Migrate to the external-domain service
Who is this for?
This post is for all users of the cdn-route or custom-domain services.
The custom-domain and cdn-route services leverage Let’s Encrypt to provision certificates on our users’ behalf. Several months ago, Let’s Encrypt announced that they’re deprecating their v1 API. To work with their new API, we’ve written a replacement to the cdn-route and custom-domain services, the external-domain service. We now need to migrate your service instances to the new service to ensure their certificates can continue renewing without issue. To accomplish this, we’ve written internal tooling to migrate instances automatically without service interruption, but it does require some action on your part to initiate the migration.
What you need to do
The new external-domain service uses a different method of validation with Let’s Encrypt. The new method relies on specific DNS records being present for each of your domains. To begin the migration, you need to have configured the following DNS records for each domain on your custom-domain or cdn-route instances.
_acme-challenge.$DOMAIN CNAME record allows us to provision SSL certificates on your behalf.
As an example, if you have a custom-domain service created for
directorate.agency.gov, you’d want to create a CNAME record
_acme-challenge.directorate.agency.gov with value
$DOMAIN CNAME is responsible for routing the user traffic to your site. Using the
directorate.agency.gov example above, this would be
If you already have
ALIAS) record(s) for
$DOMAIN, you should update the value or replace the record to match what is shown above.
- If your domain is an “apex domain” or “2nd level domain” (i.e.
directorate.agency.gov) you will need to use an
ALIAS) record(s) assuming your DNS provider supports it.
Note that the second update here changes how users get to your site.
We’ve made every effort to validate we’re prepared for this change, but you should confirm that
$DOMAIN.external-domains-production.cloud.gov currently resolves before making this change.
You can do this by directly comparing the outputs of
nslookup $DOMAIN and
nslookup $DOMAIN.external-domains-production.cloud.gov, or by modifying your
$DOMAIN to one of the IP addresses
currently resolves to. If either of these tests fail, STOP and do not update
your DNS, and contact cloud.gov support for assistance.
What to expect
During the migration
The migration will not cause:
- interruption to your services
- change in functionality or configuration to your services
During the migration, you may see a new service instance with a name you do not recognize in your space(s). Once started, the migration takes about 30 minutes for cdn-route instances, and less than 15 minutes for custom-domain instances. During this time, you will be unable to make other modifications to the service instance.
After the migration
After the migration, your service instance(s) will have a new instance ID, so any references to your service
instance ID will need to be updated.
Additionally, your service instance(s) will be of a different service (
external-domain) and plan (
domain-with-cdn, depending on your current instance type).
Customers that experience issues, or that have questions about this change, can send a request to email@example.com.