REL11-BP04 Rely on the data plane and not the control plane during recovery - AWS Well-Architected Framework (2022-03-31)

REL11-BP04 Rely on the data plane and not the control plane during recovery

The control plane is used to configure resources, and the data plane delivers services. Data planes typically have higher availability design goals than control planes and are usually less complex. When implementing recovery or mitigation responses to potentially resiliency-impacting events, using control plane operations can lower the overall resiliency of your architecture. For example, you can rely on the Amazon Route 53 data plane to reliably route DNS queries based on health checks, but updating Route 53 routing policies uses the control plane, so do not rely on it for recovery.

The Route 53 data planes answer DNS queries, and perform and evaluate health checks. They are globally distributed and designed for a 100% availability service level agreement (SLA). The Route 53 management APIs and consoles where you create, update, and delete Route 53 resources run on control planes that are designed to prioritize the strong consistency and durability that you need when managing DNS. To achieve this, the control planes are located in a single Region, US East (N. Virginia). While both systems are built to be very reliable, the control planes are not included in the SLA. There could be rare events in which the data plane’s resilient design allows it to maintain availability while the control planes do not. For disaster recovery and failover mechanisms, use data plane functions to provide the best possible reliability.

For more information about data planes, control planes, and how AWS builds services to meet high availability targets, see the Static stability using Availability Zones paper and the Amazon Builders’ Library.

Level of risk exposed if this best practice is not established: High

Implementation guidance


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