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DNS Name Server Concepts and Operation
Of all the components and functional
elements that combine to form the Domain Name System, DNS name servers
are arguably the most important. These servers, which may be either
dedicated devices or software processes running on machines that also
perform other tasks, are the workhorses of DNS. They store and manage
information about domains, and respond to resolution requests for clientsin
some cases millions of times each day. Understanding how they perform
both this most basic task and the many support jobs for which they are
also responsible is crucial to understanding DNS as a whole.
In this section I describe the concepts
related to DNS name servers, and explain how they operate. I begin with
an overview of DNS name server functions and general operation. I describe
the way that DNS name server data is stored in resource records and
the role of classes. I discuss the different roles of name servers in
DNS, and explain the all-important root name servers. I discuss how
DNS zones are managed, the notions of domain contacts and zone transfers,
and how caching and load balancing are used to improve efficiency in
DNS. I conclude with a brief outline of two enhancements to basic DNS
server operation, using the new Notify and Update message
types, as well as incremental zone transfers.
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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