AWS Route 53 – Anycast Routing Performance

Update 2010-12-25: AWS techs informed me that Route 53 is designed with a balance between latency and availability hence why not all name servers go to the nearest data center like I was expecting. Another AWS tech informed me that DNS resolvers utilize various performance techniques such as issuing parallel queries and remembering which nameserver responded fastest. Although I do not know of any resolvers that actually implement these techniques, and the AWS tech has yet to respond, I think this is a solid decision for Route 53 and the tests following are an example of that.

I ran a few tests from some of the datacenters I have servers in (should’ve ran some tests from the East coast..). They don’t impress me that much and raise a concern for when Route 53 adds location-aware results because I sure don’t want to send Northern California users all the way to the Europe (Ireland) region. Hopefully they’re working out these kinks although this is a routing level issue and possibly out of their control.

Here are the results based on the a hosted zone:


Ping from Torrance, CA (Covad): 72ms 7ms 40ms 7ms

Only two using LA datacenter..

Ping from Torrance, CA (Verizon FiOS): 80ms 12ms 49ms 12ms

Only two using LA datacenter…

Ping from LA datacenter: 67ms <1ms 30ms <1ms

Not all using the LA datacenter…

Ping from DFW Rackspace datacenter: 30ms 2ms 59ms 36ms

Only one using the DFW datacenter?

Ping from Chicago Rackspace datacenter: 23ms 23ms 7ms 34ms

Only one using the St. Louis datacenter

Ping from EC2 West A: 150ms 150ms 21ms 21ms

Two of them going to Germany from Northern California???

Sample dig queries return similar response times.

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One Response to AWS Route 53 – Anycast Routing Performance

  1. george says:

    Great to read this post. We want to implement this on our website But we do not know how to update our name servers. Please reply.

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