Anyone who is familiar with Amazon’s recent website outage problems know that millions of people have been wondering exactly what the company planned on doing to take care of the issue. After all, when Amazon’s services go down, it brings other sites down with it. The situation has been frustrating for many, to say the least. Well, there’s some good news out there for those who have been affected by these outages. Amazon has taken steps to mitigate the damage that can be done by unexpected site and service outages across its network.
Welcome to Amazon Route 53
Amazon has launched Route 53. What exactly is Route 53? According to Amazon, it’s a scalable DNS that translates readable domain names such as www.amazon.com to IP addresses, such as 192.0.2.1. The service connects user requests to an infrastructure that runs on the Amazon AWS and it can also be used to route users to an infrastructure outside of Amazon’s AWS.
So What Does This Mean for Site and Service Downtime?
With the Route 53 service in place, Amazon can now route your website visitors around any website outages your site may be experiencing. This means that not only has Amazon addressed the issue within its own infrastructure, but it’s also offering the service to other parties. The DNS failover helps improve the availability of Amazon-hosted services and backup sites that are hosted with Amazon S3 in numerous ways.
How Does the Failover Work?
First, if Route 53 considers your primary host to be healthy, the program will return only the primary resource records in response to the DNS query. If Route 53 finds that the primary resource is having issues, the application will then direct traffic to the secondary record set. This allows you to redirect your website traffic to another IP that has your site’s records if you experience a website outage. this is also what Amazon is now doing with the services that are hosted by Amazon. If there is an outage, the domains will be pointed to a different DNS where a second record set is available to users.
Using Backup Hosting Services
In the past we’ve discussed putting backup hosting into place in case of a website outage. This is especially crucial if the outage is out of your control and your host isn’t able to get your site back up and running quickly. By utilizing Amazon Route 53, you will be able to have your site automatically redirected to a secondary host at a different IP. This means that your site will continue to run, even though your primary DNS is down for the count. This is good news for website operators who want automated DNS redirection during website outages.
Do You Still Need Website Monitoring if Using Route 53?
Route 53 is not a replacement for quality website monitoring service. While Amazon’s Route 53 will redirect your domain if your site does experience an outage, you still need a monitoring service in place to notify you when an outage occurs. After all, knowing about outages is what helps you understand if you are encountering problems with the quality of your web hosting. In addition, Alertra if notifies you that your site is down, you can check with Route 53 to make sure the site is being redirected and that users aren’t being impacted. Combined, Alertra and Route 53 can nearly eliminate any frustration your visitors may experience due to website downtime.