ion-newsLast night I tweeted that the Indian Ocean Network News, commonly known as ION News, website is down. At first glance, the ionnews.mu address had no A record in its DNS.

ionnews-mu-server-not-found

A DNS dig showed me the following:

; <<>> DiG 9.9.5-rpz2+rl.14038.05-P1 <<>> ionnews.mu
;; global options: +cmd
;; Got answer:
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: SERVFAIL, id: 34147
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 1

;; OPT PSEUDOSECTION:
; EDNS: version: 0, flags:; udp: 512
;; QUESTION SECTION:
;ionnews.mu.			IN	A

;; Query time: 193 msec
;; SERVER: 8.8.8.8#53(8.8.8.8)
;; WHEN: Thu Dec 18 22:12:36 MUT 2014
;; MSG SIZE  rcvd: 39

On the other hand, a whois query indicated that the domain name has expired.

Domain Name: ionnews.mu
Domain ID: 901853-IDL
WHOIS Server: 
Referral URL: 
Updated Date: 2014-12-18T09:45:10.440Z
Creation Date: 2013-12-16T07:55:31.978Z
Registry Expiry Date: 2014-12-16T07:55:32.189Z
Sponsoring Registrar: Register.mu
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 
Domain Status: serverHold
Domain Status: ok

On Facebook, some people reported that the website is showing up at their end while some others reported it down. For this erratic behavior one has to understand DNS. S. Moonesamy replied in the Mauritius Internet Users mailing list:

I am still able to access the ionnews.mu web site. The web site is not accessible if you are using a local ISP or Google for DNS (domain name service).

Those who’d like to participate in discussions you may join the Mauritius Internet Users mailing list. I have written the instructions to subscribe in this blog post.

On my end, a few days ago while checking on .mu domains I noticed that ionnews.mu would expire. I however thought that renewal actions will be triggered in due time. Now, I speculate either ION News folks didn’t get the renewal notice, missed it or maybe the whole of the hosting & domain management is ‘outsourced’.


Update #1

ION News website (ionnews.mu) was back online in the early evening of 19 December 2014. The domain name has been renewed till 16 December 2016.

Logo image taken from ION News facebook page.