Thoughts about DNS and apathy

Running across some notes of mine about DNS, I decided to record those thoughts in my blog.

DNS is conceptually quite simple: associate a name with a number. And indeed, for most subdomains it is indeed this simple. But for top level domains (like things get more complicated.

There are two complications: first, that while the mapping really is between a name and an IP address, that address is that of a computer running BIND, not necessarily the IP address of your actual host. The second complication is that one cannot edit root servers directly, but must enter into sometimes complicated financial and technical relationships with other companies.

Spry provides me with a record editor. When I edit my DNS records, Spry submits these updates through the ENOM Registrar, which then updates the 13 root servers. I don't have any direct contact with ENOM or the root servers. I pay spry the registration fee, which includes the record editing tool (although I've seen cases where there are seperate fees for registration and for record editing - a bit like a restaurant charging extra for silverware, IMHO).

Once this rigamarole is working, I still must setup BIND (or some DNS server) on my host. This is fairly straightforward, although my particular host is setup a bit strangely.

This is one of those things that most people pull their hair out the first time, and then forget about it. Kind of like the anger people feel about paying income tax every year - the anger fades and nothing is done. In the same way I feel that setting up a TLD is too complex, but since I've already done it (and can do it again a lot more easily) I feel less motivated to understand the system to the depth needed to simplify stuff.

No comments: