Tip: EC2 DNS Records

It is common after launching a new instance in EC2 to assign a domain name to it.  A useful practice I have found is to create a CNAME to the amazon provided public hostname.  This address will resolve to the internal address when inside EC2, and to the public address outside EC2.  By using this hostname, you can ensure the best performance and lowest cost by always hitting the server with the optimal address.

EC2 Pricing

This Y-Combinator article <http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1460725> says it best.  I have used EC2 since 2009 and the on-demand price of an m1.small has started at $0.10/hour.  Since the performance of the instance has seen little change, you would expect after one and a half years have elapsed the price to have fallen to 0.05/hour, and after 3 years $0.025/hour.  Instead the current price is $0.065 per hour.

When I initially subscribed to EC2 it was a great deal.  Now the pricing is becoming excessive.  With the advent of OpenStack, I see Amazon being forced to lower their prices.

IPv6 enable a website

Recently it has become more pressing to migrate to IPv6 due the diminishing IPv4 address space. Because of this, services like Hurricane Electric are growing in popularity to allow IPv6 tunnels to be created for various applications.

Typically a website owner who wishes to provide IPv6 connectivity has had two choices:

  • Use a web host that has native IPv6 connectivity.
  • Use a tunnel brokering service to bring in IPv6 connectivity to their server over IPv4.

While these are great approaches for many users in an dedicated hosting environment with flexible firewalls, there are many situations where a tunnel is not permitted. Many smaller sites are on shared servers in which custom network configurations are not permitted.  Also some hosts utilize firewalls too restrictive for IPv6 tunnels.  One example of this is Amazon Web Service’s EC2, in which only TCP, UDP, and ICMP can be opened.  In such an environment, most tunnel broker’s solutions fail.

For these cases I’ve introduced a new solution.  Ipv6MadeSimple.com will allow IPv6 connectivity by forwarding HTTP requests to the existing server.  It supports X-Forwarded-For and X-Real-IP headers which allow the backend web server to identify the real IP of the users.  Also it supports a dynamic HTTP Host field for your site, so the solution will work in virtual hosting systems in which only the hostname is unique.

The service is still in beta and is providing service free during the beta.  The only requirement is the ability to modify DNS records so that an AAAA record can be added.