Internal DNS inside Amazon AWS VPC

Tom Harrison Jr asked:

I am getting started on understanding VPC but am not seeing a good internal DNS solution. For example, we’re using a non-RDS database server which other servers in the VPC connect to. I would like to connect by name, not IP. Partly this is so I can get an internal 10.x.x.x address, which is presumably faster. Mostly, it makes configuration easier, more legible, and more flexible.

In the olden days (circa 2008), pre-VPC I had a server that ran MaraDNS which we would update as we started and changed instances, and this was a big pain, in particular because servers would get their own DHCP-assigned internal addresses when they restarted, and just because it was another thing to deal with. Some colleagues of mine running different systems thought I was an idiot for going to all this effort — they just updated the /etc/hosts files (which was great until there was an outage and all their servers came back with new IPs).

Should I be looking at Route53 (where we’re doing all our public DNS) or is there something I am missing?

My answer:

Wouldn’t something like Avahi work? This is even installed and nicely packaged for most Linux distributions. Just give each instance that needs to be reachable a unique hostname, and Bob’s your uncle.

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