[dns-operations] "Top 20 DNS server map shows US internet dominance" (pingdom)
scg at gibbard.org
Thu Apr 26 04:37:48 UTC 2007
On Wed, 25 Apr 2007, Duane Wessels wrote:
> On Wed, 25 Apr 2007, Paul Vixie said:
> This is pretty strange for a number of reasons.
> Mostly it shows who is in domain squatting/typo/after- market. Not too
> surprising that the U.S. leads this greedy business.
> Second, I'd say there are numerous ways to think of the "size" of
> a nameserver (query rate, hardware requirements, memory usage,
> number of zones served). And we all know that these squatters can
> and often do serve all their domains with a single wildcard RR.
> The last comment about east/west coast is funny too. Its no surprise
> that popular nameservers are located where there is a lot of Internet
Having done something vaguely similar (see the current Internet Protocol
Journal if you haven't already gotten sick of hearing me talk about
locations of DNS infrastructure), I understand the impulse to do what they
did. However, they're both measuring the wrong things and measuring them
Others have already covered how the domains on the biggest name servers in
terms of number of domains appear to be among the least important
operationally, so I'll leave that alone.
They claim to be looking at the locations of the DNS servers, but then say
that they determined the "locations" by looking at the registration
addresses in whois. For instance, the two nameservers they identify by
name, ns1.fabulous.com and ns2.fabulous.com, are listed on their map as
being in Cary, North Carolina, while when I traceroute to them (from an
SBC DSL connection in the San Francisco Bay Area), both of those servers
appear to be in a Savvis datacenter in Santa Clara.
More interesting is the question of what to measure if you wanted to see
what regions dominated hosting. Locations of non-parked non-squatted
websites? Locations of DNS servers for non-parked non-squatted domains?
IP addresses assigned to non-DSL non-cable ISPs? Big traffic destinations
for port 80 traffic in ISP flow data?
That said, their East Coast/West Coast observation about Internet
infrastructure in the US appears pretty accurate, even if the data that
went into it looks all wrong. I saw the same thing in my look at DNS for
the root and TLDs. It's also apparent if you look at where the major US
exchange points are, so it isn't a surprise to anybody who's spent much
time working on the Internet. What is striking is how different the US is
from Europe in that regard. Europe has exchange points and root name
servers spread all over the place, and while it has some that are
certainly more important than others, it doesn't have anywhere that
dominates on the level that Ashburn or Palo Alto and San Jose do in the
US. The US Internet distribution also looks pretty different from the US
distribution of population, or of other sorts of infrastructure. Both the
Internet and the Interstate highway system (to pick one example) have big
holes in the unpopulated non-Costal West, but the highway system stays
pretty dense from the East Coast to the Mississippi River, while other
than in Chicago the Internet mostly sticks to the coasts.
It's also striking how wrong their results look for Europe, or for East
Asia. But when measuring something that's only incidentally related to
what they claim to be studying, I don't suppose that's surprising.
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