Azure DNS: Microsoft’s Answer To Amazon Route 53

By | January 8, 2016

Azure DNS is Microsoft’s answer to AWS’ DNS hosting service Route 53. Azure DNS lets you host your DNS domains on the cloud using Microsoft Azure infrastructure. Since Microsoft’s data centers are spanned around the globe, with the use of anycast technology, queries are served from the closest DNS server available. This helps with faster name resolution regardless of where you are in the world. When you host your DNS on Azure, you get to manage your DNS records using the same credentials, APIs, tools and billing as your other Azure services.

Azure DNS is still in the public preview mode. Therefore the pricing reflect 50% from the expected price and management features aren’t available in the Azure portal yet. For pricing info, please click here.

Azure DNS uses Azure Resource Groups for management. Therefore you have to have Azure PowerShell with ARM cmdlets installed. In this post I will show, how to create a new ARM group, create a DNS zone and create a couple of DNS records.

  1. Log in to your Azure RM Account.
    Login-AzureRmAccount
    Credentials Popup
  2. If your login manages a single subscription, then you can proceed ahead without this step. But if you manage multiple subscriptions from a single login, then you have to select the subscription that you want to create the ARM group and DNS hosting.
    Get-AzureRmSubscriptionSelect the correct subscription.
    Select-AzureRmSubscription
  3. Create the resource group. If you already have an ARM group, you can skip this step and proceed to the next.New-AzureRmResourceGroup
  4. After creating the resource group, you need to follow one additional step. Azure DNS is managed by Microsoft.Network resource provider. Therefore your Azure subscription has to be registered for this resource provider in order to use Azure DNS. Run below command to register for Microsoft.Network resource provider.
    Register-AzureRmResourceProvider -ProviderNamespace Microsoft.Network
  5. Now create a DNS zone for your domain.New-AzureRmDnsZone
  6. At this step, we will verify that the DNS zone has been created and an initial record sets have created. This will list the SOA and NS record sets. Servers listed in NS record set are the name servers that you have to point your domain. As you can see in the below screenshot, name servers for my demo domain are ns1-05.azure-dns.com, ns2-05.azure-dns.net, ns3-05.azure-dns.org, ns4-05.azure-dns.info.Get-AzureRmDnsRecordSet
  7. Let’s create a simple A record for the domain.Create an A record
  8. I am adding a CNAME record for WWW.
    Create a CNAME record
  9. Adding an MX record.Create an MX record

Now you have a domain hosted in Azure cloud with few basic records. What I discussed here are very simple configuration settings of Azure DNS. In a couple of future posts, I will discuss what are ETAGs and TAGs and what they do, how to modify an existing record, how to remove an existing record, etc.

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