Migrate GoDaddy Domain and DNS to AWS Route 53

I started this blog back in June of 2014 to play around with platforms like Joomla and WordPress. I wouldn’t be truthful if I didn’t say the GoDaddy Superbowl commercials didn’t sell me to start with GoDaddy to register my domain name and provide hosting. Over the years I haven’t had any major issues that caused long term outages, only a few hours sprinkled in every month with their Linux Hosting Essential with CPanel plan. With 2020 being my first year working in AWS I felt strongly to move my domain over to AWS Route 53 so I can start playing around with the AWS suite of services! That is the goal of this post is to walk through the transfer my domain and DNS from GoDaddy to AWS Route 53!

These instructions are specifically for GoDaddy but would work for any domain registrar provider you are using today. The screenshots would be different but the task would be the same. You have to switch back and forth between GoDaddy console and AWS Console quite a bit. I try to start the task stating if a console swap is need and where you should be. Working with DNS can be tricky as it can be a waiting game especially when dealing with external DNS replicated across the world (Time To Live – TTL). If doing this in a production environment make sure you do this during a low peak time and give yourself extra window of time to troubleshoot (and wait for DNS replication). It’s pretty easy and straight forward, but it’s DNS.

What exactly is Route 53? Route 53 is Amazon Web Services (AWS) highly available and scalable Domain Name System (DNS) service launched back in 2010. It has powerful traffic routing policies and health checks that you use depending on your use case. Route 53 has a default limit of 50 domain names however this limit can be increased by contacting AWS support.

Table of Contents:

Part 1: Migrate from GoDaddy DNS to AWS Route 53

Part 2: Migrate domain registered with GoDaddy to AWS Route 53

Part 1 – Migrate from GoDaddy DNS to AWS Route 53:

Step 1: Create AWS Route 53 Hosted Zone

What is a AWS Hosted Zone? Here is a snippet from the Route 53 FAQ:

A hosted zone is an Amazon Route 53 concept. A hosted zone is analogous to a traditional DNS zone file; it represents a collection of records that can be managed together, belonging to a single parent domain name. All resource record sets within a hosted zone must have the hosted zone’s domain name as a suffix. For example, the amazon.com hosted zone may contain records named www.amazon.com, and www.aws.amazon.com, but not a record named www.amazon.ca. You can use the Route 53 Management Console or API to create, inspect, modify, and delete hosted zones. You can also use the Management Console or API to register new domain names and transfer existing domain names into Route 53’s management.

First we must create the Hosted Zone in Route 53. This is so we can get our Amazon Name Servers for use in a later step. Go to Route 53 in the AWS console, then click Hosted Zones on the left column, then Create Hosted Zone:

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Enable SSH Service on ESXi hosts using PowerShell

I found myself wanting to enable the SSH service on my ESXi hosts. I could use Host Profiles to enable it but I decided to PowerShell script it! To enable SSH there are three parts to it:

You will need to start the SSH service and set it to Start and Stop with Host:

And you will need to suppress the SSH is enabled warning message:

esxi-hosts-ssh-warning

This script does all of the above to an entire cluster. Let’s see it in action!

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How to Add ESXi Hosts to vCenter using PowerShell

There are quite a few clicks needed to add a host to vCenter. If you are deploying multiple hosts to your environment you have many clicks ahead. You should script it! This PowerShell script will make adding multiple hosts to vCenter easy!

Let’s see it in action!

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vSphere Thick Client End of Life – A Look at the HTML 5 Client Fling

On May 18th VMware announced the end of the road for the C# vSphere Thick Client. The next version of vSphere the thick client will not be available. VMware has been building up to this moment and previously announced they wanted to move to a web based client to have maximum compatibility and mobility. The current versions of the vSphere thick client will remain supported (5.5, 6.0) until their end of life cycle. So what does the future look like for the vSphere Client? VMware will keep the existing Flash web client and introduce the HTML5 based vSphere Client. The Flash web client will remain so third party developers can migrate their plugins over to the long term HTML5 client.

The HTML 5 Web Client Fling is available to download and install. It gives a fantastic view of how VMware envisions the new HTML 5 client. There are quite a few limitations in the current form but VMware will have the kinks worked out before it becomes the primary client. Below is how to deploy the v1.6 HTML 5 Client Fling and link to a VCSA:

Full installation instructions can be found here

Deploying the OVA:

Once the OVA is downloaded from the Fling website, login to your vSphere Web Client, right click on the Data Center, then click Deploy OVF Template:

1 HTML Fling - Deploy OVA

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VMware Horizon View 7: Instant Clone Desktop Pool [Part 8]

In Part 8 of this Boring series I will be setting up an Instant Clone Desktop Pool. This is one of the coolest features announced of Horizon 7 in my opinion! You may have heard of Project Fargo (aka vmFork) announced during the keynote speech of VMworld 2014. This is the result of that project! Instant Clone gives you the ability to rapidly deploy VMs (children) from a already powered on and running VM (parent). The child clones share the memory and disk of the parent for Reads while Writes are placed in a delta disk. To read more about Instant Clone technology check out this VMware Blog post.

vBoring Blog Series:

  1. VMware Horizon View 7: Deployment and Installation
  2. VMware Horizon View 7: Apply SSL Certificates
  3. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Events Database
  4. VMware Horizon View 7: Add Microsoft RDS Farm
  5. VMware Horizon View 7: Setup Remote Access through Security Server
  6. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Master Desktop Template
  7. VMware Horizon View 7: Automated Desktop Pool
  8. VMware Horizon View 7: Instant Clone Desktop Pool

Creating the Instant Clone Template:

