ANAME isn’t what it used to be… when we (DNS Made Easy) created the ANAME record over seven years ago it revolutionized DNS’s relationship with CDN’s.
ANAME makes it possible to point the root record (apex) of a domain to an FQDN.
Over the past seven years, we’ve continued to update and revamp ANAME to meet the demands of modern cloud-based infrastructures –namely with the advent of cloud environments that require regional IP addresses. We responded by integrating our regional traffic director (GTD) with ANAME, allowing for regional lookups.
But there is still so much more we can do to improve ANAME. You should never have to wait on an IP to update or worry that the returned IP may not be the best for the querying client. We understand your frustrations, that’s why we completely overhauled our ANAME solutions to solve all these issues so you don’t have to worry again.
However, we realized there were many limitations in our existing codebase that would prevent us from creating the ANAME we knew you deserved. So instead of revamping DNS Made Easy’s ANAME, we engineered an entirely new ANAME in Constellix.
Constellix ANAME allows for even more precise regional lookups that are compatible with both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses, which makes our ANAME solution ideal for multi-CDN and multi-cloud implementations.
What is ANAME?
ANAME records, otherwise known as CNAME Flattening, is a service that allows you to point the root of your domain to a hostname or FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name). It’s called CNAME Flattening because ANAME records are basically CNAME records for the root, or apex, of a domain.
CNAME records are commonly used to point a domain to cloud services, like a CDN or DDoS protection. These services are almost always identified by hostnames because they constantly change which IP address they resolve to.
How ANAME Works
If you’re familiar with DNS, you’ll know that you can’t point the root of a domain to a hostname, because it breaks RFC’s (the rules that govern the Internet). So how do we do it? We use a system of resolving nameservers to regularly check what IP address the hostname points to and then we update the ANAME record to point to that IP.
DNS Made Easy ANAME records get the job done for most use cases, but they do have limitations. These limitations inspired our new way of handling ANAME records in Constellix.
The Constellix Difference
#1 Real-Time Answers
For starters, we offer real-time lookups for both A and AAAA records at the time of the query. That means you have the freedom to lower the TTL as low as you want, and your users will still be pointed to the correct IP… regardless of how often the resolving IP address changes.
#2 IPv6 Friendly
Constellix also supports ANAME records for IPv6 addresses or AAAA records, whereas DNS Made Easy only offers ANAME services for IPv4 addresses.
#3 EDNS Friendly (new!)
Constellix ANAME now supports EDNS client subnets (ECS)! This allows us to give the most accurate responses when you use ANAME in conjunction with GeoDNS services.
If you’re unfamiliar with EDNS, it’s additional information about where the querying client is located that’s supplied by ISP’s (Internet Service Providers). This information can narrow down a querying client’s location from a region or country, down to a city or neighborhood.
With DNS Made Easy, the only information passed along to the GeoDNS engine is the region in which the query originated. That’s because DNS Made Easy only supports basic GeoDNS like regional traffic direction.
In Constellix, we have a feature that’s unique to us that we call ANAME caching. Whenever our resolvers detect a change in where the ANAME’s hostname points to, we will cache that IP address for up to a week, and only update it if we detect a change. This comes with the benefit of outage resilience in the case where the FQDN that you are pointing to has a DNS outage. With this advanced caching, you will not face any resulting downtime.
#5 ANAME Failover
Unlike DNS Made Easy, which only supports A record failover, Constellix supports Failover for over a dozen different record types.
That means you can have backup FQDN’s for your ANAME records in case one of the FQDNs go down. Failover will seamlessly move your users to an available FQDN until the primary is healthy again.
Recent events have made it imperative to use Failover for all mission-critical services, like CDN’s and cloud services. Most of these services operate at the root of your domain, which makes ANAME failover critical for production environments.
By now, you should have a full understanding of the advantages of our new Constellix ANAME over DNS Made Easy and other providers. If not, here’s a quick recap:
- Constellix ANAME records are faster and more accurate for GeoDNS configurations
- Constellix ANAME is also faster, thanks to real-time IP updates
- Constellix ANAME supports failover
- Constellix ANAME supports AAAA records (IPv6 addresses)
Are you ready to try Constellix ANAME? If you’re coming from DNS Made Easy, it’s very easy to migrate your existing ANAME records to Constellix. We offer an API integration which will seamlessly transfer all your records.