Point domain name of my zone to name in somebody else's zone?

Kevin Darcy kcd at chrysler.com
Fri May 9 18:38:51 UTC 2014

On 5/9/2014 6:59 AM, Tony Finch wrote:
> Dave Warren <davew at hireahit.com> wrote:
>> On 2014-05-08 15:09, Mark Andrews wrote:
>>> But that does not help when you want a MX record at the apex or
>>> some other record at the apex.
>> I'd argue that it does -- Since the record is now CNAME'd, the MX record is
>> now under the control of the destination of the CNAME record and MX records
>> can still be set.
> Unfortunately CNAME-pointing-at-MX is an interop disaster area owing to
> different MTA's differing opinions about whether it makes sense to rewrite
> email addresses in this situation. Avoid.
>> I actually think that MX records were a boneheaded thing to do, had email
>> started using SRV records in the first place we might be in a position now
>> where using SRV records is the defacto standard if not the actual standard for
>> all services. (No offense to the folks that made MX records happen, I realize
>> that in historical context it was the correct decision and it solved the very
>> immediate problem -- I'm just saying that in an ideal world, SRV records
>> instead of MX records would solved the same problem in a more generic fashion,
>> and would have pushed us to a better place for other protocols)
> It is interesting to look at the old RFCs and see how many false starts it
> took to get to the MX design. Mail was the first heavily virtualized
> application so I think their failure to generalize was forgivable,
> especially since they were also dealing with the massive problem of
> gatewaying between dozens of balkanized mail networks.
> http://stuff.mit.edu/afs/athena/reference/net-directory/documents/JANET-Mail-Gateways.ps
Indeed. Hindsight is 20/20. Mail was the "killer app" for the early 
Internet, and providing a way to route it over the Internet, with 
automatic load-balancing and failover, was a major achievement. Sure, 
the IETF could have spent a few more years coming up with a "generic" 
way to do things, throwing in -- as SRV eventually did -- port 
reassignment, weighting and namespace semantics, but how much would that 
delay have stunted the growth of the nascent technology? Maybe it would 
have resulted in OSI/X.400 surpassing SMTP as the predominant mail 
transport, and we'd all be *miserable*.

                                                                 - Kevin

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