Service Discovery with Amazon Route 53 and CloudMap - AWS ECS Tutorial

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Service discovery is a crucial aspect of managing microservices in a containerized environment. Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) provides seamless integration with Amazon Route 53 and AWS CloudMap to enable automatic service discovery and DNS-based routing. With these services, you can dynamically register and discover services running in your ECS clusters, making it easier to build and scale highly available and resilient applications. This tutorial will guide you through the process of setting up service discovery with Amazon Route 53 and CloudMap in ECS.

Service Discovery with Amazon Route 53 and CloudMap

To enable service discovery in Amazon ECS using Amazon Route 53 and CloudMap, follow these steps:

  1. Create an Amazon ECS task definition: Define your task with the necessary configurations and specify the service name and the container port that the service listens on.
  2. Create an AWS CloudMap namespace: Set up a namespace in AWS CloudMap to group related services and provide a unique DNS domain name.
  3. Create a service: Define a service within the CloudMap namespace, specifying the ECS task definition, service name, and other relevant settings.
  4. Register the service: When starting a new task or updating an existing one, register the task as a service instance in CloudMap.
  5. Query the service: Use DNS queries to discover the registered service instances. Route 53 automatically resolves the DNS queries to the IP addresses of the ECS tasks.

Example: Enabling Service Discovery

Here's an example of enabling service discovery with Amazon Route 53 and CloudMap using AWS CLI commands:

aws servicediscovery create-namespace --name my-namespace --type DNS_PRIVATE

aws servicediscovery create-service --name my-service --namespace-id ns-12345678 --dns-config DnsRecords=[{Type=A,TTL=300}] --health-check-custom-config FailureThreshold=1

aws ecs register-task-definition --family my-task-definition --container-definitions '[{"name": "my-container", "image": "my-image", "portMappings": [{"containerPort": 80, "protocol": "tcp"}]}]'

aws ecs create-service --service-name my-service --cluster my-cluster --task-definition my-task-definition --service-registries registryArn=arn:aws:servicediscovery:us-west-2:123456789012:service/srv-1234567890123456
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Common Mistakes

  • Not configuring the correct DNS settings for the service in CloudMap, leading to DNS resolution issues.
  • Forgetting to associate the service registry with the ECS service, resulting in the service not being discovered.
  • Incorrectly defining the service name or task definition in CloudMap, causing the service to be registered or queried incorrectly.
  • Not updating the service registration when scaling ECS tasks up or down, resulting in stale or missing service instances in CloudMap.
  • Overlooking security group rules or NACL configurations that may prevent DNS queries or service communication.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can I use my own DNS server with Amazon ECS service discovery?

    No, Amazon ECS service discovery is tightly integrated with Amazon Route 53 and AWS CloudMap for DNS-based service discovery.

  2. How quickly can new service instances be discovered?

    Service instances are typically discoverable within a few seconds of their registration in CloudMap.

  3. Can I use service discovery with tasks running on Fargate?

    Yes, service discovery is fully supported for ECS tasks running on both EC2 and Fargate launch types.

  4. Can I use service discovery with tasks across multiple AWS accounts or regions?

    Yes, you can configure service discovery to work across multiple accounts or regions by setting up appropriate VPC peering or transit gateway connections.

  5. Can I use service discovery with external services outside of ECS?

    Yes, you can configure service discovery to include external services by creating service instances with custom DNS records in CloudMap.


Service discovery with Amazon Route 53 and AWS CloudMap allows you to seamlessly discover and route traffic to services running in Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS). By following the step-by-step guide, avoiding common mistakes, and understanding the FAQs, you can successfully configure service discovery and enhance the scalability, reliability, and ease of management of your containerized applications in ECS.