Amazon Route 53 Application Recovery Controller components - Amazon Route 53 Application Recovery Controller
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Amazon Route 53 Application Recovery Controller components

This section defines the components included in Amazon Route 53 Application Recovery Controller zonal shift, readiness check, and routing control features.

Zonal shift components

The following diagram illustrates an example of a zonal shift moving traffic away from an Availability Zone in an Amazon Region. Safety rules built into Route 53 ARC prevent you from starting another zonal shift for a resource when it already has an active zonal shift.

					Diagram of a zonal shift with three Availability Zones

The following are components of the zonal shift feature in Route 53 ARC.

Zonal shift

You start a zonal shift for a managed resource in your Amazon account to temporarily move traffic away from an Availability Zone in an Amazon Region. Supported Amazon resources are automatically registered with Route 53 ARC, and then they are managed resources for zonal shifts in your account. Currently you can start a zonal shift only for Network Load Balancers and Application Load Balancers that do not have cross-zone load balancing configured.

Starting a zonal shift helps your application quickly recover, for example, from a developer's bad code deployment or from an Amazon infrastructure failure in a single Availability Zone, reducing the impact and time lost from an issue in one zone.

Resource identifier

The identifier for a resource to include in a zonal shift. The identifier is the Amazon Resource Name (ARN) for the resource.

You can only include in a zonal shift the resources in your account that are in an Amazon service that is supported by Route 53 ARC. Resources in those Amazon services are registered with Route 53 ARC by the Amazon service.


At this time, you can only start a zonal shift for Network Load Balancers and Application Load Balancers with cross-zone load balancing turned off.

Managed resource

Amazon services register resources automatically with Route 53 ARC for zonal shifts. A resource that has been registered is a managed resource in Route 53 ARC.

Resource name

The name of a managed resource in Route 53 ARC.

Status (zonal shift status)

A status for a zonal shift. The Status for a zonal shift can have one of the following values:

  • ACTIVE: The zonal shift is started and active.

  • EXPIRED: The zonal shift has expired (the expiry time was exceeded).

  • CANCELED: The zonal shift was canceled.

Expiry time (expiration time)

The expiry time (expiration time) for the zonal shift. Zonal shifts are temporary. A zonal shift can initially be set to be active for up to three days (72 hours).

When you start a zonal shift, you specify how long you want it to be active, which Route 53 ARC converts to an expiry time (expiration time). You can cancel a zonal shift, for example, if you're ready to restore traffic to the Availability Zone. Or you can extend a zonal shift by updating it to specify another length of time to expire in.

Readiness check components

The following diagram illustrates a sample recovery group that is configured to support the readiness check feature. Resources in this example are grouped into cells (by Amazon Region) and nested cells (by Availability Zones) in a recovery group. There is an overall readiness status for the recovery group (application), as well as individual readiness statuses for each cell (Region) and nested cell (Availability Zone).

					A sample recovery group for Route 53 ARC. It has two cells, by Region, and 
						 within each Region, there are 2 nested cells, by Availability Zone. The first
						 Region cell has all ready statuses and the second Region cell has a not
						 ready status because one of its zone cells is not ready. The recovery group
						 is overall not ready.

The following are components of the readiness check feature in Route 53 ARC.


A cell defines your application's replicas or independent units of failover. It groups all the Amazon resources that are necessary for your application to run independently within the replica. For example, you might have one set of resources in a primary cell and another set in a standby cell. You determine the boundary of what a cell includes, but cells typically represent an Availability Zone or a Region. You can have multiple cells (nested cells) within a cell, such as AZs within a Region. Each nested cell represents an isolated unit of failover.

Recovery group

Cells are collected into a recovery group. A recovery group represents an application or group of applications that you want to check failover readiness for. It consists of two or more cells, or replicas, that match each other in terms of functionality. For example, if you have a web application that is replicated across us-east-1a and us-east-1b, where us-east-1b is your failover environment, you can represent this application in Route 53 ARC as a recovery group with two cells: one in us-east-1a and one in us-east-1b. A recovery group can also include a global resource, such as a Route 53 health check.

Resources and resource identifiers

When you create components for readiness checks in Route 53 ARC, you specify a resource, such as an Amazon DynamoDB table, a Network Load Balancer, or a DNS target resource, by using a resource identifier. A resource identifier is either the Amazon Resource Name (ARN) for the resource or, for a DNS target resource, the identifier that Route 53 ARC generates when it creates the resource.

