Master DNS Zone

What is Master (Primary DNS) Zone?

The Master Zone also known as Primary Zone in the DNS server is the read or write copy of the DNS database. This means that whenever a new DNS record is added to the DNS database either automatically or manually, it is actually written in the Master zone of the DNS server. The records in the Master zone can be managed only from our interface.

Why do you need it?

A Master DNS zone, also known as a Primary DNS zone, serves as the authoritative source for a particular domain's DNS records. In the DNS zone is stored information such as IP addresses, mail server details, and other domain-related records. The Master DNS zone holds the original, editable copy of these records. Administrators can make direct changes and updates to the domain's configuration only within the Master DNS zone stored in the Authoritative DNS server. That way, it ensures consistency and accuracy across the DNS infrastructure. The Primary DNS zone is crucial for maintaining control over the domain's DNS information, ensuring accurate and up-to-date mappings between domain names and IP addresses. This centralization of control allows efficient management of DNS records and simplifies the propagation of changes throughout the DNS infrastructure.

How does it work?

The Master DNS zone is a configuration of a DNS server used to host a domain’s authoritative DNS records. It is typically used to ensure the accuracy of DNS records across clusters of DNS servers. The Master DNS zone is the definitive source of information and contains the master copy of the DNS records. The Master DNS server will be the authoritative server for the zones it hosts, meaning all other DNS servers will look to this server for the current and correct DNS records. All changes to DNS records are first made to the master zone before being propagated to the slaves.

How to add Master Zone in ClouDNS?

You can add your Master DNS Zone effortlessly by following several easy steps:

  1. Login to your account.
  2. Click on the DNS zones [Add new] link.
  3. Click on the Master zone box.
  4. Enter the domain name (without www or http://) 
  5. Click on the "Create" button. 

It is recommended to choose only the servers you will add to the domain registrar. You will be forwarded to the Records page of the DNS zone of your domain, where you will be able to add the records you need.


When you create a Master DNS zone at ClouDNS you can select from 3 different options. Their main role is to assist you with NS or even all records in the DNS zone you are about to create.

  • Create zone with NS records - this option is selected by default. It is the easiest way to create a Master DNS zone with NS records for all name servers, available for you.
  • Copy all records from another zone - this option is suitable, if you would like to copy all records of another DNS zone into your new one.
  • Create zone without any records - selecting this option will create a DNS zone without any NS records in it. You will have to manually add them afterwards.

How to add Master DNS Zone in ClouDNS - Step by Step:

Troubleshooting Tips for Master DNS Zone

  • Check the zone's syntax
  • Verify that all records are configured properly
  • Test DNS queries to identify the source of the issue
  • Check the logs and debug
  • Identify the hardware and software environment 
  • Determine network connectivity between the server and the DNS zones 
  • Identify how the DNS zones interact with one another 
  • Follow proper protocols for naming, delegating control, and permissions

Best practices for managing a Master DNS Zone

Some best practices for managing a Master DNS Zone include:

  • Regular Backups: Regularly back up your Master DNS zone files to prevent data loss in case of accidental deletion or corruption. This ensures that you can quickly restore the DNS zone in case of any issues.
  • Secure Access: Restrict access to your DNS server and Master DNS zone files to authorized personnel only. Implement strong authentication mechanisms to prevent unauthorized changes.
  • Monitoring and Alerts: Implement monitoring tools to track DNS server health and performance. Set up alerts for issues such as high traffic, DNS query failures, or unauthorized changes.
  • DNSSEC: Implement DNSSEC to add an additional layer of security to your DNS infrastructure. By digitally signing DNS records, it helps prevent DNS spoofing and cache poisoning attacks.
  • Regular Updates: Stay informed with the latest software patches and security updates for your DNS server software to protect against known vulnerabilities.
  • Documentation: Maintaining accurate documentation of DNS configurations and changes.


Question: What is the difference between a Master DNS zone and a Slave DNS zone?

Answer: A Master DNS zone is the primary authoritative source for a domain's resource records and holds the most up-to-date information. The Slave DNS zone acts as an authoritative secondary source, with copies of the Master DNS zone stored on it. The Slave DNS zone will be periodically updated with any changes made to the Master DNS zone. 

Question: What records are stored in a Master DNS zone?

Answer: A Master DNS zone stores a range of records, including SOA (Start of Authority), A (Address), AAAA (Quad A), PTR (Pointer), CNAME (Canonical name), MX (Mail Exchange), NS (Name server) records, and more.

Question: How often should a Master DNS zone be updated?

Answear: It is recommended to regularly update the Master DNS zone, depending on the type of website. For a static site, this may be once a year, while for dynamic sites or other services, an update should occur at least monthly to ensure changes are properly distributed.

Question: What happens if the Master DNS zone is not updated regularly?

Answer: If the Master DNS zone is not updated regularly, then the DNS server cannot provide accurate data to users. This can result in users needing help accessing websites, incorrect information being delivered, or even the inability to send emails. Therefore, it is essential to keep the Master DNS zone up to date to ensure reliable service. 

Question: Who manages a Master DNS Zone?

Answer: The administrator of the domain is the one who manages the Master DNS Zone. They have control over adding, modifying, and deleting DNS records within the zone.

Last modified: 2024-04-11
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