The Problem

We are migrating all of our services over to Amazon. One of the final steps is to break away from GoDaddy’s as a DNS and use Amazon’s awesome RT53 elastic DNS service. The steps to this task are:

  1. Migrate the zone records from GoDaddy to RT53
  2. Point domain name to AWS name servers

The Solution

Exporting from GoDaddy

Sign in to your GoDaddy Account. We will export from the “Zone File Editor” view. Currently, you can navigate to this destination using the following steps:

Find and click My Account in the nav bar → click Manage Your Domainsclick on your domainclick the DNS Zone File tab → click the Edit link located just under the Zone File heading.

To export the file click Import/ExportExport (Unix). This will cause “[domain name]” file to be downloaded to your downloads directory.

Unzip., Inspect the Zone File

Unzip and examine the zone file. You should see something that looks similar to this:

; Domain:
; Exported (y-m-d hh:mm:ss): 2014-04-14 08:12:10
; [ blah blah blah ]
; SOA Record
FOO.COM.        3600    IN      SOA

; A Records
test2   1800    IN      A

; CNAME Records
www     1800    IN      CNAME   @

; MX Records
@       1800    IN      MX      1

; TXT Records
@       3600    IN      TXT     "google-site-verification=..."


We are interested in everything AFTER the SOA (Start of Authority) record.

Import into AWS RT53

Sign in to AWS and navigate to ServicesCompute & Networking → __Route 53.

Click “Create Hosted Zone”, add the proper domain name and a pithy comment.

After creating this hosted zone, you should see it checked in the “Route 53: Hosted Zones” table. Click the button Go to Record Sets.

From the record sets view, click Import Zone File. This will create a text area in the right column. Open the zone file from the zip archive, above, and copy & paste all the text under the SOA record into the text area. Click Import.

Update: The image below shows that I copied some comments and the SOA record into the text area. This was sloppy on my part. Don’t import the SOA record or the comments, they are just for illustration.

You should receive an “updated successfully” confirmation notice.

What now?

Update: We noticed that AWS, for reasons yet unknown appended our domain name to the end of every CNAME and MX record domain name. Double check and sanitize these values!!

Test, test, test. Then point your domain name to look to the AWS name servers to resolve your host name and address. This is done through the registrar. Sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

The Conclusion

Using Rt53 is a no brainer if you have already bought-in and committed to the AWS infrastructure. Moving the zone records over is the last step in our migration. Don’t repoint your DNS records to RT53 until you have done all diligent testing.

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14 April 2014