how many roots must DNS have before it's considered broken (Re: ISP network design of non-authoritative caches)

Simon Higgs simon at
Mon Nov 19 22:27:56 UTC 2001

At 05:21 AM 11/19/01 +0000, you wrote:

>Once we start down the slippery slope of "I'm a root too", how
>many different ad hoc DNS "universes" (for lack of better
>term) must we have before we decide that things are "broken"?

Two. That happened back in 1996 when the IANA TLD applicants began getting 
their glue added to AlterNIC. Today lack of entry in the root has created a 
dozen or so more alt.roots. Now people are beginning to notice the 
consequences (i.e. the .US zone is now causing cache pollution outside the 
legacy root since it's using the ICANN .BIZ name servers - and that .BIZ 
isn't recognized by all the alt.roots).

But it's OK. Really. There's only one root. Honest. Except for this one, 
which is being run with all the usual I* blessings:

>Maintaining a single, authoritative root seems, IMHO, to be a
>Good Thing.  Given multiple registries, namespace collisions
>would get ugly -- and, even in the absence of collisions, let us
>consider "reachability" issues.

That's the point. Getting the alt.root "universes" to cooperate is an 
exercise similar to "cat herding", but it has to start somewhere.

Best Regards,


DNS is not a sacred cow that cannot be replaced by something better.

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