We live in an age where the internet and digital data drive modern day markets, which results in huge amounts of data being generated and consumed. Hence, it has become very important for online platforms to manage this traffic and serve their customers more efficiently. In this blog we will explore the Amazon Route 53 service and see how it addresses domain name system routing and health check problems.
Humans often use names, addresses, or some form of identification to identify other humans, objects, and places. For example, if you wish to visit a restaurant, you would need to know the name of the restaurant and the corresponding address that can be used to find the place you wish to visit. Similarly, if you wish to visit a person, you would ask for the person’s address where that individual lives.
The Internet uses domain names to label resources that lie on the internet. You can think of the domain name system as an address book over the internet, used by humans to access resources online.
Every device that is connected to the Internet has a unique address associated with it called the IP address. It can be used by other machines to find the device. An IP address looks something like this, 192.168. 1.1. Hence, remembering these IP addresses can be a tedious task. Therefore, we use domain names (an easy-to-remember address or a name) that humans can keep track of, like google.com, cricbuzz.com, etc. These domain names will have IP addresses associated with them, and the DNS servers will link these domain names to the respective IP addresses, thus eliminating the need for humans to memorize IP addresses.
Suppose a user wishes to visit a website xyz.com and types the domain name in the browser. The request goes to the DNS server that translates or resolves the domain name (xyz.com) to a machine-readable IP address and, in response, returns the IP address that is associated with the domain name. The client then sends the resolved IP address to the web server and, in return, receives the content the user requested.
Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scalable Domain Name System (DNS) service. It is used to perform the following functions:
These checks are used to monitor the health and performance of your web applications, web servers, and other resources. These health checks monitor the following:
Here is an overview of how the health checks work.
There are three types of Amazon Route 53 health checks. Those are:
Let us explore how these health checks work.
When a health check is created to monitor an endpoint, the health checkers send requests to the endpoint specified to determine whether the endpoint is healthy. You can specify a location you want Route 53 to use, and also the interval between checks. The health checker evaluates the health of the endpoint based on:
This data from the health checkers is aggregated to determine whether the endpoint is healthy.
You can also monitor the status of other health checks. This process is called a calculated health check. The parent health checker monitors other health checks called child health checks. Here's how the monitoring works:
If your health check is based on a CloudWatch alarm, Route 53 monitors the data stream for the corresponding alarm instead of monitoring the alarm state. If the data stream indicates that the state of the alarm is OK, the health check is considered healthy. If the data stream indicates that the state is alarming, the health check is considered unhealthy. In the event that the data stream doesn't provide enough information to determine the state of the alarm, the health check status depends on the parameters you have set: healthy, unhealthy, or last known status.
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you set up your first Amazon Route 53 health check,
Step1: Go to AWS Web Console and open Route 53 Service.
Step2: Click on Create health checks.
Step3: Fill in your website and IP details as shown in the image below and then click on Next.
Step4: Set up the CloudWatch alarm. Enter a relevant topic name and the list of email addresses that you wish to notify. Click on Create health check.
There you go! Your Route 53 health check is created, and it will display the status of the associated resource.
Amazon Route 53 is a highly versatile service with various routing, health check, and monitoring capabilities to go along with the DNS solutions it offers. It readily integrates with an exhaustive set of AWS and other cloud services giving it an edge over its competition.
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