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Public DNS to AWS VPC on EC2 
There has simply GOT to be a good anagram in the title for this post somewhere ... ;-)

New to WHO?

Sadly, the folks at Amazon & elsewhere do not know that Clouds were being enshrined on blackboards & plastic (flowchart) stencils well before the Internet was a keyword.

Indeed, if it was not for the fact that things like REST caused folks to spend billions of dollars fixing things that were never broken in the first place - if so many new-wheel / old-wheel fire-drill were not so expensive - such over-hyped fire-drills would be comical. (*)


For financial reasons alone, many feel the the unfortunate tendency both new folks to the industry & the media have to shout "eureka" when re-discovering the wheel is truly unnerving.

And so it goes with AWS and EC2 - Rather than working with a box of well ordered tools, one often feels that they are instead working with a young ESL kid who is trying to describe what is in a newly-opened box of freshly-caught frogs. While the overall experience is extremely flexible and ready to take on any computing challenge, anyone who knows what they are doing is in for a rather amusing - and probably a needlessly time consuming - journey.

What pat of the term DNS ... ?

For example: After mucking about with Amazon Web Service (AWS) for any length of time, you will undoubtedly want to link a PUBLIC URL to your Virtual Private Cloud (VPC.)

VPC Misnomer

First and foremost note that the official name for "VPC" is surely a misnomer!

Why? Because Multicomputer Clouds do not have single-entry command prompts.

In short, one must use SSH (etc) to get a command prompt on your VPC so as to manage Operating System (OS) commands - just as one would do on any PC OS.

Rather than being any type of as-named "private cloud" however, this VPC is - in reality - a Virtual Personal Computer (or "PC")! (VPC == Virtual Linux / Windows P.C)


Moreover, the free Amazon VPC one most often encounters is certainly in no way even a "Personal Server:" Most cell phones have more memory & data storage these days. (Indeed, how could any modern P.C. of any description have so little RAM + storage? My Raspberry Pi and Beagle Bone Black microcomputers have as much!)

So the pseudo-technical folks might call the AWS-PC a cloud-prince... but after we kiss it, it still smells like a somewhat underfed frog to the rest of us? (Not to mention the warts-for-today I'm 'talkin 'bout ;)

What type of "warts" you might ask? -Well, unlike a multi-host "Cloud" of any description - yet just like any PC - your VPC will have an IP address. Unlike a PC however, at the time of this writing the default IP Address and public Domain Name Service (DNS) endpoints will change every-time the VPC is re-started (Instance) on the EC2.

Moving Target?

The problem with the new-IP-on-reboot strategy is that the entire point to having a Domain-Name Service is to associate a static "name" with a far more changeable IP Address. Hence - and unlike what most 'geeks of any tenure are used to - using that default Amazon-generated DNS entry becomes just as pointless as hard-coding that ever-changing IP address into your application(s)!

So if one might be tempted to (1) assume that your VPC will never be restarted & simply (2) create another DNS A Record to (3) point to your default DNS VPC instance-name, note that if you ever (4) re-boot your VPC off of the EC2 that the A Record will simply (5) become a pointer to a tombstone.

What's a geek to do?

Elastic IP Address

Like most things AWS, there is a way around everything.

In this case, after a few hours I discovered that the terrarium includes the ability to create a STATIC IP address (Colloquially speaking, static is not very "elastic"? -But with a little thought & tolerance, the concept works for me. -Such is the pattern with all things AWS ;)

Once created, one can THEN associate that "elastic" address with a running Instance of your VPC on the EC2, as well as create an A Record that will also refer to that far more immutable name, as well.

So sure, dynamically instancing a bevy of VPC clones onto the EC2 so as to allow them to "expand and contract" on-demand is a very cool idea. -Just like a "dial group", the idea of having a single phone number round-robin ringing any given set of telephone hand sets was cool even back in the 1950's.

Yet every rational regionalist knows that a frog-in-a-cloud - by any other name - is still a frog?

Sharing is caring!


Yes, in 1970 mainframes were trying to do "in-cloud" computing, as well ;)

Rather than having any historical context, new kids seem to want to re-discover everything from the concept of "web service" (what do all those RFC's describe, anyway? HTTP? HTTPS? HTML Forms?) to "the Internet of things" (was a UAV, PDA, set-top box, poll-top electric transformer, IP:X10 network, or oil rig not a "Thing"?

Do these new, visionary, "things" not have computers in them, as well?? IP?

--So overlooking the jibes in the postscript herein we must simply ask ourselves: Did we miss something here... or did someone else?


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