VinylDNS Pre-requisites

VinylDNS has the following external requirements that need to be setup so that VinylDNS can operate. Those include:

  1. DNS - your DNS servers VinylDNS will interact with
  2. Database - the database houses all of VinylDNS information including history, records, zones, and users
  3. Message Queue - the message queue supports high-availability and throttling of commands to DNS backend servers
  4. LDAP - ldap supports both authentication as well as the source of truth for users that are managed inside the VinylDNS database


VinylDNS is not a DNS, rather it integrates with your existing DNS installations to enable DNS self-service and streamline DNS operations.

VinylDNS communicates to your DNS via:

  • DDNS - DDNS is used for all record updates
  • AXFR - Zone Transfers are used to load DNS records into the VinylDNS database.

VinylDNS communicates to your DNS using “connections”. A connection allows you to specify:

  1. The TSIG key name
  2. The TSIG key secret
  3. The server (and optionally port) to communicate to DNS with

There are 2 connections, one for DDNS and another for zone transfers. This allows you to use a different DNS server / key for zone transfers.

Connections (DDNS and Transfer) can be setup

  • per zone - every zone can override the global default by specifying its own connections.
  • global default - assuming you are managing a primary system, you can configure default zone connections. When no zone connection is specified on a zone, the global defaults will be used.

Message Queues

Most operations that take place in VinylDNS use a message queue. These operations require high-availability, fault-tolerance with retry, and throttling. The message queue supports these characteristics in VinylDNS.

Some operations do not use the message queue, these include user and group changes as they do not carry the same fault-tolerance and throttling requirements.

Message Queue Types


Our VinylDNS instance uses AWS SQS to fulfill its message queue service needs. SQS has the following characteristics:

  1. High-Availability
  2. Retry - in the event that a message cannot be processed, or if a node fails midstream processing, it will be automatically made available for another node to process
  3. Back-pressure - SQS is a pull based system, meaning that if VinylDNS is currently busy, new messages will not be pulled for processing. As soon as a node becomes available, the message will be pulled. This is much preferable to a push based system, where bottlenecks in processing could cause an increase in heap pressure in the API nodes themselves.
  4. Price - SQS is very reasonably priced. Comcast operates multiple message queues for different environments (dev, staging, prod, etc). The price to use SQS is in the single digit dollars per month. VinylDNS can be tuned to run exclusively in the free tier.

Review the Setup AWS SQS Guide for more information.


VinylDNS has also implemented a message queue using MySQL, which incorporates the features that we currently utilize through AWS SQS such as changing visibility timeout and re-queuing operations.

Review the Setup MySQL Guide for more information.


VinylDNS uses LDAP in order to authenticate users in the Portal. LDAP is not used in the API, instead the API uses its own user and group database for authentication.

When a user first logs into VinylDNS, their user information (first name, last name, user name, email) will be pulled from LDAP, and stored in the UserRepository. Credentials will also be generated for the user and stored encrypted in the UserRepository.

Review the Setup LDAP Guide for more information