AWS: CanonicalHostedZoneName was not found for resource... err?!

Hi All,

Happy new year!
First post for 2014, how exciting!!! no… not really …
Let’s get to it!

If you’ve been using CloudFormation for a while, you might have stumble on this error before:

Attribute: CanonicalHostedZoneName was not found for resource: ELB

Yeah cool … but what does that mean? Seriously … (<– one of my catch phrases according to my partner’s brother :D)

Well it means what it means!
Your LoadBalancer resource that you defined in the Cloudformation stack does not have this attribute.

You’re probably trying to create an AliasTarget DNS record for your ELB DNS name.

I know what some of you would say:

But but, dude, I looked at AWS docs, and it says to use CanonicalHostedZoneName, so seriously, I’m no idiot, look for yourself:

And I would say that you read correctly, but you did not check out the right doc.
Here’s another link that says:

If you specify internal for the Elastic Load Balancing scheme, use DNSName instead. For an internal scheme, the load balancer doesn’t have a CanonicalHostedZoneName value:

Mwahaha! Gotcha!

You’re creating an internal loadbalancer? Use DNSName instead!

The beauty of it is that you can also use DNSName for a public-facing loadbalancer… so question is, why do we have the choice?

Beat me.