DNS Saves Headaches

When JFrog announced they were sun setting Bintray and ChartCenter I quickly had a couple of thoughts…

  1. I was relieved we didn’t move the Helm stable and incubator archive to ChartCenter (it was an option)
  2. I wondered what Homebrew was going to do. Homebrew stores bottles in Bintray and the project has to deal with a new setup and migration

When Helm had to move the stable and incubator charts repositories to a new location it was a lot of work and we knew we would leave users who were not using up to date Helm clients with some work to do. Not only did we have to make code changes and perform the migration but we also wrote four blog posts about it. Much of this work could have been avoided if we were using Helm controlled DNS.

Being Thankful For Free Services and Sponsorships

It needs to be said that the egress bandwidth costs for successful projects is not small. For example, if I use the AWS calculator and the current bandwidth reported by Homebrew I can see their monthly egress, if using AWS, would be more than $25,000 USD a month. And it’s growing. That’s not trivial for an open source project.

AWS Calculator screenshot

With that in mind, I am thankful for the companies that provide free services and sponsorships for open source projects. Without that we would not have the flourishing ecosystem of open source we have today.

Controlling Your Destiny

Helm used a Google Cloud URL for the charts repositories. Homebrew has been using Bintray. To change from these means we have to change the URLs coded into software and migrate to new locations with different APIs. The URLs are coupled to companies who change strategies and directions.

One way to help with that issue is for open source projects to use their own DNS. Then supporting back-ends can be reached via a service. If you need to change providers the migration of data still needs to happen but the URL used does not need to change. This also opens the door for sharing load between multiple backing providers, if you need that in a more complicated setup.

DNS is a powerful tool for open source. Especially popular projects. It can help you control your destiny when backing companies change their minds.