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I am currently setting up two web servers for a client on Amazon AWS (EC2). Both are up, secure and functioning (one is in Singapore and one is in North America) and everything is great. However, as much as I know about programming and server management, I'm completely useless when it comes to DNS. I need to have the domain setup so the user is directed to the nearest server (i.e. client in Asia --> Singapore Server, client in North America --> US Server). How would I accomplish this?

Also, I attempted to search for an answer on Google, but as I am mostly self-taught, I don't really know what the exact terminology is for this!

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

NOTE: Right now the domain (say, example.com) is pointing to a single server via A Record in the zone file.

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Can't Route 53 do this? –  Michael Hampton May 5 '13 at 3:40

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I agree with Michael Hampton.

Route 53 has something called Latency Based Routing:

http://aws.amazon.com/route53/faqs/#What_is_LBR

If you want to do it yourself I think the options are split DNS:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split-horizon_DNS

or anycast routing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anycast

What is "anycast" and how is it helpful?

http://blog.cloudflare.com/a-brief-anycast-primer

but as Cloudfare says: (ignoring their suspect use of the term anycasted)

It is not easy to setup a true Anycasted network. It requires that you own your own hardware, build direct relationships with your upstream carriers, and tune your networking routes to ensure traffic doesn't "flap" between multiple locations.

i.e. unless Amazon offers an anycast option on EC2, you won't be able to use that there.

Route 53 LBR sounds like what you're looking for.

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Great. And, thanks for the extra information on Split-Horizon and Anycast, useful to know. –  user2085959 May 6 '13 at 2:34

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