Getting Started with Scaleway DNS

Scaleway DNS Overview

Scaleway DNS is a managed DNS service that allows you to easily configure the DNS zones of your domains. It provides support for queries via both IPv4 and IPv6 and supports all common types of DNS records.

Core Concepts

Domain Name System (DNS): A name management system for computing devices connected to a network, whether it is public or private. It associates domain names, that are more easily memorized, with the numerical IP addresses of the computing devices.

Domain namespaces: The DNS consists of different namespaces. For exaple, the domain name mysite.example.com can be divided into:

  • Top Level Domains: .com
  • Second-level domains: example
  • Subdomains: mysite.

DNS zone: A plain text file containing a distinct part of the domain namespace, containing one or more subdomains, which is delegated to a person, organization or a company which is responsible for maintaining the information related to the zone. It is handled by a Name Server and contains information of all records for a given domain name.

Resource records: Also called DNS records. These are information elements that are categoriezd in the DNS zone and contain information about the record type, an expiration time (time to live / TTL), a class, and type specific data.

Root-Servers: Central servers which contain information about the authoritative DNS servers for each Top-Level domain. These DNS servers contain information about each Second-Level domain and their DNS delegation. Each second-level domain is defined as a separate DNS zone which can be controlled by the legal entity owning the domain name. It contains all information required to resolve the domain name and/or its sub domains as well as information related to mail servers and more.

Root zone: The DNS root zone is the top-level DNS zone in the hierarchical namespace of the Domain Name System (DNS).

Adding External Domains

Scaleway DNS is currently available to manage DNS zones for external domains (ones created at external registrars). To begin:

1 . Click DNS in the side menu. The DNS creation page displays:

2 . Enter the external domain name in the box and click the search icon to verify the domain exists. Once verified, the following message displays:

3 . Click Next to add your domain name and proceed to Validation.

4 . To validate your domain name, you must confirm domain ownership by adding a TXT record to the root zone of your domain at your current registrar. TXT means Text record and it is used to carry machine-readable data such as information for automated domain validation.

Follow the steps as indicated:

Note: The token’s presence will be checked regularly. If it has not been set within 48 hours, the external domain will be deleted from the service.

5 . Once you have completed all the steps, click Manage as External Domain. The DNS management dashboard displays, listing your external domains.

The status of any ongoing DNS challenges is visible through a small circle on the left-side of the domain names. If a token included in a TXT record has not yet been validated, a circle will blink in blue until it is:

Once the record has been validated, the circle turns green and you will receive an e-mail with further instructions on how to update your domain’s DNS servers.

6 . As indicated in the e-mail, update the Name Server information at your current registrar in order to link your existing domain name with your Scaleway Domains DNS zone. The nameservers are provided in the e-mail.

You can verify if the association of your domain has been successfully completed by checking the Nameservers list in the Domain Information page.

Important: If the entire process is not completed after 14 days, the domains are deleted from the DNS and you will have to start over. E-mails reminding you to complete the process are sent in intervals of 7 and 13 days from its beginning.

Managing External Domains

Once your external domains have been created and validated, you may click next to their name for more information.

The Domain Information page gives you a view of the status of your domains, as well as a list of all nameservers associated with it. At the bottom of the page you also have the option of deleting your domain from Scaleway DNS.

Configuring DNS Zones

On the Domain Information page you can also access the Zones tab, which provides a list of Zones configured within the selected domain.

A DNS zone is a distinct part of the domain namespace and allows granular control of DNS components. It contains configuration stored in multiple DNS records. Each record consists at least of a type, a time to live (TTL) and a value (for example type A records contain information to resolve a domain name to its associated IP address). Each Zone Name created translates into a Domain Name. For example the zone myzone in the domain example.com becomes myzone.example.com. This works also on multiple levels, meaning that the zone myzone.subdomain becomes the domain name myzone.subdomain.example.com.

The Root Zone is always available, by default. The zone is directly associated with the domain name and cannot be deleted. It will only be removed from the DNS when its associated domain name is deleted.

1 . To add a new zone, click + Add Zone. A pop up box displays. Enter a name for the new zone and conclude by clicking Add Zone.

2 . You can edit a zone’s name at any time by clicking and then Edit Name in the Zones page.

3 . A pop up box displays. Enter the new name and click Edit Name to confirm.

4 . To delete a zone, click Delete in the dropdown menu. A pop-up appears displaying the following message:

Be careful! This will permanently delete your zone and all its associated data will be lost. This action is irreversible.

Read it carefully and if you wish to continue, type DELETE in the box. Then, click Delete this zone to confirm.

Managing Records

Information in DNS zones is categorized and organized through a list of DNS record types, called Resource Records (RRs).

