Skip to main content

Domain Name System

Document Charter Domain Name System WG (dns) Snapshot
Title Domain Name System
Last updated 1994-03-18
State Approved
WG State Concluded
IESG Responsible AD Dave Crocker
Charter edit AD (None)
Send notices to (None)

The DNS Working Group is concerned with the design, operation, and
evolution of the Domain Name System within the Internet.  As the Internet
continues to grow, we expect to serve as a focal point for work on scaling
problems within the current framework, work on protocol evolution as new
mechanisms become necessary, and documentation of current practice for DNS
implementors and administrators.  We are also responsible for oversight of
DNS activities by other groups within the IETF to the extent that we
review the impact such work will have on the DNS and make recomendations
to the working groups and IESG as necessary.  Since some of these are
ongoing tasks, we do not expect the working group to disband anytime soon.

Several issues are of particular concern at this time:

Scaling:  The DNS is the victim of its own success.  The global DNS
namespace has grown to the point where administering the top levels of
the tree is nearly as much work as the old NIC host table used to be.
We need to work on ways to distribute the load.  Some of the solutions
are likely to be technical, some political or economic; we still treat
the top-level DNS service the way we did when DARPA was footing the
bill, and the funding for that service is in the process of going away.

Security:  The DNS is a zero-security system; it is not even as
strong as the IP layer above which it operates.  As a result,
accidental spoofing (cache pollution) is an all-too-frequent occurance.
We need to make the DNS more robust against accidental corruption, and
must provide at least an optional authentication mechanism for that
portion of the community that wants one.  At the same time, we must not
cripple the existing system by drasticly increasing its bandwidth
consumption or by mandating use of cryptographic techniques that would
preclude worldwide distribution of DNS software.  The global DNS
database is exactly that, an existing world-wide database representing
hosts on six continents and (at least) forty-five countries.  A
solution that does not take this into account is not acceptable.

Management:  The group has a draft document describing MIB extensions to
manage the DNS.  It also needs to specify a standard way to dynamically
create and destroy DNS records; SNMP may be an appropriate tool for
this task, but we haven't yet specified enough of the details to know
for certain.  The impact that a dynamic update
mechanism will have on the DNS needs to be examined, with particular attention
given to security
and scaling issues.

IPng/Routing:  As the fur starts flying in the battle between the IPng
proponants and the new-routing-architecture proponants, it is expected that
groups on both sides will need some amount of support from the DNS.
Such support is likely to be minimal and straightforward, but these proposals 
are likely to need ``rush service'' for whatever support they
require.  So the working group needs to monitor these activities, stay
involved, and generally do what it can to make sure that DNS support is
not a bottleneck.

The DNS Working Group also needs to examine the impact that any proposed IPng
system would have on the DNS, since the DNS database and protocols have
special provision for IP addresses.