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Managing Your DNS The RightScale Way With DynECT Managed DNS

There are a number of solutions out there for helping you manage your cloud servers in a more convenient manner, one of the more popular and pretty straight forward ones is found at www.rightscale.com. RightScale provides a clean dashboard that allows you to manage all your EC2 instances, view the basic state of those instances and launch new server instances with a wide variety of scripts to build these new instances quickly, easily and in a standard method.

Using Dyn’s RightScale scripts in this capacity you can seamlessly add your newly minted server instance into your Dynect DNS solution so that your users can get the experience they deserve as fast as possible. Dyn’s RightScale scripts, called “RightScripts”, are written in Ruby and are available in both RightScale and the Dyn Inc github repo (https://github.com/dyninc/RightScripts). Dyn’s RightScripts allow you to add a simple A record into your DNS records, update a primary or failover server in your failover service, add a new server into your load balancing pool or add a server into a specific region of your global server load balancing. The provided RightScripts work within the RightScale interface to streamline bringing your server from need to realization using the Dyn API. Of course, aside from the provided scripts which cover a large amount of standard DNS needs, one may also extend them to perform any other task needed in your Dynect account thanks to the comprehensive nature of the API.

Adding these RightScripts to a new server creation within RightScale is a relatively simple matter. First log into your RightScale dashboard. Next go to the “Design” main menu section. Under “Design” select “RightScripts” where you will be able to search for either a RightScript which has already been uploaded to RightScale or you can create your own. The easiest way to find the Dyn RightScripts is to search for Dyn and select the script that matches what you need (or use one of these scripts as your base to create a script specific to your needs using the “New” script option).

After you have the RightScript you want added to your “RightScripts”, go to the server template you wish to add the RightScript to under the “Design” → “ServerTemplates” sub menu. From your server template you can select the Scripts tab and add them to either “Boot Scripts”, “Operational Scripts” or “Any Script” based on what makes the most sense for your deployment (in my setup I added them to “Boot Scripts” so that any instances I create will be placed into my Dynect account without any need for me to get involved). After adding the script(s), go to the Inputs tab and fill in the correct values for all of the script inputs. For the Dyn provided RightScripts that would, at minimum, include your customer name, user name, Dynect password, zone and fqdn. After this initial inputs setup you never have to enter your Dynect credentials, zone or fqdn again plus the RightScripts take advantage of RightScale’s client variables to find the necessary ip address automatically.

Now when you bring your server up by creating a new one from your template, assuming you set your script as a boot script, after the server is launched the correct action within your Dynect account will be accomplished saving you from ever having to perform this chore manually. Similarly you can setup your servers to run a script to remove an address on server decommission through the template scripts page (RightScale provides excellent documentation on how to do this, link at the end of this blog).

One thing to note is that the server must have Ruby installed (pretty standard) with the JSON library (may or may not be standard based on your image, $ gem install json). I have included a script in the github repo which does this as well and simply needs to be added the same way and “run” before the Dynect script, you could include this as part of your ami as well.

Here is a great example from RightScale which shows how to create a template, create a script and tie them all in together: http://support.rightscale.com/03-Tutorials/02-AWS/01-Beginner_Examples/3._Basic_Example

Here is the RightScale page on decommission scripts: http://support.rightscale.com/12-Guides/Dashboard_Users_Guide/Design/RightScripts/Concepts/Decommission_RightScripts

If you are looking to setup Dynect and RightScale initially, here is a walk through on how to do that, after this is done you can use the scripts to add additional servers very simply: https://github.com/dyninc/RightScripts/blob/master/DynSetup.doc

Dyn RightScripts on Github: https://github.com/dyninc/RightScripts

Dyn RightScripts at RightScale: http://www.rightscale.com/library/right_scripts/All?search[advanced_search]=&search[filter_value]=Dyn&x=0&y=0&search[filter_type]=title&search[price]=&search[order]=date_desc


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Whois: Kevin Gray

Kevin Gray is a Sales Engineer for Dyn , the world leader in Internet Performance Solutions that delivers traffic management, message management, and performance assurance. Follow on Twitter: @tuftsmoose and @Dyn.