Embracing DNS on the Rapid Access Cloud

With the introduction of the OpenStack DNS service (designate) to the Rapid Access Cloud, users are now able to host and manage DNS zones and records, to assist with accessing and managing their resources.

Nothing is required for users to start leveraging the OpenStack DNS service, as we have created automated convenience records for floating IPs and instances. When an instance is created on the Rapid Access Cloud, a unique hostname is set up for the instance in the form of id.region.cybera.ca. This unique hostname is then added as metadata to the instance, and is available to view on the instance's details page on the dashboard via the command line clients, or the nova API.

Once the unique hostname is generated, an AAAA (IPv6) record, with a public IPv6 address, is automatically created along with a matching PTR (reverse DNS) record. Both assist in simplifying access and usage of instances over IPv6.

When a floating IP address is assigned to an instance, an A (IPv4) record is created using the instance's unique hostname, along with a PTR record. Both are subsequently deleted when the floating IP is moved or released.

You can see this in action from the command line:

$ openstack server create –image 'Ubuntu 16.04' –key-name myKey –flavor m1.small myInstance

$ openstack server show myInstance | grep properties
| properties                 | dns='f403.yyc.cybera.ca'        |

$ nova show myInstance | grep metadata
| metadata                   | {"dns": "f403.yyc.cybera.ca"}   |

While the automated records are created with every instance, using them is optional. If you would prefer to use your own domain, you can delegate an entire domain (or a sub-domain of a domain you have registered as a zone). You can then manage any kind of DNS record (A, AAAA, SRV, TXT, etc) using the REST based API via the command line tools, or via the dashboard.

To delegate a domain or sub-domain to the Rapid Access Cloud, update your registry or DNS records for the subdomain to query yyc-ns.cloud.cybera.ca and yeg-ns.cloud.cybera.ca. After this step is completed, the zone you create using the dashboard or via openstack zone create will be accessible.

For more detailed steps and more extensive documentation on how to use the OpenStack DNS service, please check out the Rapid Access Cloud Advanced Guide.