Each of these records has a type, an expiration time (Time to Live - TTL) and a name. Certain types of records also have type-specific data.

The available records are:

  • A record: Address record, it is mostly used to map domain names to the IPv4 address of a specific server
  • AAAA record: IPv6 Address record, it returns an IPv6 address and is mostly used to map domain names to the IPv6 address of a specific server.
  • CNAME record: Canonical name record, an alias of one name to another. The DNS lookup will continue by looking up the new name.
  • MX record: Mail exchange record, it maps a domain name to a list of one or several mail servers for that domain.
  • TXT record: Text record, it is often used to carry machine-readable data such as information for automated domain validation.
  • SRV record: Service record, it provides a specification of data in the Domain Name System defining the location (for example: the hostname and port number of servers for specified services). It can be used for specific protocols such as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)
  • TLSA record: TLS Authentication record, it is used to associate a TLS certificate or public key with the specified domain name. It allows you store the fingerprint of a TLS/SSL certificate in the DNS zone of your domain.
  • NS record: Name server record, it delegates a DNS zone to use the specified authoritative name servers.
  • CAA record: Certification Authority Authorization record, it is used to set which certificate authorities (CAs) are allowed to issue certificates for the domain name.
  • ALIAS record: The alias record maps a name to another name. It is similar to CNAME records but can coexist with other records on that name. It can be used if you want to map one name to another, and you do not need other record types (for example: MX records for emails) for the same name.

Adding Records

1 . Go to the Zones page and click directly on the zone name or and then Records to add a new record to a zone. A list of the zone’s records displays.

2 . Click + Add records to add a new record to your DNS zone. A pop up displays.

3 . Fill-in the required information for the record and confirm by clicking Add Records.

Editing Records

1 . Go to the Zones page and click directly on the zone name or and then Records to edit an existing record. A list of the zone’s records displays.

2 . Click the Edit icon and fill in the boxes with the requested information. Click the Validate icon to save.

3 . If you wish to cancel changes before saving, Click the Cancel icon.

Deleting Records

1 . Go to the Zones page and click directly on the zone name or and then Records to delete an existing record from the zone. A list of the zone’s records displays.

2 . Click the bin icon. A pop up displays.

3 . Click Delete this record to remove it from the zone.

Dynamic Records

Scaleway DNS provides advanced features for traffic management using your DNS zone. It allows you to redirect users based on their geolocation, load on your different servers and more.

Weight Records

You provide a list of IPs with their corresponding “weights”. These weights are used to proportionally direct requests to each IP. Depending on the weight of a record more or fewer requests are answered with its related IP compared to the others in the list.

Example:Your website runs on a large server and has a smaller companion to provide more resources. You can configure the list so that DNS will answer with the IP address of the main server 90% of the time, and with the IP address of the secondary server 10% of the time. With a list of coupled IP / weights, depending on the "weight", IPs with heavier weights will answer more requests than those with lighter weights.
Limitations:This record type is only available for A and AAAA records.

Geo IP Records

The Geo IP feature provides DNS resolution, based on the user’s geographical location. You can define a default IP which resolves if no Geo IP rule matches, and specify IPs for each geographical zone.

Example:Your website has two servers: one in Europe and one in Asia, and its visitor base spans both continents. DNS replies to requests from visitors in Asia with the IP address of the server located in Asia, and to requests from visitors in Europe with the IP address of the server located in Europe. This reduces network latency and makes your website faster.
Limitations:This record type is only available for A, AAAA, CNAME and ALIAS records.

Healthcheck records

The DNS service checks the provided URL on the configured IPs and resolves the request to one of the IPs by excluding the ones not responding to the given string to check.

Example:A website relies on different servers and maintenance is planned on one of them. To plan the maintenance, an endpoint is configured to fail over 1 hour before and during the planned period so requests will not be forwarded to the impacted server.
Limitations:This record type is only available for A and AAAA records.

Views records

The answer to a DNS request is based on the client’s (resolver) subnet.

Example:A website has a public version with a public IP. A specific version for employees exists on an intranet. To use the same domain name for both versions, the Intranet IP will be answered if the DNS resolution is requested from the Intranet subnet, while for any other requests the DNS request will resolve to the public IP address.
Limitations:This record type is only available for A, AAAA, CNAME and ALIAS records.

Deleting a Domain

You can delete a domain from Scaleway DNS either by clicking next to the selected domain name in your DNS management dashboard and then Delete or Delete Domain on the Domain Information page.

In both cases, once you click to delete, a pop-up appears:

Warning: This will permanently delete your external domain and its related zones from Scaleway DNS. This action is irreversible and your domain name may become unresolvable.

If you have read the warning and wish to continue, type DELETE in the box and click Delete this external domain to confirm.

Discover the Cloud That Makes Sense