• See below for links to useful diagrams from Cadogan

DNS Records

DNS articles:


  • CNAME stands for Canonical Name. CNAME records can be used to alias one name to another.
  • For example, if you have a server where you keep all of your documents online, it might normally be accessed through docs.example.com. You may also want to access it through documents.example.com. One way to make this possible is to add a CNAME record that points documents.example.com to docs.example.com. When someone visits documents.example.com they will see the exact same content as docs.example.com.

Simple DNS Diagram

  • Cadogan Simple DNS Diagram (PRIVATE) Simple DNS Diagram.jpg here

Detailed DNS Diagram

  • Cadogan DNS diagram - More Detail (PRIVATE): More Detail.jpg here

F5 and DNS

  • More on DNS stuff under F5 load balancer: /pages/coding/infra/cloud/F5-Load-Balancer

Node, proxies and IP addresses

Node, proxies, hosts file etc: An explanation of how everything hung together in one example node.js deployment (at Samba)

  • Type a url into the browser
  • First step is hosts file. Hosts file is effectively your local DNS server – will convert url into IP address
    • This matters because otherwise samba and samba.local will go unrecognised
    • Also we need to make sure they both go to localhost, because the node proxy is listening to localhost on port 5555
    • This also matters because in Windows 10, the docker machine is in fact localhost, rather than a separate thing with its own IP address. So you don’t need separate entries in your hosts file for samba as well as samba.local, because in fact you will always be using samba.local in the browser, whether you are running in Visual Studio or not. This is also why in Windows 10 you get conflicts if you have code running in both docker AND Visual Studio – because they are both running on localhost.
    • Hosts file is all about TCP protocol rather than http requests. Http headers are left intact with the original host, even though it is converted into an IP address for TCP purposes
  • If url is not in hosts file it moves onto next step, which is list of proxy exceptions
    • This is a list configured at browser level
    • But it is also configured via the NO-PROXY env var, which is used by Docker?
  • If url is not in proxy exceptions, it will go to Samba proxy – which will check external site for dodginess and will also check your AD permissions for what you are allowed to do.
  • Node proxy:
    • If url is in proxy exceptions, and in hosts file, and on port 5555, and hosts file routes it to localhost, then it will hit the node proxy.
    • To see the code for this, see index.js (visible in VS in webapp under solution items)
    • The node proxy listens to localhost port 5555 and converts all urls to the docker url (which is the url of the docker machine on Windows 8), unless they have “.local” appended, in which case it sends them off to
    • It also checks the host in the request header, and converts this into business id (ie samba or healthysamba)
    • Because it is checking the original request header, it doesn’t matter that this host has since been converted by the hosts file into an IP address
    • When running nightwatch tests, you set a BUSINESS_ID env var (only available to that console session?) which is then (somehow?) used to set the correct header for the virtual browser on which the tests are running.
  • To debug: Look at the console output for node proxy and also (if relevant) for the consoles where you did make build run for the docker instances.

Reverse Proxies

  • A Reverse proxy is one which proxies inbound requests, rather than outbound requests
  • A reverse proxy is closer to the server, whereas a proxy is closer to the client. They still need to intercept both the request and the response.
  • We used a reverse proxy at Samba to change all incoming https requests into http requests.
  • Reverse DNS = mapping IP address to a host name instead of vice versa

Useful DNS commands

  • ns lookup - Looks up a DNS entry
  • Check DNS: http://Dnscheck.pingdom.com
    • Also try whatsmydns: https://www.whatsmydns.net/
    • Or command dig +trace @ prod-dts.clarevilletest.com com (will change to .clarevilledigital.net)
      • If you remove +trace, you don’t get the full trace details
      • The @ is routing the request via Google name servers – the reason for that is to make sure you are exiting the Clareville domain and avoiding any internal caches