It probably wouldn't have helped WikiLeaks' struggle to stay on the Web last week, but Amazon.com has launched a new service for companies whose Internet operations need Domain Name Service.
DNS is technology that connects the Internet address that people use, such as www.flickr.com, to its numeric address, 184.108.40.206. It's that numeric Internet Protocol (IP) address that computers and network gear need to route data over the Internet. DNS functions not unlike a phone book, where you can find a phone number by looking up a person's name.
Now Amazon is offering DNS for a fee as part of Amazon Web Services called Route 53. It's currently in beta testing, according to Amazon's Route 53 site:
Route 53 performs two DNS functions. First, it lets you manage the IP addresses listed for your domain names in the Internet's DNS phone book. These listings are called DNS "records." Second, like a directory assistance service, Route 53 answers requests to translate specific domain names into their corresponding IP addresses. These requests are called "queries."
The service fits into the AWS pay-as-you-go model. It costs $1 per month for each hosted zone--a set of DNS records at Amazon. On top of that, it costs 50 cents per million queries up to a billion per month, then 25 cents per million queries after during that month.
DNS queries typically run about one-tenth the pace of page views for a given Web site, AWS evangelist Jeff Barr said in a blog post yesterday.
DNS is a necessary element of running a Web site, as WikiLeaks illustrated last week. The controversial site was still available after Amazon stopped hosting WikiLeaks. But WikiLeaks disappeared from the Internet for a time last week when its DNS provider terminated service, not long after Amazon stopped hosting the WikiLeaks site.