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Nota Bene: Analytics and Reviews on RIPN Site

RIPN site has been updated with "Articles and Reviews" section for the publications to address the most critical technology issues as regards Internet development and adaptability to Russian segment.

Andrey Robachevsky, RIPE NCC Technical Director, was the first to publish his article "DNS Roots". The author outlines key Internet addressing function principles from the process viewpoint. This publication is made as a review and covers high readership.

Internet may not normally exist without proper functioning of DNS (Domain Name System). Every time we enter a web-site name or send an e-mail, DNS is assigned to translate the name to a digital address (IP) to interlink networked computers.

DNS system has a hierarchal and distributed database. Being a critical component of the system, root DNS-servers provide access to DNS root zone. The root zone stores information about all top level domains: country code top level domains (for example .ru), generic top level domains (for example .com) and sponsored domains (for example .museum). This information points the client to which DNS servers a further query should be sent, to continue resolution of the full domain name.

Since DNS creation times - in the mid 80-ies up to 2000, root servers system (RSS) consisted from the primary (ns.internic.net, further renamed to a.root-servers.net) and the secondary server. Finally they were 12 in amount with the following names: b.root-servers.net, c.root-servers.net and so on up to m.root-servers.net. Each server is controlled and maintained by a single operator (full list of operators is available at http://www.root-servers.org).

In 2000-2002 DNS architecture was upgraded. There appeared a "hidden" master server and 13 equal root servers that receive identical root zone copies from the master server. In 2003 anycast technology came into use and enabled to "clone" servers with one and the same name and address. This technology enjoyed a wide use by certain operators and enabled to considerably extend RSS geography that previously lay in US limits.

DNS root system is quite conservative: any changes on this level disturb the function of the whole global domain names system. Nevertheless, RSS and a root zone have undergone some key changes for the recent years. For further details please refer to Andrey Robachevsky's article "DNS Roots". Kindly note that the opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the official stance of RIPE NCC.


Your feedback on the publications made by our experts would be appreciated and are welcome at pr@ripn.net.



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