OpenStack Designate: Enabling DNS as a Service

OpenStack Designate ― an open source project under the OpenStack umbrella ― provides DNS as a Service (DNSaaS) in OpenStack. It provides a standard, open API that can be used to program DNS.

Designate is protected by and integrates with Keystone authentication authorization mechanisms, just like all OpenStack APIs. The API can be powered by third party DNS providers such as PowerDNS, Infoblox, etc., as well as “batteries-included” multicast DNS (mDNS) implementation provided by OpenStack.

What Are the Benefits of OpenStack Designate?

Integrating a self-service DNS like Designate in your cloud experience comes with many advantages:

  • Offers the opportunity to standardize use of DNS services in OpenStack
  • Avoids vendor lock-in and dependence on a particular DNS implementation because it is an open, community supported project
  • Provides a REST API for managing records and zones
  • Is multi-tenant to allow hosting of multiple projects and keep corresponding resources secure
  • Ensures that users can employ the same DNS backend within their own project or tenant without colliding with each other
  • Ensures domains from users in different OpenStack projects cannot publish the same sub or super DNS names, which is a vital feature for enabling the self-service aspect of DNS services in the cloud
  • Allows individual application teams to manage DNS service records for SaaS applications without involving IT
  • Reduces the time needed going to production, due to less IT involvement.

As an IT provider, you can deploy Designate in your infrastructure along with other OpenStack services, plus configure it so that it uses your own DNS backend. Designate empowers users to create their own DNS records, while ensuring these records do not collide with each other.

Designate also integrates well with Neutron, which is a networking service in OpenStack. In Designate, you can assign DNS names/domains to individual floating IPs created in Neutron and they can then be associated with any instance. Similarly, DNS domain names can be assigned to networks in Neutron so that all instances on that network can use sub-domains for addressing. This means that all the VMs that are connected to a network receive a unique DNS name based on the domain name that has been assigned to that network.

Openstack Designate as SaaS with Platform9

Platform9’s Managed OpenStack offering includes Designate as a service. The users of Platform9 simply configure their backend DNS and connect it to Platform9’s DNS API. Administrators perform a one-time configuration to connect their on-prem DNS to Platform9 OpenStack and can empower their development teams to consume it immediately. Then the monitoring, management and upgrades of the OpenStack service is handled seamlessly by Platform9. The result is that provisioning a DNS domain becomes as simple as provisioning a workshare network using Neutron with Platform9 OpenStack.

Watch Sachin Manpathak, Technical Lead, in “OpenStack Designate: Enabling DNS as a Service”


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