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Amazon Launches DNS Hosting Service

Amazon Web Services this week launched the beta of a programmable and purportedly scalable hosted domain name system service aimed at letting users of its cloud services create, modify, and delete DNS zone files.

The service, called Route 53, manages DNS names and answers DNS queries, said Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, in a blog post. "Route 53 provides authoritative DNS functionality implemented using a world-wide network of highly available DNS servers," he noted.

Route 53 can be used to route users to multiple Amazon services such as EC2 and Elastic Load Balancer or S3, as well as infrastructure outside of the company's purview. Route 53 will give developers and IT administrators a way to route queries to Web apps by translating names of sites to numeric IP addresses.

"DNS is one of the fundamental building blocks of Internet applications and was high on the wish list of our customers for some time already," Vogles noted. "Route 53 has the business properties that you have come to expect from an AWS service: fully self-service and programmable, with transparent pay-as-you-go pricing and no minimum usage commitments."

Route 53 introduces the concept of what Amazon calls Hosted Zones, which are the equivalent of a DNS zone file. DNS zones are subsets of domains, and DNS files describe those zones.

"Each record in a Hosted Zone can refer to AWS or non-AWS resources as desired," wrote Jeff Barr, Amazon's lead Web services evangelist, in a blog post. "This means that you can use Route 53 to provide DNS services for any desired combination of traditional and cloud-based resources, and that you can switch back and forth quickly and easily."

Users can access Route 53 using a small set of REST APIs, Barr added, noting a toolkit and AWS Management Console support is in the works.

Route 53 supports up to 100 Hosted Zones per AWS account, though customers can request more, if needed. Route 53 is priced at $1 per month per Hosted Zone, $0.50 per million queries for the first billion queries per month, and subsequently $0.25 per million queries. 

The beta is available immediately.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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