Any DNS Experts Here?

Hi everyone,

I need an expert. I can't pay for an answer but the person, or people, who provide the best help will be praised publicly on my blog and the front page of my site (Alexa rank approx. 25,000 and yes I'm flexible if you want a backlink).

I need to do what services like co.cc are doing, taking a subdomain of my site (call it domain.com), and directing it to another server.

The current setup has one cPanel reseller, which directs the viewer to another cPanel reseller via an IP address in an A name records. It uses the default system built into cPanel, meaning I cannot remove or otherwise modify these new zones.

In addition, these subdomains are reknown to not work, most specifically on older ISPs. As I'm running a web host, this is unacceptable. I need a solution that works universally, or as close to universally as possible. In addition, if the user creates subdomains of their subdomain, those fail almost all the time. I need to pass ownership of all subzones to the new server.

I was thinking it best to build my own DNS management utility on a VPS. It shouldn't be hard to build a script that creates/deletes DNS zones. I built my entire site from nothing. However, I have little experience with DNS. I need to know:

1) How do I create zones? Where are these files on the server? httpd.conf? If they go in that file, what's a zone file? Why are there other configuration files?

Yes, I have used guides, but some of them tell me httpd.conf and others talk about zone files, but don't mention a location.

2) What is the best type of zone to create? Keep in mind there will be thousands of these created, they need to work reliably, I want ownership of any subdomains transfered, and they are likely to be changed. I have A names now, but I'm thinking NS or DNAME(?) and I don't know how to set those up.

3) Let's say I now want to provide a page for all unused domains (WildCard DNS). How does this integrate with a system such as this, and how do I set zone priority?

4) If I want the main domain to direct to another server (to keep it online if this DNS server goes down) is this possible and how might I do this? I also want a few subdomains to direct to the other server.

5) Is it possible to set up a failsafe server, and how would I do this? (Visitors will go to this server if the main one goes down.)

My domain, at present, is housed with GoDaddy. I have the option to set nameservers, or create nameservers of my own directing to an IP address.

I know how to use SSH for most basic tasks, including navigating, modifying, deleting, etc... I know how to build a bash script. I am an expert at PHP.

Basically, I need to know how you would set this up to work with a couple subdomains, then I can build scripts to do all the rest.

If I could afford a server cluster, a DNS admin, or to pay for advice, I would not be posting here.

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