DNS: The Overlooked Cloud Service

Filed in by Erik Carlin | June 4, 2009 12:42 pm

UPDATE: Rackspace has released a DNS Service since the launch of this post. Click here to read the announcement.[1] To read more about our DNS service, click here[2] to visit the product page.

Elastic computing. Autoscale. Pay as you go. It all sounds pretty exciting, and it is. But in the cloud, there are many “not so flashy” systems that are required to make it work, and often, those can get overlooked. One of those systems is DNS (domain name system), the telephone directory of the Internet.

DNS is necessary when building solutions in the cloud, but not all cloud providers offer a native DNS service. For forward resolution (e.g. www.yourdomain.com gets resolved to your cloud server IP or FQDN), that typically means using a 3rd party DNS service – inconvenient and at expense to you, but doable. The bigger problem comes with reverse resolution (e.g. your cloud server IP gets resolved to a FQDN) because the cloud provider is authoritative for the reverse resolution zone (as they own the IP address space). If they don’t offer the ability to modify reverse DNS records, a number of problems can ensue (Wikipedia lists several common uses for reverse DNS here[3] under “Uses”). For example, Amazon does not offer forward or reverse DNS capabilities and if you’ve ever tried to send mail from an EC2 instance, you know just how problematic the lack of good DNS controls can be.

Our goal at Rackspace is to offer you a complete suite of powerful yet simple and cost-effective cloud services. To that end, we are pleased to now offer self-service forward AND reverse DNS services, at no cost, in the Cloud Servers[4] section of the Rackspace Cloud[5] control panel (we’ve always had a tailored DNS interface for Cloud Sites). It’s integrated, easy to use, and just one of the perks you get with The Rackspace Cloud. At present, you can create A, CNAME, and MX records in forward DNS as well as edit reverse DNS records for any of your cloud server public IP addresses. We’ve heard you and we’re working on additional record type support (e.g. NS, TXT, SRV, AAAA) as well as APIs for programmatic access.

To leverage The Rackspace Cloud DNS services, be sure to set the following as the domain name servers with your domain registrar:



If you’ve got any questions about our DNS service or how to use it, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-877-934-0409 or hit us up on Live Chat – we’re here 24×7, and we love to talk about this stuff!


  1. Click here to read the announcement.: http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/blog/2011/10/26/announcing-rackspace-cloud-dns-api-general-availability-a-free-service-to-easily-manage-your-domains-sub-domains-and-records/
  2. click here: http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/cloud_hosting_products/dns/
  3. here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_dns
  4. Cloud Servers: http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/cloud_hosting_products/servers/
  5. the Rackspace Cloud: http://www.rackspace.com/cloud

Source URL: https://blog.rackspace.com/dns-the-overlooked-cloud-service/