DigitalOcean

The Perfect Cloud: Creating Our Proxy Server And Configuring DNS

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series The Perfect Cloud

What is a Proxy Server?

A proxy server is used to route traffic to specific locations and/or server(s). For example, sending all of your HTTP requests to ibourgeois.com to the server that is hosting the content you want your visitors to see when they visit ibourgeois.com. Using a proxy will also allow you to limit access to other services to users that you specify, typically by IP address.

 

Creating the Proxy Server on DigitalOcean

If you followed along in part 1, and created your Digitalocean account, then go ahead and login. You are going to see a big button at the top that says “Create Droplet”, click that.

 

DigitalOcean Header

 

  • Image: Ubuntu 16.04
    • For this guide all servers will be Ubuntu 16.04, feel free to choose whatever image you’re comfortable with. Just keep in mind that this guide will only get you so far if you opt for a different OS.
  • Size: $5/month
    • For this droplet we get to go cheap and select the $5/month option (1 CPU, 512MB Ram).
  • Volume: No
    • There is no need to add a volume, you can always do that later if necessary.
  • Region: New York 2
    • You can select the region that is closest to you, however, ensure that all of your droplets are in the same region!
  • Private Networking: YES!!!!
    • We are going to use a ton of private networking on all of our droplets!
  • Backups: Optional
    • Backups are optional, as we will be setting up our own backup solution later, though it can’t hurt. For this droplet (if you chose the $5 droplet) it will cost you an extra dollar a month, your call.
  • IPv6: Optional
    • If you choose to enable IPv6, I do not plan to cover that in this guide, but if it’s requested, I will add it in later.
  • User Data: No
    • We don’t need to select User Data as we aren’t going to be providing a cloud-init file.
  • Monitoring: Yes
    • You don’t have to enable monitoring, but why not?
  • Add your SSH key
  • Name it!
    • Be creative! You can always change it later…

 

Finally, click that big green “Create” button!

Setting Our Nameservers

If you chose to use namecheap to purchase your domain, you can login and click manage next to your domain.

There, you will need to make the following changes:

 

Namecheap Nameservers

 

If you registered your domain anywhere else, you can use the same nameservers, but you are on your own with finding the place to update them! I’m kidding, leave a comment below with the name of your registrar and I will be glad to help you out.

 

Now we need to update our Domains on DigitalOcean. You can click here to go right to the page where you’ll find the big “Add Domain” form you see below…

 

DigitalOcean Add Domain

 

I’m sure you got this one…

Once you’ve added your domain, click on it and add a hostname that points to your new server.

  • Hostname: @
  • Will Direct To: Select the droplet you just created

 

Errr… Now What?

It took a few minutes, but now you have your very own server and you DNS has been (semi) configured. We will add more DNS records later. Just keep in mind that DNS can take up to 72 hours to update. If you feel a little anxious, you can always try flushing the DNS cache on your computer or even restarting.

In the next part of this series we are going to setup some basic security on our server, and install Nginx to use as our proxy server.

 

If you have any questions, concerns, suggestions or notice a flaw (especially security related), be sure to comment below!

 

Disclaimer: Some links in this guide may be affiliate links in which I may receive payment should you choose to use them.

 

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