Moving on-premise DNS to Cloudflare. Can I run both at the same time?

We are planning to move our internal DNS to Cloudflare and were wondering if we could add the Cloudflare DNS servers to our registrar along with our internal until they are all propagated then remove our internal from the registrar. We are trying to get around the potential delay that could cause name resolution issues while propagation is going on. We would run DNS only in Cloudflare until propagation finished.

If we are missing something and there are better ways to do this, I would appreciate that info.

From a technical point, it isn’t impossible to mix multiple providers together, such as using both Cloudflare and other DNS providers at the same time, however, a such set up would easily get very complicated.

Such kind of complicated set ups would also require a Cloudflare Enterprise plan.

That propagation (depending on how you see it) would be going on forever, until all name servers in the list are agreeing with each other.

If Cloudflare and, according to your example, you own DNS server believes that the IP address people should reach for would be two different IP addresses, e.g. Cloudflare believing, but your own DNS server believes should be, then your traffic would “randomly” be sent to two different locations, depending which DNS server (Cloudflare vs. yours) that your user (or your user’s DNS resolver) is reaching.

You would have absolutely no control over which way the traffic goes, it could be 50-50 distribution between Cloudflare and your own server, it could be 99% Cloudflare, 1% yours, or even 1% Cloudflare, 99% yours, … or any arbitrary number in between.

Set up the current DNS records on Cloudflare, and once you are 100% sure that all records are there, switch out the name servers at the domain registrar.

Depending on the format of your zone files, you might even be able to import them in to Cloudflare easily:

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