startup/load time for bind too long

Kevin Darcy kcd at
Wed Nov 20 23:26:00 UTC 2002

Gary wrote:

> Hi all
> We have a nameserver with a hundred thousand domains and the load time
> with bind on startup is about 15minutes.. this is very long.
> Is it possible to reduce the load time with bind?

The only thing that comes to mind is to turn off NOTIFY, so that the
nameserver doesn't send out NOTIFYs and wait for the responses on every
zone that it loads. Unfortunately, if this is the master then if you turn
off NOTIFY you'll have to arrange other means (e.g. a separate utility to
send the NOTIFYs whenever the zonefile changes, or an alternate
replication method) of getting changes propagated quickly to the slaves.

> All our domains point to the one zonefile as they all go back to our
> main site... so I'm suprised there is still such a long delay loading.

You shouldn't be surprised. Any modern OS will cache disk blocks, so
unless your zone file is so large that it overflows the size of your
disk-block cache, the amount of time that named is spending physically
reading the zonefile from the disk will be a tiny fraction of the overall
load time. The vast majority of the load time is being spent (re)parsing
the zonefile and setting up all of the in-core data structures.

- Kevin

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