Nominum GNS Server and BIND

Jim Reid jim at
Thu Mar 1 18:51:08 UTC 2001

>>>>> "Erik" == Erik Aronesty <erik at> writes:

    Erik> Jim, How do you decide which features you put in the free
    Erik> software and which get into BIND?

I don't make those decisions and can't speak for the people who do.
However "the free software" and "BIND" are the same thing. The
features that go into BIND are pretty much decided by the community:
for example new DNS protocols, or useful patches from hostmasters who
have particular operating requirements they want the software to
support. That isn't going to change.

    Erik> For example: If someone made a version of BIND that was
    Erik> faster then GNS, or supported new features, would you be
    Erik> open to modifying BIND?

That's a decision for the ISC and its supporters, not me or Nominum.
BIND is the ISC's software. The ISC exists to provide freely available
reference implementations of critical Internet protocols like DNS. If
the ISC felt a faster implementation was needed, then they can gather
the cash and pay someone to do the work. It's their call.

If someone made a name server that was faster than GNS, we'd be
surprised. [We'd probably hire them. :-)] Nominum would have to
consider how to respond to that competition. I can't speak for the
company or what it would do in this hypothetical situation. It's
probably safe to assume we'd compete with an even faster server if
such a thing was possible.

    Erik> Verisign still uses some (perhaps modified) version BIND for
    Erik> the root servers, right?

AFAIK, VeriSign runs one or two root servers and all the root servers
run the same BIND that's available to everyone else.

    Erik> It seems like a bit of a conflict of interest for a company
    Erik> to be maintaining free software that hosts and service
    Erik> providers use - and to be also developing a patented version
    Erik> as well.

Not really. BIND is open source. It always will be. It is "owned" by
the ISC, not Nominum. Anybody can do whatever they want with BIND: see
the copyright notice. Nominum is free to develop its own products and
can make its own decisions about whether these are or aren't based on
BIND, just like any other company could. BTW, our GNS White Paper says
the servers run "Nominum proprietary technology", so you don't have to
be a rocket scientist to guess that the technology is not encumbered by
considerations about the ISC's Intellectual Property.

More information about the bind-users mailing list