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Domain Name System


ahierarchicaldistributed naming system for computers, services, or

any resource connected to theInternetor aprivate network.

Is an essential component of the functionality of mostInternetservices

because it is the Internet's primarydirectory service.

Works as a directory lookup service which maps host names ( to IP addresses (

Domain Name space is a tree-structured name space consisting of root

and branch servers.

It also defines the DNS protocol (part of Application layer protocols)

used for data communication in Domain name system.

Why DNS?

Preceding directory services were mostly text files (hosts.txt).

These directory text files were maintained manually and made

available by Stanford Research Institute for the ARPANET ( predecessor
to the Internet).

The hosts file contains lines of text consisting of an IP address in the

first text field followed by one or more host names.

It became difficult to maintain the hosts files as networks and network

nodes were added to the system with increasing frequency.

DNS was created in 1984 to answer the shortfalls in previous directory


DNS Architecture

DNS service is a distributed group effort. It has a hierarchy to it.

Over 380 root servers
divided into 13
groups or root zones
For more info, visit

Top level Domain

name servers
(.com, .org, etc.)

How DNS works?

DNS recursive query mechanism is used in resolving the host names.

Below picture shows how the host name

DNS query mechanisms

In reality, our local computer sends a DNS request to the DNS server.

The DNS server acts as a client on our behalf to get the IP address of
the desired host name.

The DNS query-response process takes place in two ways: Iterative and

In Iterative process, the DNS client asks each server(root, top-level

domain and authoritative name servers) to get the IP address of a host

In Recursive process, the DNS client sends a query to one server and
this server will collect information from other low-level servers and
send the response to DNS client.

Study tools & references

Wireshark : It is a free and open source software used for network

protocol analysis for UNIX and Windows.

Ipconfig : It is a command-line utility to know about the network

configuration of one computer, DHCP and DNS settings. corporation that oversees globalIP

addressallocation,autonomous systemnumber allocation,root
zonemanagement in theDomain Name System(DNS),media types,
and otherInternet Protocol-related symbols and numbers.