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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    IP Numbers 98% of DNS Queries to the Root are "Unnecessary"!
    posted by michael on Friday January 24 2003, @07:12AM

    Wow. Slashdot links to a an amazing report from UCSD looking at 152 million messages received by a root server on Oct. 4, 2002. The researchers found that 98% of the queries were "unnecessary"! Click on 'read more' for a great pie chart with some implications.

    Chart: SDSC/CAIDA, Gail Bamber.
    Click here for full size chart

    Why the needless query ratio is so high remains mysterious, and suggests that something is broken downstream:

    "If the system were functioning properly, it seems that a single source should need to send no more than 1,000 or so queries to a root name server in a 24-hour period," said CAIDA researcher Duane Wessels. "Yet we see millions of broken queries from certain sources."

    Wessels categorized all the queries received by the California root server on Oct. 4, 2002, into nine types. About 70 percent of all the queries were either identical, or repeat requests for addresses within the same domain. It is as if a telephone user were dialing directory assistance to get the phone numbers of certain businesses, and repeating the directory-assistance calls again and again. Lower level servers and Internet service providers (ISPs) could save--or cache--these responses from root servers, improving overall Domain Name Service performance.

    About 12 percent of the queries received by the root server on Oct. 4, were for nonexistent top-level domains, such as ".elvis", ".corp", and ".localhost". Registered top-level domains include country codes such as ".au" for Australia, ".jp" for Japan, or ".us" for the United States, as well as generic domains such as ".com", ".net", and ".edu". In addition, 7 percent of all the queries already contained an IP address instead of a host name, which made the job of mapping it to an IP address irrelevant.

    I would think, though, that if we could fix a significant fraction of this problem, and traffic shrank, the case against lots of new TLDs would be even weaker than it is, wouldn't it?

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  • full size chart
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  • Also by michael
    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    98% of DNS Queries to the Root are "Unnecessary"! | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 7 comments | Search Discussion
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    Not quite fresh news
    by KarlAuerbach on Friday January 24 2003, @08:29AM (#11015)
    User #3243 Info | http://www.cavebear.com/
    The original version of this report came out October 2002 at NANOG 26 in Eugene Oregon.

    In my "day job" I tend to do a lot of interoperability testing - and I can assure you that there is a lot of gear out there on the net that is easily misconfigured, doesn't meet standards, or is badly implemented. And, as this report demonstrates, we all suffer the side effects. (It is worth remembering that an analysis by Christian Huitma a while back indicated that a major component of the perceived delays on the net is due to DNS name resolution queries that have to be retried because the first try was lost by overloaded DNS servers or overloaded paths leading to those servers.)
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Non sequitur
    by phoffman@proper.com on Friday January 24 2003, @02:34PM (#11018)
    User #2063 Info
    >I would think, though, that if we could fix a
    >significant fraction of this problem, and traffic
    >shrank, the case against lots of new TLDs
    >would be even weaker than it is, wouldn't it?

    That would be true only if you believe that the only argument against new TLDs is the load on the root servers. That is not a credible argument. Given that the root server operators have known these numbers for years, they also know that doubling the number of TLDs would not increase the load of legitimate queries all that much.

    Again, the main argument against lots of new TLDs (and this is just one arguement) is that administering them is difficult. ICANN is doing a crappy job of administering the current gTLDs (VGRS can break the DNS rules whenever it feels like it; GNR was only updating its zone once a week; etc.). Imagine how well ICANN would administer a crop of new ones. Until ICANN gets its administrative act together and is willing to crack down on gTLDs that aren't following the rules, adding new ones will only make the DNS less useful.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
      That was strange.
      by michael (froomkin@lawUNSPAM.tm) on Friday January 24 2003, @05:09PM (#11019)
      User #4 Info | http://www.discourse.net/
      Boy, now I am totally confused.

      1) Since when does ICANN "administer" TLDs at all?

      2) What sort of "rules" exist, who is breaking them, and what sort of rules should exist? (Then we can talk about who should make them....)

      3) What set of problems of TLD registry behavior would not be ameliorated by greater competition among TLDs of the sort you would get from lots more? In other words, wouldn't more TLDs be better in every respect (other than incumbents' profits) than fewer?

      [ Reply to This | Parent ]
        Re:That was strange.
        by Anonymous on Friday January 24 2003, @07:13PM (#11020)
        "What sort of "rules" exist, who is breaking them, and what sort of rules should exist?" Here's one example Michael: Where are the Registry reports from Afilias which they were obliged to submit under Appendix U of the ICANN-Registry Agreement? These were a central part of the NewTLDs Evaluation Process, and they were mandatory... part of the accounting for what happened and evaluation of what could be done better. Under the terms of Appendix U, these reports were "open" and available for publication (apart from a very few separate sections) - and most should have been available 9 months ago, some 6 months ago. Why has ICANN withheld them?
        [ Reply to This | Parent ]
          Re:That was strange.
          by michael (froomkin@lawUNSPAM.tm) on Friday January 24 2003, @07:19PM (#11021)
          User #4 Info | http://www.discourse.net/
          OK, that's either rule breaking by Afilias, or ICANN sitting on the report because they haven't gotten around to reading it. But since my point was that I was having trouble seeing what sort of "rule-breaking" problem wouldn't be cured by more TLDs, identifying a report that is relevant only to whether we should have more TLDs is sort of ironic: adopt my view, make more TLDs, you really don't need the report...
          [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    The Argument for New TLD's
    by jberryhill on Friday January 24 2003, @08:05PM (#11022)
    User #3013 Info

    ...is simple.

    Just what TLD's are those 13% looking for?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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