Today, ZoneEdit, who I’ve been using for 11years, failed me once again. Even with 4 nameservers, it was the web-forward gadget that blew, cutting off a lot of business. The client had a fit and I had to find something more reliable.
We use Amazon S3 to handle all file management for our sites and they have been awesome. So, just for fun, I googled Amazon and DNS to see if they had any DNS services and came up with this Route53 beta page.
So, nothing like a client emergency to try something brand-spankin’ new. I signed up and got to work. The first thing I discovered was that there is no gui. None. No nice module in the amazon console. Nada. You’ve got to make your own damn XML commands and there is a little perl script that will help you.
Luckily, I know there are about a billion amazon api fiends out there who can’t help but put free stuff together and I found a great one: https://www.interstate53.com
So here’s how it works and how Interstate53 plays into it.
Amazon needs a secure connection using it’s access key pairs. Then, once that is established, you can request records from the Route53 database. Those requests for data and requests to make updates and get confirmations, all of that is done with little XML commands sent to Route53. “Interstate53” simply provides a GUI so you don’t have to write the commands.
Sure, if you need to automate some things, you can get out your coding gloves and write up something using one of many APIs (which is what I did with S3). However, I just wanted the benefit of a fast and stable DNS server. Interstate53 handles it.
The first thing you see when you come to the page is the login.
You add your Access Key and your “Secret Key”. Those come from your accounts page at Amazon: https://aws-portal.amazon.com/gp/aws/developer/account/index.html?ie=UTF8&action=access-key
On that accounts page, you can actually make an extra security key, just for this instance if you are concerned about security. (I made one for this instance) From what they say at Interstate53, it is just to perform the connection with amazon… which is what I do on my own server. still…
Anyway, once you login, you see the domains you have registered with Amazon Route53:
It is pretty simple, just click “Add Zone”, a little popup appears asking for the new domain name. You add it and it is then on the list.
Click on the domain name and then you’ll see all the details about it.
Then click to add a record:
You can see, there is every type of record available to you. I’m just going to do an A record.
Hit save and that’s it…
oh.. no… you’ve still got to hit “Accept Changes”, and then, that’s it…
Damn… not quite. So, you might be tempted to hit “reload”, DON’T. I know, seems like common sense, like you need to wait for the page to refresh… no. That means, “reload the data from Amazon right over all the stuff I just did”.
No, hover your mouse over the right hand column and you’ll see a new button appear
THAT will do it. At this point, Interstate53 takes all your changes, wraps them up in a nice XML command package and sends it to Amazon. Amazon then updates all the DNS servers, syncing them across the globe, and sends Interstate53 a nice confirmation.
Finally, you’re all set and your files are “Insync”
That’s it. At least as far as the Amazon part is concerned.
To actually make the change live, just go to your domain registrar and change the name servers to the ones listed on the edit page for the domain.
So, it’s been a single day. I can’t give you a really good judgment, but that’s what Interstate53 has for you and that’s how it works with Amazon.