Designate provides DNS as a Service in OpenStack

Central Register

Designate and Heat

OpenStack's orchestration service Heat is something of a front between the OpenStack services and the user: It accepts a template from the user, evaluates it, and then creates the described services with the relevant OpenStack components. In this context, DNS entries for VMs or IP addresses are ultimately only resources that Heat can manage.

As early as mid-2015, the Designate developers expanded Heat with a range of Designate functions that can be used to create or delete domains automatically. The assignment of DNS entries to IPs or hosts is also possible with Heat instructions. Unlike the dashboard integration, Heat integration is comprehensive.


DNS as a Service (DNSaaS) is rightly one of the first features customers want in a cloud: Manually managing DNS entries for cloud VMs is only possible for a while, and then it proves tedious. Because clouds are increasingly focusing on automation, this process must be handled by DNS services.

Designate fills the DNSaaS gap well for OpenStack: After an eventful history, the service can now be used productively and is essentially what the developers promised. A/AAAA records can be creating with Designate, and PTR records present no problems either.

If the developers can now manage to integrate it into the dashboard officially, the service will belong to the group of successful OpenStack components, although dashboard integration probably won't matter to many users: Anyone who uses Heat for OpenStack orchestration will have little interest in GUIs.

If you want to use Designate, an administrator with DNS experience should perform this work, because an appropriate design for your cloud's particular requirements is not a foregone conclusion.

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