Domain Name System

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domain name system

[dō‚mān ′nām ‚sis·təm]
(computer science)
Abbreviated DNS.
A system used on the Internet to map the easily remembered names of host computers (domain names) to their respective Internet Protocol (IP) numbers.
A software database program that converts domain names to Internet Protocol addresses, and vice versa.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Domain Name System

(DNS) A general-purpose distributed, replicated, data query service chiefly used on Internet for translating hostnames into Internet addresses. Also, the style of hostname used on the Internet, though such a name is properly called a fully qualified domain name. DNS can be configured to use a sequence of name servers, based on the domains in the name being looked for, until a match is found.

The name resolution client (e.g. Unix's gethostbyname() library function) can be configured to search for host information in the following order: first in the local hosts file, second in NIS and third in DNS. This sequencing of Naming Services is sometimes called "name service switching". Under Solaris is configured in the file /etc/nsswitch.conf.

DNS can be queried interactively using the command nslookup. It is defined in STD 13, RFC 1034, RFC 1035, RFC 1591.

BIND is a common DNS server.

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(Domain Name System) The Internet's system for converting alphabetic names into numeric IP addresses. For example, when a Web address (URL) is typed into a browser, DNS servers return the IP address of the Web server associated with that name. In this made-up example, the DNS converts the URL into the IP address Without DNS, you would have to type the series of four numbers and dots into your browser to retrieve the website, which you actually can do. See IP address.

A Hierarchy of Servers
The DNS system is a hierarchy of duplicated database servers worldwide that begin with the "root servers" for the top-level domains (.com, .net, .org, etc.). The root servers point to the "authoritative" servers located in ISPs, as well as in large companies, that turn the names into IP addresses; the process known as "name resolution." Using our example, COMPANY.COM is the domain name, and WWW is the hostname. The domain name is the organization's identity on the Web, and the hostname is the name of the Web server within that domain (see WWW). See DNS records, zone file, reverse DNS, recursive DNS, DDNS, HOSTS file, mDNS, ping, root server and WINS.

Getting a Web Page
Converting the domain name (URL) in a Web browser into an IP address takes numerous queries. Along the way, there can be more name servers than are shown here.

Caching Speeds Up Delivery
If the ABC.COM Web address was previously requested by one of the ISP's customers, its IP address is cached (stored) in the DNS server and returns the IP address immediately. A user's computer also typically caches IP addresses, which can eliminate the DNS query all together if the address is already in the cache.
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This is linked to a public key held by the Internet's domain name system, with the e-mail checked by the mail server, ensuring private and public keys match.
Since then, the volume of Internet traffic and domain name system (DNS) queries on VeriSign's infrastructure has risen from a daily average of 1 billion queries in 2000 to almost 30 billion daily queries today.
Having emerged from potentially damaging neg- otiatios at the UN World Summit for the Information Society with its mandate for operating the Internet domain name system (DNS) intact, executives at Icann might have hoped for brief respite.
DNSone Version 3 is an appliance-based solution that provides nonstop domain name system (DNS) and dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) services for enterprises.
The domain name system was developed in the 1980s to help associate alphanumeric names with the number addresses which the Internet uses as pointers to locations, making it easier for users to memorize and navigate.

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