DNS Issue Temporarily Cripples Packet8 VoIP Service

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DNS Issue Temporarily Cripples Packet8 VoIP Service

A source tipped me off to a Packet8 VoIP service outage last night & today caused by a DNS issue. I contacted 8x8/Packet8 and Joan Citelli, Director, Corporate Communications for 8x8, Inc. to find out what caused the VoIP outage. Joan told me the following:

"We are providing all subscribers who experienced this issue with the following explanation and resolution procedure via email and customer support calls. Let me know if you have any further questions."

At 7 pm last night (January 22, 2008) Register.com changed the DNS for www.packet8.net and www.packet8.com by omitting the DNS and substituting a landing page in its place.  The net result was call failure and inability to find Packet8 website. Our telephones and DTA's have several hard coded fail-over processes built into them.  However, due to the landing page put up by Register.com, the end points were given a false signal of success and did not fail over to the backup IP addresses built into each device.

Within minutes Packet8 engineers saw the issue, contacted Register.com and got the issue resolved with proper routing instructions broadcast to all DNS servers on the Internet.

Most Internet Service Providers updated to the correct DNS routing instantly.  However, we have reports that ATT, ATT-Mobile and Time Warner Roadrunner on the East coast have not updated DNS servers with the correct information.
If you are having issues with the Packet8 service or reaching our self-service portal, please provide the solutions below to renew the DNS information in your modem, router, and computers.

If the solutions do not work, your ISP may be providing the outdate DNS information.  Please call Packet8 support with the following information and we will contact your ISP regarding the issue.

Call Packet8 Support at 1-888-898-8733 or, if outside the US, call 1-408-687-4120
1.  Point the DNS server settings of your Packet8 endpoints and telephones to or set your router's DNS settings to Open DNS with and
2.  Edit your hosts file to force www.packet8.net to
3.  Provide a network power cycle with step by step instructions shown below
Network Power Cycle
Power cycling the entire network refreshes and re-syncs all network devices with the most current network information broadcast from the ISP.
1.       Unplug power from the back of all network devices (modem, router, & Packet8 device) & shutdown any computers.  Then wait one minute.
2.       Plug the power cord back into the modem and wait one minute to let the modem synchronize with the ISP. (Check for ONLINE/Internet light)
3.       Plug the power cord back into the Router and wait one minute.
4.       Plug the power cord back into the Packet8 device and wait 30 seconds
5.       Check the Packet8 phone for a dial tone.  Also, the PHONE LED on the Packet8 device should come light up when the receiver is picked up or turned on.
6.       Check lights: solid POWER LED & an occasionally flickering LINK LED
If no dial tone, turn on a computer and make sure the customer can browse the internet.
Clear computer of old DNS information:  Start -- Run -- cmd  --  ipconfig /flushdns

Goes to show you that DNS is critical to VoIP availability. Register.com is a popular site, I'm surprised they made such a big mistake. I would think Packet8 would have to request a DNS change before Register.com would do it on their own. Actually from the explanation, it sounds like Packet8 did request a DNS change, but Register.com just pointed it to the wrong location (a Register.com landing page).

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