So that's why the server didn't seem that slow today. Maybe we should take a poll on who wants to keep Germany away in the future...
More serioulsy, it seems our host [*Profanity*] up again!!!
Normally, the primary DNS for all our domains (rpc1.org, rpc1.com, firmware-flash.com, etc.) should be ns3.neosurge.com, and the secondary server ns4.neosurge.com.
We have control over the ns3 server, but not over ns4.
Now, I know our host has been doing some modifications of his servers lately, and for some reason, our domains seem to be primarily served by ns4 rather than ns3 at the moment.
Only problem is, our host has also decided to shut down ns4.neosurge.com without warning us (!)
Therefore any of our domains queried with ns4 will not resolve
Dammit, ns3 should be the main authority! Or, at worst, it should take over name resolutions for our domains when ns4 is down. But apparently root DNS' are ignoring this...
Anyway, I fixed up the DNS records (so that we DON'T use ns4) and they should be in the process of being updated by now (this can take between 24-48 hours). After that time, subdomains should answer properly again.
But this is yet another problem that would have been avoided had out new server been delivered on time (because we would have made the switch by now <sigh>).
For obvious reasons, we chose NOT to rely on any of our hosts servers for name resolution on the new server, but I didn't think this choice would have been vindicated so soon