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IAB Technical Comment on the Unique DNS Root (RFC2826) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003424D
Original Publication Date: 2000-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Document File: 5 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People



Status of this Memo

This text was extracted from a ASCII document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 22% of the total text.

Network Working Group Internet Architecture Board

Request for Comments: 2826 May 2000

Category: Informational

IAB Technical Comment on the Unique DNS Root

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does

not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this

memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2000). All Rights Reserved.


To remain a global network, the Internet requires the existence of a

globally unique public name space. The DNS name space is a

hierarchical name space derived from a single, globally unique root.

This is a technical constraint inherent in the design of the DNS.

Therefore it is not technically feasible for there to be more than

one root in the public DNS. That one root must be supported by a set

of coordinated root servers administered by a unique naming


Put simply, deploying multiple public DNS roots would raise a very

strong possibility that users of different ISPs who click on the same

link on a web page could end up at different destinations, against

the will of the web page designers.

This does not preclude private networks from operating their own

private name spaces, but if they wish to make use of names uniquely

defined for the global Internet, they have to fetch that information

from the global DNS naming hierarchy, and in particular from the

coordinated root servers of the global DNS naming hierarchy.

1. Detailed Explanation

There are several distinct reasons why the DNS requires a single root

in order to operate properly.

1.1. Maintenance of a Common Symbol Set

Effective communications between two parties requires two essential


- The existence of a common symbol set, and

- The existence of a common semantic interpretation of these


Failure to meet the first condition implies a failure to communicate

at all, while failure to meet the second implies that the meaning of

the communication is lost.

In the case of a public communications system this condition of a

common symbol set with a common semantic interpretation must be

further strengthened to that of a unique symbol set with a unique

semantic interpretation. This condition of uniqueness allows any

party to initiate a communication that can be received and understood

by any other party. Such a condition rules out the ability to define

a symbol within some bounded context. In such a case, once the

communication moves out of t...