ZoneWatcher began in 2016 out of some frustration I was having with consulting clients who would modify their DNS records incorrectly, breaking their email and/or website until I was able to get them back online.

It was frustrating digging through emails or technical documents to find the original values before they had made their changes. I wanted a tool that could automatically backup those records to make reverting easy while at the same time notifying me of any changes so issues could be proactively fixed before their business was impacted.

The Process

Fast forward to 2021 and ZoneWatcher had been operating successfully for 5 years. Over that time we had grown our client base, and incorporated customer feedback into ZoneWatcher.

Throughout that time, there were some other feature requests as well that couldn't be implemented without some major changes to data structure and the user interface.

So in 2021 I started to make those difficult changes, starting first with a major upgrade and revamp of how we use our PHP framework Laravel. We had always kept up do date with the latest security and bug fix releases over the years, but Laravel had introduced great new features that I wanted to take advantage of. Those features ended up cleaning up the code base significantly and making it much easier to write automated tests for, leading to a more stable product for the end user.


The Features

Next came the fun stuff, the feature requests from customers!

Microsoft Azure Provider
One of our top requested providers to support is finally available! Microsoft Azure support is now included allowing you to track all of the DNS zones for your Enterprise accounts!

Microsoft Azure

Public DNS Provider
From day 1, we have always tried to integrate directly with DNS service providers like CloudFlare, Linode, AWS, etc using their native APIs. This allows us to get clean data feeds with the raw data directly from the source. However, that isn’t always possible if the provider doesn't have an API or if it is behind an expensive paywall.

So with that, we added the ability to fetch records using the public DNS system just like an end user would! With this new provider, you provide your domain name and we "auto-magically" discover the most common records that domains have. Records like your www subdomain, blog, webmail, and much much more can be found in just a few seconds. If you have something custom you'd like to monitor you can also provide the record name and we will keep track of it just like it was a native API.

Zone Transfers (AXFR)
Zone transfers are something that is built into the DNS system as way to sync DNS zone information between multiple systems. With this update we now provide it as a way to sync your zone information into ZoneWatcher!

Simply add your domain, whitelist our IP addresses and within a few seconds we will fetch every record your DNS server provides us!

Multiple Notification Channels
ZoneWatcher has always been able to notify you about changes via email, but with this release we now support Slack, Discord and Microsoft Teams!

Simply create a new notification channel and assign it to the providers you want notifications for and we'll handle the rest! This provides you much more flexibility, allowing you to have multiple channels for each of your teams that handle different domains / providers!

We also have other channel types on our roadmap including Telegram, SMS, AWS SNS, JSON Webhooks and more! Let us know which you would like to see next!

Notification Snoozing
About to make a major infrastructure change? Taking a vacation? Don't want to be alerted every time a change happens to your DNS?

Now you can snooze notifications so ZoneWatcher doesn't fill your inbox or Slack channel! ZoneWatcher will quietly track the changes behind the scenes so you can see the changelog and resume notifications on the date and time you set!

You can snooze at the zone, provider or notification channel levels to allow for maximum flexibility!

JSON API
We are super happy to introduce a JSON API for all of your zone, check, provider, and record data! Being able to access the data that we fetch directly allows you to build applications and workflows around ZoneWatcher to make your business run smoother. This has been one of our most requested features.

{
	"jsonapi": {
		"version": "1.0"
	},
	"links": {
		"self": "https:\/\/zonewatcher.com\/api\/v1\/zones\/zone_f5tDm7e2TCkY2MC"
	},
	"data": {
		"type": "zones",
		"id": "zone_f5tDm7e2TCkY2MC",
		"attributes": {
			"domain": "zonewatcher.com",
			"status": 100,
			"failed_counter": 0,
			"last_discovered_at": "2022-11-12T04:16:55.000000Z",
			"last_checked_at": "2022-11-23T20:12:13.000000Z",
			"next_scheduled_check_at": "2022-11-23T20:17:00.000000Z",
			"snoozed_until": null,
			"created_at": "2022-11-12T04:16:55.000000Z",
			"updated_at": "2022-11-23T20:12:13.000000Z",
			"deleted_at": null
		},
		"relationships": {
			"provider": {
				"links": {
					"related": "https:\/\/zonewatcher.com\/api\/v1\/zones\/zone_f5tDm7e2TCkY2MC\/provider",
					"self": "https:\/\/zonewatcher.com\/api\/v1\/zones\/zone_f5tDm7e2TCkY2MC\/relationships\/provider"
				}
			},
			"checks": {
				"links": {
					"related": "https:\/\/zonewatcher.com\/api\/v1\/zones\/zone_f5tDm7e2TCkY2MC\/checks",
					"self": "https:\/\/zonewatcher.com\/api\/v1\/zones\/zone_f5tDm7e2TCkY2MC\/relationships\/checks"
				}
			}
		},
		"links": {
			"self": "https:\/\/zonewatcher.com\/api\/v1\/zones\/zone_f5tDm7e2TCkY2MC"
		}
	}
}

For now the API only works for reading data. However, in a future update you will be able to create and manage zones as well! There is even a planned Terraform provider on our roadmap so you can bake ZoneWatcher directly into the infrastructure provisioning process!

Multiple Other DNS Providers

With all of our new and existing providers, ZoneWatcher should be able to track almost any DNS infrastructure you can throw at it! Our DNS provider support now includes:

  • CloudFlare
  • Amazon Web Services Route 53
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • Digital Ocean
  • Linode
  • Vultr
  • Dnsimple
  • GoDaddy
  • DNS Made Easy
  • NS1
  • AXFR Zone Transfers
  • Public DNS Resolvers

Closing

This release is a culmination of many months of feature work and many years of Customer feedback. We are excited to get it in your hands!

From now until December 25th 2022, you can get 30% off any subscription payment! Use the code LAUNCH30OFF for any plan. If you choose yearly you'll get 30% off for the whole year!

So don't forget to checkout ZoneWatcher and signup for the FREE 7 day trial if you are not already a customer!