Changing your DNS Settings to connect to a new smartsite | realsmart

Changing your DNS Settings to connect to a new smartsite

DNS records for smartsites

 (Note: root, base, apex domains are all the same thing. Just be careful as someone may have setup root.example.com on their domain)


Traditionally, to point your apex domain you'd use an A RECORD pointing to your server's IP address. This solution doesn't scale and isn't viable for a cloud platform like AWS, where we want to use a load balancer to manage our huge volumes of web traffic and prevent our web servers crashing.


For subdomains (like www.example.com) you can use CNAME records pointing to the DNS NAME of our loadbalancer.  Unfortunately, the DNS specification does not allow CNAME records on the zone apex (the base/root domain).


realsmart offers a redirect service for domain apexes so that they direct traffic back to our load balancer, for this we set up an A record pointing at the IP address of our redirect service. This send the request to our load balancer which manages the traffic appropriately.

Remove existing records for www and @ or the domain apex/root.

Some providers use @ as the domain apex, others use a blank string, use whichever is appropriate for your DNS provider.


The generic DNS setup for any smartsites should be


DNS entry

Type

DESTINATION/TARGET

www

A

52.18.159.21

@

A

52.18.159.21

or

   
 

A

52.18.159.21

For example


www.example.com

A

52.18.159.21

example.com

A

52.18.159.21

 

Where www.example.com refers to the school’s smartsite domain.


(Some DNS providers have custom solutions that allow CNAME-like behaviour on the zone apex. To my knowledge, we have DNSimple's ALIAS record and DNS Made Easy's ANAME record; both behave similarly. This is preferred as it reduces the load on our servers.)