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Oracle's DynDNS Domain Registrants Shuttered Badly

Thu, 16th January 2020, 12:17

From its earliest days the hosting industry has been fraught with innocent bystanders getting caught up in poorly executed transition plans (that is if a plan even existed at all). While the stories of kiddie hosts abruptly closing up shop to go back to school after the summer break or because they all of a sudden discovered a life outside their parent’s basement seem to occur less frequently, consolidation and acquisitions gone awry in the tech industry has replaced the former. And while many lessons have been learned over the years about how not to torture and grieve your newly acquired client base, enough tales of woe continue to emerge to keep review and news sites like HostJury relevant to a new generation of users. Regardless, when Oracle announced in December that it was shuttering a business they acquired in late 2016, few would have guessed that it would be newsworthy within weeks.

DynDNS was a service that originated as a community project in 2001, and was operated by students at Worcester Polytechnic in Massachusetts, USA. It allowed users to assign a hostname to a server whose actual IP address changes from time to time. The once free service (also had pay to play options) became quite popular and in 2008 a company was formed, called Dyn Inc. Growth and venture capital followed, until its acquisition by Oracle in November 2016. By then, Dyn offered a full range of DNS and internet analytics services.

Oracle announced that;

Since the acquisition of Dyn in 2016 and subsequent acquisition of Zenedge, the engineering teams have been working diligently to integrate Dyn’s products and services into the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure platform.  Enterprises can now leverage the DNS, Web Application Security, and Email Delivery services within Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and enhance their applications with a comprehensive platform to build, scale, and operate their cloud infrastructure

Hence it would retire the now redundant platform from service at the end of May 2020. "Dynamic DNS (Remote Access) was not impacted and will remain as is," said Oracle.

Here’s where the story should end but it appears a small part of Dyn Inc business plan allowed users to registrar for a domain name, and configure it to use either Dyn's DNS service, or nameservers (the authoritative DNS servers for a domain) hosted elsewhere. While it wasn’t ignored or overlooked by Oracle, the company appears to have just kicked that part to the curb in what would likely just be seen as a small annoyance for a tech giant such as Oracle! And that’s why we have a story. Customers of Oracle's DynDNS who used the service for domain registration - rather than just dynamic DNS - have suffered a sudden involuntary change of registrar, in some cases redirecting their websites to those of different companies.

Email fro Oracle clients about the DYN transition to name.com 

In December 2019, Oracle did announce on the Dyn community forum that it was transferring the domain registration business to Name.com:

"While we have enjoyed partnering with our customers on Domain Registrations, it is now time that we part ways with this business. Domain Registration customers received a notice on December 4th regarding the transition of our Domain Registration Business to name.com,"

The notice was short on details but would confirm the domains were transferred to Name.com automatically. Customer were required to log in and "claim the account" in order to continue managing their domains.

In Oracle's user-to-user support forum for Dyn services, a user gets the message "name resolution is blocked and has been cancelled due to administrative reasons," when logged into their Dyn account. "Try Name.com is the response from Taylor; but once the user gets there, they are confronted with: "Sorry, but we do not have any record of this domain."

Another user has been "trying to transfer our domain since approximately December 20 after removing the locks put in place by name.com, but there remains a 'Registry' lock put in place by Oracle America, Inc."

Others took to Twitter complaining..."Why have you stolen my domain and sold it to name.com ... give it back” or “You've deleted my mx record but want to send me an email to verify ownership. Did anybody actually think this through?"

selection of Oracle clients complaining on twitter 

Transferring a domain away from Name.com

If you would like to transfer your domain name to a new registrar, there are three things you will need to do within your Name.com account prior to initiating the transfer.

Bring up the domain details page in your account:

Log into your Name.com account
Click on the My Domains button, located on the top right hand corner.
In the list of domains, click on the domain name you would like to transfer.
Now that you can view the domain details, you can prepare the domain to transfer away:

image shows location of domain lock,whois privacy, transfer auth code, and renewal button in name dot com admin panel 

 

 

  1. Unlock your domain so it can transfer to the new registrar.
  2. Get the auth code for the domain name, which you will need to give to your new registrar to initiate the transfer.
  3. Disable the Whois Privacy some registrars require that you disable the Whois Privacy on your domain, for security reasons. However, many registrars no longer require this. You may want to check with your new registrar before doing this, to confirm that the Privacy for your domain needs to be disabled.

After you have followed these steps, the domain name is eligible for transfer to the new registrar and the transfer should complete within 5-7 days, or you can contact us to expedite the transfer.

If you are transferring your domain name away from Name.com, we can approve the transfer for you so it completes after a few hours rather than several days. We can only expedite the transfer if the transfer has been submitted. Once the transfer has been submitted, you will see Your Domain is Pending Transfer on the domain management page in your account:

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