Tools for DNS debugging (RFC1713)
Original Publication Date: 1994-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
Although widely used (and most of the times unnoticed), DNS (Domain Name System) is too much overlooked, in the sense that people, especially administrators, tend to ignore possible anomalies as long as applications that need name-to-address mapping continue to work. This document presents some tools available for domain administrators to detect and correct those anomalies.
Network Working Group A. Romao
Request for Comments: 1713 FCCN
FYI: 27 November 1994
Tools for DNS debugging
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo
does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of
this memo is unlimited.
Although widely used (and most of the times unnoticed), DNS (Domain
Name System) is too much overlooked, in the sense that people,
especially administrators, tend to ignore possible anomalies as long
as applications that need name-to-address mapping continue to work.
This document presents some tools available for domain administrators
to detect and correct those anomalies.
Today more than 3,800,000 computers are inter-connected in a global
Internet , comprising several millions of end-users, able to reach
any of those machines just by naming it. This facility is possible
thanks to the world widest distributed database, the Domain Name
System, used to provide distributed applications various services,
the most notable one being translating names into IP addresses and
vice-versa. This happens when you do an FTP or Telnet, when your
gopher client follows a link to some remote server, when you click on
a hypertext item and have to reach a server as defined by the URL,
when you talk to firstname.lastname@example.org, when your mail has to be routed
through a set to gateways before it reaches the final recipient, when
you post an article to Usenet and want it propagated all over the
world. While these may be the most visible uses of DNS, a lot more
applications rely on this system to operate, e.g., network security,
monitoring and accounting tools, just to mention a few.
DNS owes much of its success to its distributed administration. Each
component (called a zone, the same as a domain in most cases), is
seen as an independent entity, being responsible for what happens
inside its domain of authority, how and what information changes and
for letting the tree grow downwards, creating new components.
On the other hand, many inconsistencies arise from this distributed
nature: many administrators make mistakes in the way they configure
their domains and when they delegate authority to sub-domains; many
of them don't even know how to do these things properly, letting
problems last and propagate. Also, many problems occur due to bad
implementations of both DNS clients and servers, especially very old
ones, either by not following the standards or by being error prone,
creating or allowing many of the above problems to happen.
All these anomalies make DNS less efficient than it could be, causing
trouble to network operations, thus affecting the overall Internet.
This document tries to show how important ...