Jack Yan
Global  |  Leadership  |  Experience  |  Media  |  Videos
Blog  |  Contact
 
  You can’t beat Wellington. Follow me on Mastodon Follow me on Twitter Check out my Instagram account Follow me on Drivetribe Follow me on NewTumbl Follow me on Linkedin Follow me on Weibo Join my page on Facebook Subscribe to my blog’s RSS feed  

 

Share this page




Quick links


Surf to the online edition of Lucire





Add feeds



Get this blog via email
Enter your Email


Powered by FeedBlitz

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner



 

The Persuader

My personal blog, started in 2006.



« | »

29.11.2011

The internet collapses further: Telstra Clear’s DNS servers stop resolving some addresses

Yet another contact Facebook-messaged me tonight to tell me that his email to me bounced. Sadly, I had to repeat the story of how emails from New Zealand now regularly bounce, that with at least one party we’ve had to resort to using the fax, and that, if he had a Hotmail or a Gmail, could he use that instead to reach me?
   It’s a ridiculous state of affairs and I can’t believe I’m even saying it. But here’s a good example that I encountered myself tonight using Telstra Clear:

As you can see, neither Cloudflare nor Lucire will load—in fact, Telstra Clear’s DNS server plain refuses to resolve either.
   Even Duck Duck Go has its share of problems, though eventually I got through.
   No wonder certain people can’t reach us. The sad thing is, it’s been going on all year, and Telstra Clear admits there’s a problem with a subcontractor somewhere down the line, with no ETA on resolution.
   It’s not doing my reputation much good when there are people asking me if I’ve shut down a business.
   Thanks to Jeremy Bank tonight, I switched to Open DNS, at least to get some work done “on the cloud” (and people wonder why I am a cloud-sceptic: if you lived here, you would know why). Things worked for a wee while, before conking out again.
   Both Cloudflare and Lucire worked for a while before something similar happened—and according to my end (on Plesk and at Rackspace) there are no problems. However, I was seeing blank pages with no data.
   In all cases, after switching to a proxy server, either Codeen or a transparent one, things were fine again.
   I’m going to have to place the responsibility squarely on Telstra Clear because it really looks like HTTP is being blocked to some websites. And when you go away from its DNSs and use someone else’s, you’re OK for a while before it blocks that, too. The only way to ensure HTTP service is to use proxies, which, of course, are slow—and usually such techniques are the province of netizens inside China circumventing government censors. Surely no such thing happens here—but then, with our politicians, about as schooled on the internet as Jabba the Hut is on personal hygiene, you never know.
   The more likely explanation is Jeremy’s, from four months ago when I first blogged about this issue: ‘If you’re primarily with Telstra Clear, then I know why. It’s to do with their transparent proxies and caching. Stale content within their system is what often causes fail loads and the like. It’s bad.’
   And it needs to be fixed, unless Telstra Clear wants certain sites to be inaccessible as it leads up to its much-publicized unmetered weekend. Or is this its intention? Block enough sites, save on bandwidth costs.
   After all, this blog and certain other sites we run—far less popular ones than either Cloudflare or Lucire—ran without issue tonight. Their IP addresses actually resolved.
   A similar problem with resolving Lucire and Cloudflare happened last week, confirmed by Twitter friends also on Telstra Clear, but, by the time the tech called back, things were working again. (But at least they call back, right?)
   I didn’t blog about this issue then because I thought it was a one-off. But, frankly, it looks related to an error we’ve been getting through Telstra Clear for several years where some document types were not served; and it’s definitely related to the year-long bug that prevents many New Zealanders sending email to us.
   Pay an exorbitant amount, and party like it’s 2001.

PS.: After one tech support report and reply, on November 30, 1.08 p.m. NZDT, I was finally able to put a traceroute through to lucire.com via Telstra Clear without using a proxy. That’s a lot of hours wasted.—JY

P.PS.: I may be able to let TelstraClear off the hook. Cloudflare Tweeted the following when I asked them, though I’m disappointed it has taken nearly a day for the reply. (Admittedly I had been Tweeting a Cloudflare status account, Cloudflaresys, instead of its regular account, Cloudflare.) ‘There was an issue that affected some parts of AU. Likely same issue that affected you. We have re-routed.’ I am informing TelstraClear now. Looks like we’re back to the original two issues of emails not arriving, and the broken custhelp.com website.—JY

Related posts

Filed under: business, internet, New Zealand, technology—Jack Yan @ 12.41

5 Responses to ‘The internet collapses further: Telstra Clear’s DNS servers stop resolving some addresses’

  1. jaklumen says:

    I wish I could respond with something much more on-topic, Jack, but I’m reminded of two things:

    1. Recent legislation in the U.S. Senate to censor parts of the Internet: I do wonder if maybe savings on bandwidth costs might be part of it? (Sarcasm implied.)

    2. Linux Mint, my favorite distribution, has made DuckDuckGo its default search engine in its latest release (http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=1884)

  2. Jack Yan says:

    I like (2) more!

  3. jaklumen says:

    I thought you might! :-)

  4. Networkguy says:

    Hey I randomly came across this article and thought I might explain a few things to you. I am also with Telstra and you are right, the DNS servers do sometimes have problems. This is easily fixed on your computer, just use another DNS server, I think googles are better than openDNS and easier to remember (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) This should fix your problems trying to access the websites above, but it could still prevent other people from accessing your sites if they don’t know how to work around it. However, it is important to understand that your traceroutes above dont mean too much on the internet as alot of routers are configured not to respond to traceroute or pings. duckduckgo.com is a good example, I can resolve the name to IP and ping it but get no response. But I can access the website on my browser, so they obviously block pings and only allow web traffic. A traceroute would also show a few hops before failing, like in your screenshot above.

  5. Jack Yan says:

    Networkguy, thank you so much! Great to get the view of an expert. I did try Google’s briefly and found the OpenDNS ones to be marginally better, but it was great to learn that night about these open alternatives. Thank you, too, for giving me the low-down about traceroutes.

Leave a reply