DNS propogation time through cloudflare & general launch Q

We are planning on porting our live website from pantheon hosting to wpEngine hosting on Monday.

I have a vague understanding of cloudFlare’s role here caching and serving our site. I can imagine that cloudflare might help bridge that gap that normally happens in DNS propogation when you switch. If the DNS is always just pointing at clourdFlare, is there still that normal DNS propogation time if we redirect cloudflare to cache our new website on the new host compared to the old website on the old host?

Besides that, can someone offer suggestions of things I’m not considering? This is at the periphery of my role and I’d love any wisdom over things I’d likely run into.

Cheers in advance folks :slight_smile:

If you’re already using Cloudflare DNS, the the propagation is about five minutes. Anything set to :orange: has a 300 second TTL.

If you want it lower than 300 seconds, you’ll need to set it to :grey:, which will let you go as low as two minutes. Then you can set it back to :orange: 5-10 minutes later. But this method exposes your origin IP address, if that matters to you.

Other concerns? Some database configurations use hostnames that are tied to DNS, and that will throw off data synchronization. Personally, I use ‘localhost’ (yeah, my DB is on the same server).

Also, make sure you have TLS properly ready on the new server. If you’re using Full (Strict) mode, then Cloudflare is going to want to see a valid cert for that hostname.

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5 minutes is awesome. Our live website is already set to :grey: and we have a ton of api calls that bounce off our servers so I’m not likely to change anything that isn’t directly broken.

Could you speak to the pro/con of exposing the ip address?

Exposing the IP address means that if someone wants to bypass Cloudflare and directly attack your server, now they have an IP address to target. I don’t do this, plus I configure my firewalls to reject any connections that don’t come through Cloudflare.

Another con is that if the switchover is glitchy, it may be difficult to discern where the problem may be: Some funky Cloudflare configuration, or something on your new server? This is probably the biggest concern.

My opinion is that I’d leave it set to :orange: and live with the five minute propagation. If you’re dealing with live data, you’re going to have a hard outage anyway. Just do it off hours. If you’re ok with a 5 minute gradual transition, this will be seamless.

But if something is broken, you’ll have to revert and you’ve suffered at most a ten-minute outage and will have to try again another night.

Because it’s already set to :grey: I feel hesitant to switch to :orange: unless I was going to try switching that now, test the live site, and then perform the same actions on the new site. Am I being unnecessarily wary? I can envision api calls coming from our software that is pointing at an IP but maybe it’s all pointed at the domain. We do have issues with pirating so this is a vein that will certainly need investigating.

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