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My goal is to be able to add/drop subdomains for a multi-tenant app via Route53: Account provisioning should place the new tenant on a hosting node and then add the newly onboarded tenant subdomain to Route53. The parent DNS is currently handled by a 3rd party (dnsmadeeasy). Currently DNS provider has something like this: -> A -> <someIP> -> MX -> <mailhost> -> CNAME ->  <mailhost> -> CNAME -> -> NS -> <several provider name servers>

I'm also pretty sure the DNS parent provider (dnsmadeeasy) has a SOA record too which is implicit (not shown in management UI). So I did the following:

  • I added a wildcard hosted zone in Route53: * This has 5 records right now, 4 NS records with various name servers and a SOA record
  • I added the Route53 NS records to the parent DNS provider (dnsmadeeasy)

    * -> NS -> <Route53 name server for hostzone above>

My thinking was that now I can start adding A records in the Route53 zone for each tenant: -> A -> <tenant1 hosting IP> -> A -> <tenant1 hosting IP>

But trying to add A records in Route53 results in tenant1.\ which is not what I want. And I'm not even sure it will work.

My question is whether this is a correct way to go ahead or I'm of the wrong path.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

In order to do this, you will need an NS record on the zone hosted at DnsMadeEasy for each subdomain. This action is called "delegating a subdomain" to an external DNS server. Here's the DNS Made Easy guide for that.

For instance, you would need an NS record in the parent zone for:, which points to the four namserver addresses assigned to you when you create a hosted zone in Amazon Route 53.

Create your hosted subdomains in Amazon Route 53:

enter image description here

Then make sure DNS Made Easy has an entry like this for each subdomain:

enter image description here

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Thanks, but that is exactly what I'm trying to avoid (going through dnsmadeasy API for each account provisioning). Would adding a 4 part name solve this, eg. and delegate the entire to Route53 work? – Remus Rusanu Dec 7 '12 at 13:48
Yep. Delegate an entire subdomain, then add the sub-subdomains via Amazon's API/console. Or, could you just change the entire primary zone to Route 53? – ewwhite Dec 7 '12 at 13:50
I can change the entire primary to Route53, agree. I guess I was just trying to go the lazy route... – Remus Rusanu Dec 7 '12 at 13:52

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