What qualfies a namespace?

Edward Lewis Ed.Lewis at neustar.biz
Mon Oct 23 13:19:51 UTC 2006

At 17:37 -0700 10/20/06, April wrote:

>Thanks Edward for your time and efforts ...
>In the example, I think if we use forward, in addition to delegation,
>you can still get by, even without a root.

You can always get by without a root.  A root is not required.

If you are running a name server that is part of a larger system, 
with someone else running a root zone, then there is no need to have 
root on your machine.  In fact, you should not have a root zone on 
your machine.

If you are running the entire DNS system (name space for your 
application), you can use forwarders and other mechanisms to avoid 
having to have a root zone.  My caution is that setting up and 
maintaining a system of forwarders and specially crafted root hints 
files will prove to be complex and costly.

But you can, and people do, succeed in running without a root zone.

>In such a no root environment, do we still call it a namespace, or
>directly call the individual domains?

You can call it a name space.  But what you call it does not matter 
to the operations of DNS, the protocol and software is not concerned 
with that name.  Ultimately, in DNS all that matters is the 
arrangement of the domains because that is how data is referenced 
(the QNAME).

>Then if I only have son.father and grandson.son.father two domains, can
>I refer them to my top domain and my subdomain.  As I do not have a
>root, so I can care less about the absolute levels from the root, if it
>was there.

Yes, you can do that.

If you only have one server and two domains, then having no root can 
be manageable.  What I said about "complex and costly" applies to 
large DNS applications.  The cost and complexity of not having a root 
zone scales (I'd bet) greater than linearly when you have an 
increasing number of domains, servers, and organization (DNS 
administrators) involved.

Edward Lewis                                                +1-571-434-5468

Secrets of Success #107: Why arrive at 7am for the good parking space?
Come in at 11am while the early birds drive out to lunch.

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