You’re likely familiar with the commonly used CNAME record and are aware of its limitations. But did you know there was a record that functions similarly but has none of the drawbacks of a CNAME? That’s where ANAME records come in. In this resource, we’ll give you the ins and outs of this useful, but underutilized record.
ANAME Records Explained
Simply put, an ANAME record is a record that performs like a CNAME record but can be pointed at the root of a domain. Think of it like an A record that’s been morphed into a CNAME record. This functionality lets you bypass RFC restrictions on CNAMEs without breaking your DNS.
For instance, if you want to point the naked (root) version of your domain to a hostname or fully qualified domain name (FQDN), an ANAME record is the perfect solution. ANAME records can be paired with any DNS configuration and are especially effective for mission-critical systems that require frequent updates and/or the most accurate GeoDNS resolution.
Another advantage of using ANAME records is that they afford you the ability to have multiple, dynamically updated IP addresses in different regions, that are authoritative for your domain. This is particularly useful for content delivery networks (CDNs).
How ANAME Records Work
Anytime an ANAME record is queried, the authoritative nameserver is in fact resolving the host or FQDN stored within your ANAME record. In the event an ANAME record can’t be resolved, servers will return the most recently cached IP address. This ensures users are still served content and there is no unnecessary downtime.
Did you know?: The creator of DNS Made Easy was one of the innovators behind ANAME technology. Before ANAMEs existed, we were using API calls to achieve the same result, and later, developed our own record, which we coined “ANAME Record.”
ANAME Record Example
Let’s take a look at how an ANAME record works from a visual perspective:
ANAME dnsmadeeasy.com → FQDN → 127.1.1.1
Now, let’s compare the above illustration with an A and CNAME example:
A dnsmadeeasy.com → 127.1.1.1
CNAME www.dnsmadeeasy.com → FQDN → 127.1.1.1
As shown above, an A record can only map the root of a domain (or a subdomain) to an IP address. A CNAME record can only point a subdomain to a FQDN. The ANAME, on the other hand, combines both of these records and eliminates the limitations imposed on CNAME records.
Did you know: Constellix (our sister company) provides even more advanced solutions that can be used alongside ANAME records? For instance, if your ANAME records require EDNS client subnet support and more geo-accurate query routing, Constellix can help with that and more.
ANAME Records: A Simple, But Effective DNS Solution
ANAME records can be implemented into your organization’s DNS strategy in numerous ways. With the ability to circumvent certain record restrictions, you can customize your DNS configurations in a way that is uniquely tailored to your domain.