How can I use Amazon Route 53 to access an internal version of my website using the same domain name that is used publicly?

You can use Route 53 to configure split-view DNS, also known as split-horizon DNS. This feature can be used when you want to maintain internal and external versions of the same website or application.

You can maintain both a private and public hosted zone with the same domain name for split-view DNS with Route 53. The following instructions assume you already own a domain and have the rights to make changes to the NS records for that domain. Route 53 private hosted zones require DNS queries to be sourced from the VPC DNS server rather than a custom DNS server.

  1. Ensure that DNS resolution and DNS hostnames are enabled on the source VPC.
    Note: DNS hostnames are enabled for default VPCs and VPCs that you create using the VPC wizard in the VPC console.
  2. Create a public hosted zone that matches the name of the domain you purchased.
  3. Populate the public hosted zone with the required records.
  4. Update your registrar's NS records with the name servers provided in your public hosted zone.
  5. Create a private hosted zone that matches the name of the public hosted zone. Attach the private hosted zone to the VPC where you want to resolve the domain internally.
    Note: The private zone lookup will take place within the VPC.
  6. Populate the private hosted zone with the required records.
    Note: The public zone will not be queried if a record does not exist in the private zone.

DNS queries will respond with answers based on the source of the request. From within the VPC, answers will come from the private hosted zone, while public queries will return answers from the public hosted zone.

private hosted zone, split-horizon, split-view, DNS, Route 53

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Published: 2016-11-03