspaces that are used for friends and family custom email, grandfathered in from the Free Google Apps days. The Hover portal was still working, and I do use CloudFlare for some DNS services, so I tried changing the DNS servers on Hover from eNom to CloudFlare, but it failed with “Nameservers for [domain] cannot be registered”. There was not much more to be done, so I waited.

Next day (16 Jan 2022) was more of the same, more complaints, more maintenance, still can’t change DNS. I tried transferring the domain, but I couldn’t because I can’t get an email with the transfer key, as I can’t get email due to no MX records. Per canned advice from @enomsupport I sent an email to help@enom.com, from my gmail account, to this day never received a reply. Hover chat support said, sorry, need to wait for eNom.

Today (17 Jan 2022) I tried changing DNS at Hover again, no error, and although the web UI still reports the old eNom DNS servers, DNS did switch to CloudFlare. I re-registered the MX records at Google Workspaces domain management, and a couple minutes later email started flowing in.

I am busy switching DNS for all domains to CloudFlare, and as soon as possible I’ll be transferring my domains away from eNom, or anybody associated with eNom.

So what have I learned?

  • Never use eNom or any of their affiliates again. This is not the type of failure where an organization gets a second chance. Planning and executing a migration plan of this nature requires competent people, clearly they failed.
  • Do not use the same company for domain registration and DNS services.
  • Do not use an email address for service communication that is managed by that service.
  • Keep restorable and portable file backups of DNS registrations. It is taking me a long time to recreate all the DNS entries by hand.

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