Choosing Domain Name for IoT Device

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Situation description

So when I build in the factory my super-sensor which would be sending its metrics every 30 seconds to AWS IoT via MQTT, I have to bake into the device a DNS domain name to which the sensor will be connecting.

AWS IoT suggests using endpoint in the form <random-string>.iot.eu-west-1.amazonaws.comwhich for me would look like A26PKG2U6WRS2I.iot.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com

Here's slightly formatted output of dig A26PKG2U6WRS2I.iot.eu-west-1.amazonaws.comcommand which shows that after few redirects this domain name resolves to 6 IP addresses, which seem to be load balancers.

DOMAIN DETAILS: 

A26PKG2U6WRS2I.iot.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com. 290 
POINTS TO CNAME 
iotmoonraker.eu-west-1.prod.iot.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com.


iotmoonraker.eu-west-1.prod.iot.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com. 254 
POINTS TO CNAME 
dualstack.iotmoonraker-e-elb-9q2vvmxp3rir-1271985754.eu-west-1.elb.amazonaws.com.

RESOLVES TO IPs:
dualstack.iotmoonraker-e-elb-9q2vvmxp3rir-1271985754.eu-west-1.elb.amazonaws.com. 50 IN A 54.229.34.249
dualstack.iotmoonraker-e-elb-9q2vvmxp3rir-1271985754.eu-west-1.elb.amazonaws.com. 50 IN A 52.19.106.35
dualstack.iotmoonraker-e-elb-9q2vvmxp3rir-1271985754.eu-west-1.elb.amazonaws.com. 50 IN A 52.18.139.53
dualstack.iotmoonraker-e-elb-9q2vvmxp3rir-1271985754.eu-west-1.elb.amazonaws.com. 50 IN A 52.48.96.41
dualstack.iotmoonraker-e-elb-9q2vvmxp3rir-1271985754.eu-west-1.elb.amazonaws.com. 50 IN A 52.19.155.13
dualstack.iotmoonraker-e-elb-9q2vvmxp3rir-1271985754.eu-west-1.elb.amazonaws.com. 50 IN A 54.76.47.209

Question

There're two concerns I have:

  • When I am implementing the MQTT communication in C for my PIC microcontroller, my DNS resolver is confused by that many IPs that a single domain can resolve to. And at the moment I don't know if I can fix that. For the moment my solution is - to create my own domain name iot-ingestion.domain-i-own.com and point it to one of the IP addresses. Is there a better option?

  • How reliable is it to bake into bake into my device this A26PKG2U6WRS2I.iot.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com hostname? What if I want to switch change IoT stack in 2-3 years and switch to different technology/provider?

Sep 26, 2018 in IoT (Internet of Things) by Matt
• 2,260 points
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1 answer to this question.

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Yes, I would avoid revealing an 'internal' AWS hostname. You should also avoid fixing to a single IP address. In AWS IP addresses can change rapidly and get re-assigned to other customers.

The solution is to indeed use your own domain name, which you have control over, but to use a DNS CNAME record.

iot-ingestion.domain-i-own.com CNAME A26PKG2U6WRS2I.iot.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com.

It may even be worth baking different hostnames into different device firmware versions, so if there is a problem with one you can re-point it at a different endpoint, or cut it off completely, if it is damaging your services.

I have had good experiences with using Route 53, Amazon's DNS service. Which may also result in fewer DNS requests from your device to get to the end IP address.

answered Sep 26, 2018 by anonymous2
• 4,260 points

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