For a guide to setup your Master Template follow my previous post: https://boring.wpengine.com/vmware-horizon-view-7-create-master-desktop-template/

There are a few additional stipulations that needs to be met:

  • Windows 7 and Windows 10 are the only supported operating systems for Instant Cloning
  • Only VSAN and VMFS datastores are supported; NFS and local storage are not allowed
  • Ensure your template is VM Hardware Version 11
  • When installing the Horizon View Agent, ensure you enabled the VMware Horizon Instant Clone option:
    • Horizon View 7 - Agent Install

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VMware Horizon View 7: Automated Desktop Pool [Part 7]

Part 7 of the series we will be creating a Automated Desktop Pool using Full Desktops.

vBoring Blog Series:

  1. VMware Horizon View 7: Deployment and Installation
  2. VMware Horizon View 7: Apply SSL Certificates
  3. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Events Database
  4. VMware Horizon View 7: Add Microsoft RDS Farm
  5. VMware Horizon View 7: Setup Remote Access through Security Server
  6. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Master Desktop Template
  7. VMware Horizon View 7: Automated Desktop Pool
  8. VMware Horizon View 7: Instant Clone Desktop Pool

Create Automated Desktop Pool:

To create a desktop pool login to the View Administrator Console, drill down to Catalog-> Desktop Pools -> then click Add:

Horizon View 7 - 1 Add Desktop Pool

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VMware Horizon View 7: Create Master Desktop Template [Part 6]

Part 6 of the series we will be creating a ‘golden’ master desktop template to use for our View Desktop pools. I will be creating a Windows 10 template but you could use any Windows version you wish!

vBoring Blog Series:

  1. VMware Horizon View 7: Deployment and Installation
  2. VMware Horizon View 7: Apply SSL Certificates
  3. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Events Database
  4. VMware Horizon View 7: Add Microsoft RDS Farm
  5. VMware Horizon View 7: Setup Remote Access through Security Server
  6. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Master Desktop Template
  7. VMware Horizon View 7: Automated Desktop Pool
  8. VMware Horizon View 7: Instant Clone Desktop Pool

Virtual Hardware:

When creating the VM shell ensure you have the following set:

  • For best performance ensure VMXNET3 is used for Network
    • Horizon View - Template Adapter Type VMXNET 3
  • For best performance ensure Paravirtual is used as SCSI controller type
    • Horizon View - Template SCSI Type Paravirtual
  • Enabled Memory and CPU Hot Add
    • Horizon View 7 - Enable Memory and CPU Hot Add

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VMware Horizon View 7: Setup Remote Access through Security Server [Part 5]

Part 5 of the series will be configuring the environment so Horizon View can be accessed remotely. There are some ports that need to be opened up on your firewall to the Security Server. As every environment is different I will show how my environment looks so you can mirror it.

vBoring Blog Series:

  1. VMware Horizon View 7: Deployment and Installation
  2. VMware Horizon View 7: Apply SSL Certificates
  3. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Events Database
  4. VMware Horizon View 7: Add Microsoft RDS Farm
  5. VMware Horizon View 7: Setup Remote Access through Security Server
  6. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Master Desktop Template
  7. VMware Horizon View 7: Automated Desktop Pool
  8. VMware Horizon View 7: Instant Clone Desktop Pool

Firewall Rules:

You need to have ports 443 (HTTPS), 8443 (Blast for HTML access), and 4172 (PCoIP) open externally for your Security Server.

Firewall Ports for View Security Server

Note: If your Security Server is in the DMZ use this VMware KB to open additional ports from your Security Server to your core network: VMware KB 1027217 – VMware View ports and network connectivity requirements 

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VMware Horizon View 7: Add Microsoft RDS Farm [Part 4]

In part 4 of the series we will be adding a existing Microsoft Remote Desktop Services farm to Horizon View 7. This enables RDS application to be published out using Horizon View 7 taking advantage of the PCoIP protocol, View Management, and creates a single pane of glass to access applications and virtual desktops.

vBoring Blog Series:

  1. VMware Horizon View 7: Deployment and Installation
  2. VMware Horizon View 7: Apply SSL Certificates
  3. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Events Database
  4. VMware Horizon View 7: Add Microsoft RDS Farm
  5. VMware Horizon View 7: Setup Remote Access through Security Server
  6. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Master Desktop Template
  7. VMware Horizon View 7: Automated Desktop Pool
  8. VMware Horizon View 7: Instant Clone Desktop Pool

If you wish to deploy a Microsoft RDS environment check out my post: Setup Remote Desktop Services in Windows Server 2012 R2

Remote Desktop Services Header

Add RDS Server to View 7 - 1 RDS Overview

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VMware Horizon View 7: Create Events Database [Part 3]

Part 3 of the series will be creating the Events database. Horizon View uses the events database as a repository to store logging information such as user connections. Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle database servers are supported. For my environment I will be using SQL Server 2014. This step can be skipped if you do not want to log these events.

vBoring Blog Series:

  1. VMware Horizon View 7: Deployment and Installation
  2. VMware Horizon View 7: Apply SSL Certificates
  3. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Events Database
  4. VMware Horizon View 7: Add Microsoft RDS Farm
  5. VMware Horizon View 7: Setup Remote Access through Security Server
  6. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Master Desktop Template
  7. VMware Horizon View 7: Automated Desktop Pool
  8. VMware Horizon View 7: Instant Clone Desktop Pool

Creating Events Database in SQL 2014:

First we need to create the database. Login to your SQL server, launch the SQL Server Management Studio, right click Database then click New Database:

Horizon View 7 - 1 Create New SQL Database

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