Amazon Route 53

Updated: Jun 30

In this article, we will discuss about Amazon Route 53, its features, routing policies, how it works and its benefits. I have provided a write up as well as pictorial representation of the same and I believe the pictorial representation will stay in mind better.

What is Amazon Route 53?

Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scale-able Domain Name System (DNS). Domain name is simply the name of your website.

What can we do with Route 53?


Register Domain Names

One can register a domain name (say www.xyz.com) for their website using Route 53.


Route internet traffic to your resources

if a website (say www.xyz.com) is hosted in AWS, Route 53 will connect the traffic to your webserver when user enters your domain name in the internet.


Health Checking of your resources

Route 53 checks health of the resource (web server) through automatic requests to the resource before connecting to the server.


Domain Management system

When you host your domain with AWS, Route 53 will completely manage your domain.

What are the Routing policies of Route 53?


Simple routing

This is the most common routing policy where the internet traffic is routed to a single resource or a server.

Weighted routing

In this type of routing, you can define the weightage of internet traffic to a specific server. For example, you have two web servers (one located in US East and other one in US West), you can set the routing weightage either equally to both the servers or set unequal distribution, depending upon your case. If it is set equally, the first request may receive the IP address of server 1 while the second request may receive the IP address of server 2.

Latency based routing

When you have servers in multiple locations, you may want to provide the response with least latency. When you select this policy, you would need to create latency records for your resources in different regions. When the request comes from internet, route 53 evaluates the latency records and selects the server that has the least latency.

Geo-location routing

As its name implies, the routing of traffic is based on users location/region. Lets assume you have 2 web servers (one in US and other in Asia). When you set this routing policy, the internet traffic for users from US location is automatically routed to the server located in US and to Asia server for all Asian traffic.

Geo-proximity routing

In this type of routing, the user traffic is routed to the location of the resources. For example, if you have web servers only in US and UK. If the user traffic comes France, this traffic is routed to UK server as this server is in the nearest proximity of the user location.


In other case, lets assume that you have 3 servers (1 in US, 1 in UK and 1 in France). If you take down the France server temporarily for some reason, you may route the traffic from France region to UK server as it is closer to France.

Fail-over routing

If you have multiple servers and if one of the servers fails for some reason, the traffic is immediately routed to another server. This is commonly used in DR scenarios where the traffic is routed to secondary server when the primary server is unhealthy.

Multi-value Answer routing

This policy is similar to Simple routing policy but this is used when there are many web servers present. When traffic hits the website, Route 53 sends the requests to multiple servers or load balancers and the response is received in random order from any IP address. This means, when a request is sent next time, the response may be received from a different IP address.

Hosted Zones


These are called containers that holds information about how you want to route your internet traffic for your website. There are two types of Hosted Zones such as;


Public Hosted Zone

This is to set information about how you want to route your internet traffic to the publicly hosted website. When you register domain with AWS, the hosted zone is automatically created by AWS. If you transfer your already registered domain, then you would need to manually create hosted zone.


Private Hosted Zone

This is a container that holds information about how you want to route traffic with in one or more VPCs created with Amazon VPC service.

Record Types


How Route 53 works


The below picture illustrates how Route 53 works when a user enter a web site name in the internet browser to the point the web page is rendered. Below the picture are sequence of steps that happens in the process.


  1. User requests for a website in the web browser which is sent to DNS resolver

  2. DNS Resolver sends the request for domain name to DNS root name server

  3. DNS root name server responds to DNS resolver to go to Name Server for .com TLD

  4. DNS Resolver sends the domain name to name server for .com domain

  5. Name server responds to DNS resolver with the four Route 53 name servers for the associated website

  6. DNS Resolver sends the request for website name to one of the four Route 53 name servers

  7. Route 53 name server responds back with the IP address for the website from the hosted zone

  8. DNS resolver supplies the IP address to the web browser

  9. Web browser sends the request for website to the supplied resource (webserver)

  10. Webserver in this IP address renders the web page to the web browser

Features of Route 53


Benefits of Route 53

I hope the above provides good information on Amazon Route 53 in both text and pictorial formats. Kindly provide your feedback on this article.

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