Just got on this thing (perhaps very belatedly) - root server trouble?

Karl Denninger karl at Mcs.Net
Tue Feb 18 23:57:29 UTC 1997

> On Tue, 18 Feb 1997, Karl Denninger wrote:
> [...]
> > What do you think happens to the nameservers on the net when they're asked
> > for a domain that doesn't have functional servers, and they sit and churn
> > trying to resolve the names?
> > 
> > BTW, churn is the right word.  Its taking anywhere from 5-10 *seconds* to
> > come back as NXDOMAIN on each request for those that fail to resolve, and
> > this is from the IANA roots.
> So aside from programs like yours, who ever asks for domains that
> aren't in use?  

How much bounced mail to postmaster do you see due to unresolvable domain
names?  I see lots, and every one of those churns and does the "wait for 
the NXDOMAIN response" thing -- in Sendmail, or some other tool, but the
point is that this DOES impact service.

> > This IS a functional problem - and worse, all those non-existant zones and
> > the VM churn they generate on the COM TLD servers is probably the REASON
> > that we're looking at this kind of horrid performance!
> Thats fair, I guess.  Perhaps some of those $100 in fees for unused
> domains could be used to buy more RAM for root server operators.
> --
> Matt Ranney - mjr at ranney.com
> This is how I sign all my messages.

VM churn is a serious problem; its not just RAM space that causes (or fixes)
it.  There are a fixed number of contexts in a processor, and those contexts
and VM page groupings are also of fixed size.

At some point you thrash the VM system even if you can fit it all into RAM
(God help you if you have to go to page space in a production system!)

You're also assuming that NSI is getting the $100 fees.  Why would you pay
if you never intended to actually use the domain?  You wouldn't.  This
correlates rather well with the crying that NSI has been doing in the trade
press recently about how horrible their financials REALLY are, despite
appearances to the contrary.

Hell, if they only took real registrations as opposed to shams, by my best
guess right now they'd drop the load by anywhere from 30 to 60 percent, and 
in ADDITION to that the other root servers, all but one of which they DO 
NOT pay for, would be more efficient for everyone.

Has nobody looked at this before?

Speaking of which, you folks *do* know that with the NSI TLDs on the root
servers that they basically get 90% of their nameserver infrastructure,
distributed at that, for free, and 4 out of the 10 "normal" servers are
actually paid for with government funds (directly or indirectly; two are
DOD, and two are public universities), right?

Karl Denninger (karl at MCS.Net)| MCSNet - The Finest Internet Connectivity
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