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Creating a DNS Service on the Cloud

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IBM Senior Software Engineer Alexander Amies and IBM Software Engineer Pan Xia Zou discuss how to configure and use a DNS server for management of virtual machines on the cloud. This is described in the context of a cloud-based virtual local area network and scripting to automate network configuration of virtual machines. One of the architects of the IBM SmartCloud Enterprise platform, Alex is a co-author of Developing and Hosting Applications on the Cloud.

The domain name system (DNS) is a fundamental building block of the World Wide Web, and DNS can be a powerful tool in public and private cloud computing. You can use DNS to solve many practical problems associated with the dynamic nature of cloud server provisioning. In particular, DNS can make virtual machine images, migration, and workloads portable.

This article presents an overview of the reasons and challenges for hostname management of virtual machines on the cloud. We describe client setup on Windows and Linux systems, and server setup and maintenance with the BIND DNS server on Linux. Finally, we outline how to automate and externalize DNS and network configuration of Linux virtual machines with image-customization scripts.

The procedures in this article were tested with IBM SmartCloud Enterprise (SCE). The principles we discuss apply to other Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) clouds as well. However, no warranty is given that the tools and techniques described here will work. The opinions presented are those of the authors and not IBM.

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