Amazon Adds Enhancement For Route53 DNS – Automatic Website Failover

Another addition for AWS was recently released and adds a nice feature to the Route53/S3 combo, the ability to failover to an S3 bucket if your primary site goes down. This can be paired up with both weighted and latency based routing and can be configured whichever way is best for you.

What’s more intriguing about this is not the ability to failover to an S3 bucket but the ability to failover to another region, Say if us-east-1 goes down, redirect the traffic to us-west-1 or maybe a backup on a completely different provider…say Rackspace or even your own private cloud to save costs provided you can handle the traffic.

Then again, does AWS ever go down? Ha, that being said, this sure beats my website being load balanced over multiple Micro AWS instances…




Automatic shutdown of unused Amazon EC2 instances

Today Amazon released another big enhancement for EC2 users, CloudWatch alarms can now be used to detect idle/unused or even underutilized instances and shut them down.  Users have the option of first sending an email, shutting down the instance and/or even terminating the instance after a predefined period of time.

What does this mean?  It means we can stop wasting money on instances that have been forgotten for a couple weeks, it’s also a great tool to use for keeping developer instances in check, the early email warnings provide an opportunity to prevent accidental terminations without taxing managers to monitor usage daily.


Root domains can now be hosted from AWS S3 Buckets

Effective today root domains can now be hosted directly from an S3 bucket, previously you needed a sub domain like WWW or a web server to proxy request to an S3 bucket, this has finally been addressed by Amazon Web Services.

Full instructions can be found here:

Basically you just create a new bucket for your root domain ( and they added a redirect option in the bucket configuration, just select redirect and point it to the bucket hosting the static site.  The only catch? You need to let Route53 handle your DNS so you can add the alias and point the domain to an S3 bucket.

This is an awesome addition to S3.