[dns-operations] The (very) uneven distribution of DNS root servers on the Internet

David Conrad drc at virtualized.org
Wed May 16 00:12:43 UTC 2012


On May 15, 2012, at 6:06 AM, Todd S wrote:
>>> Asking for fairness and equity (for IP addresses or root name servers) seem reasonable to me.
>> The devil is in the details. Network elements should on the Internet be distributed according to network topology. .

While I agree, the counter-argument to this in Internet Political circles is that it reinforces the inequitable distribution of resources since the network topology is (by definition) defined by the "haves" and not the "have nots".

> I think this is the correct approach.  But I don't think it should be up to the root server operators to figure this out - they put root servers out there in reasonable network locations around the world.

Their (the root server operators) infrastructure, their decision on where to put instances.  Remember that no single entity is in control of the root server operators -- each operates independently (albeit potentially with cooperative coordination if it is in the root server operators business interests (loosely defined) to do so).

> One could logically assume that if a caching server is within a certain radius of a node geographically, they are likely able to route to it (country boundaries/geography may change this, but I did say roughly).  

This assumption is what leads folks to do what Pingdom has done.  It is a common mistake to assume network topology matches geo-political topology.  In many case, regulatory regimes, business rules, etc. result in the exact opposite. I suspect it would be an interesting experiment to actually collect the data to see what the actual correlation between network topology and geo-political topology is for root service.


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