DNS target resource

A DNS target resource is the combination of your application's domain name and other DNS information, such as the Amazon resource that the domain points to. Including an Amazon resource is optional but if you provide it, it must be a Route 53 resource record or a Network Load Balancer. When you provide the Amazon resource, you can get more detailed architectural recommendations that can help you improve your application's recovery resiliency. You can create resource sets in Route 53 ARC for DNS target resources, and then create a readiness check for the resource set so that you can get architecture recommendations for your application. The readiness check also monitors the DNS routing policy for your application, based on the readiness rules for DNS target resources.

Resource set

A resource set is a set of resources, including Amazon resources or DNS target resources, that span multiple cells. For example, you might have a load balancer in us-east-1a and another one in us-east-1b. To monitor the recovery readiness of the load balancers, you can create a resource set that includes both load balancers, and then create a readiness check for the resource set. Route 53 ARC will continually check the readiness of the resources in the set. You can also add a readiness scope to associate resources in a resource set with the recovery group that you create for your application.

Readiness rule

Readiness rules are audits that Route 53 ARC performs against a set of resources in a resource set. Route 53 ARC has a set of readiness rules for each type of resource that it supports readiness checks for. Each rule includes an ID and a description that explains what Route 53 ARC inspects the resources for.

Readiness check

A readiness check monitors a resource set in your application, such as a set of Amazon Aurora instances, that Route 53 ARC is auditing recovery readiness for. Readiness checks can include auditing, for example, capacity configurations, Amazon quotas, or routing policies. For example, if you want to audit readiness for your Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling groups across two Availability Zones, you can create a readiness check for a resource set with two resource ARNs, one for each Auto Scaling group. Then, to make sure that each group is scaled equally, Route 53 ARC continually monitors the instance types and the counts in the two groups.

Readiness scope

A readiness scope identifies the grouping of resources that a specific readiness check encompasses. The scope of a readiness check can be a recovery group (that is, global to the whole application) or a cell (that is, a Region or Availability Zone). For a resource that is a global resource for Route 53 ARC, set the readiness scope at to recovery group or global resource level. For example, a Route 53 health check is a global resource in Route 53 ARC because it isn't specific to a Region or Availability Zone.

Routing control components

The following diagram illustrates an example of components that support the routing control feature in Route 53 ARC. The routing controls shown here (grouped into one control panel) let you manage traffic to two Availability Zones in each of two Regions. When you update routing control states, Route 53 ARC changes health checks in Amazon Route 53, which redirect DNS traffic to different cells. Safety rules that you configure for routing controls help avoid fail-open scenarios and other unintentional consequences.

					Components that support routing control in Route 53 ARC

The following are components of the routing control feature in Route 53 ARC.


A cluster is a set of five redundant Regional endpoints against which you initiate API calls to update or get routing control states. A cluster includes a default control panel, and you can host multiple control panels and routing controls on one cluster.

Routing controls

A routing control is a simple on/off switch, hosted on a cluster, that you use to control routing of client traffic in and out of cells. When you create a routing control, you add a Route 53 ARC health check in Route 53. This enables you to reroute traffic (using the health checks, configured with DNS records for your applications) when you update the routing control state in Route 53 ARC.

Routing control health check

Routing controls are integrated with health checks in Route 53. The health checks are associated with DNS records that front each application replica, for example, failover records. When you change routing control states, Route 53 ARC updates the corresponding health checks, which redirect traffic—for example, to failover to your standby replica.

Control panel

A control panel groups together a set of related routing controls. You can associate multiple routing controls with one control panel, and then create safety rules for the control panel to ensure that the traffic redirection updates that you make are safe. For example, you can configure a routing control for each of your load balancers in each Availability Zone, and then group them in the same control panel. Then you can add a safety rule (an "assertion rule") that makes sure that at least one zone (represented by a routing control) is active at any one time, to avoid unintended "fail-open" scenarios.

Default control panel

When you create a cluster, Route 53 ARC creates a default control panel. By default, all routing controls that you create on the cluster are added to the default control panel. Or, you can create your own control panels to group related routing controls.

Safety rule

Safety rules are rules that you add to Route 53 ARC to ensure that recovery actions don't accidentally impair your application's availability. For example, you can create a safety rule that creates a routing control that acts as an overall "on/off" switch so that you can enable or disable a set of other routing controls.

Endpoint (cluster endpoint)

Each cluster in Route 53 ARC has five Regional endpoints that you can use for setting and retrieving routing control states. Your process for accessing the endpoints should assume that Route 53 ARC regularly brings the endpoints up and down for maintenance, so you should try each endpoint in succession until you connect to one. You access the endpoints to get the current state of routing controls (On or Off) and to trigger failovers for your applications by changing routing control states.