Summarizing AWS Route 53

A brief summary about AWS Route 53. Most of my AWS related posts are about development, i.e. Lambdas and SQS. This post is about DNS service

What Is Amazon Route 53?

AWS DNS Service is called Amazon Route 53. From Amazon,

Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scalable DNS web service

Use Route 53 to perform three main functions:

  1. Domain registration: To register a name for your website or web application
  2. DNS routing: To route internet traffic to the website or web application 
  3. Health checking:
    • Verify the website is reachable, available, and functional.
    • To receive notifications when a resource becomes unavailable.
    • Route internet traffic away from unhealthy resources.

What is DNS

DNS stands for Domain Name System. DNS is the system that translates human-readable domain names ( into IP addresses. Without DNS we need to remember all the public IP addresses of the web servers, WHEW!!

Why AWS named their DNS service Route53

 Elias Khnaser educated me why this is named Route53. It is named with 53 because DNS server can use UDP port 53 or TCP port 53. Primarily, UDP 53 is used, but in some cases, TCP is used depending on size or command. DNS queries are getting bigger day by day, so it’s better to allow TCP port 53 to avoid accidentally blocking request [*]. 

Using Route53

At the moment, when you land to Route53 dashboard in AWS Console the following four options appear on the getting started screen

  1. DNS Management,
  2. Traffic Management,
  3. Availability Monitoring,
  4. Domain Registration 

For this reason, the following subsections are divided into four sections. When you are in the dashboard on the right you’ll see you registered domain lists.

Domain Registration 

First of all, you can register or transfer your domains using route53. It works like any other domain registration service. 

Availability Monitoring

Moreover, Route 53 can monitor the health and performance of your resources e.g. web servers. Each health check can monitor one of the following:

  1. The health of a specified resource, such as a web server
  2. The status of other health checks
  3. The status of an Amazon CloudWatch alarm

In addition, Route 53 can also redirect traffic to healthy resources, If you have multiple resources performing same operations. To learn more about this helpful feature consider AWS documentation

Traffic Management

Traffic management is a visual editor that helps to keep track of your routing configurations. Reviewing all policies in a table is cumbersome, difficult, time-consuming and error-prone. So, AWS provides an editor to draw the traffic flow policies through a diagram. 

Furthermore, You can create multiple versions of the same traffic policy and use different versions to roll out or roll back configuration changes. Please check using traffic flow to route DNS traffic to know more. 

DNS Management

Lastly, DNS Routing – the primary function of Route 53.  Route 53 guide DNS to find web servers, mail servers, and other resources for your domain. Therefore, you need to set up your DNS records with route 53. And route setup started with Create Hosted Zone   

  • Hosted Zone

A hosted zone is a container that holds information about how you want to route. You can create two kinds of zone

  1. A public hosted zone determines how traffic is routed on the Internet.
  2. A private hosted zone determines how traffic is routed within an Amazon VPC. Your resources are not accessible outside the VPC

When you have the hosted zone you need to create record sets to configure DNS system. A hosted zone is a collection of resource record sets that Amazon Route 53 hosts.

  • Record Set

From Wikipedia,

Each record has a type (name and number), an expiration time (time to live), a class, and type-specific data. Resource records of the same type are described as a resource record set (RRset)

Recordset consists of four chunks, Name, Type, Alias, and Routing Policy

Alias Target

The value that you specify depends on the AWS resource that you’re routing traffic to

  • CloudFront Distributions
  • Elastic Beanstalk environments that have regionalized subdomains
  • ELB Load Balancers
  • Amazon S3 Buckets
  • Records in this Hosted Zone

TTL: The time to live instructs the cache when to expire and forces it to go out and query again so that it is constantly up-to-date

Routing Policy

When you create a record, you choose a routing policy, which determines how Amazon Route 53 responds to queries


There are limits to API requests and entities of route53. Please check AWS documentation for more details

Limits on Entities

You may use the following three API calls to get the limit information

Limits on API Requests


This is a brief description of different terms and API requests related to Amazon Route 53. I have added some links below to get more details about AWS DNS service

Other Helpful Links

I hope this gives you an introduction to Route 53. Please let me know if you like or hate it. 

I would like to hear your thoughts