June 23 - DNS birthday

Original author: Wired
  • Transfer

Yesterday, Wired magazine wrote about the birthday of the DNS architecture, which is traditionally celebrated on June 23. It was on this day in the distant 1983 that the first test (but successful!) Launch of this system was carried out.

Details under the cut.

On June 23, 1983, Paul Mockapetris and Jon Postel completed the first successful launch of an automated, distributed DNS domain name system. DNS will become the foundation for mass expansion, popularization and commercialization of the global Internet.

The large networks of the time (Arpanet and CSnet) depended on the bulky and exponentially growing “phone book” of addresses called the “host table”. It was a text file supported by SRI International, located in Menlo Park, California. In order to connect to another computer on the network, you needed to know its digital address.

Greg Partridge, another founding member of the DNS system, later called host tables a “nightmare.” Each network user had to copy himself a fresh version at night. In this scheme, "there were many opportunities to make a mistake, and we made them regularly."

“People finally realized that the old circuit couldn’t work forever,” Mokapetris said. He worked at the University of South Carolina, and his supervisor, John Postel, assigned him the task of working out a new system for assigning and recording Internet addresses.

His decision was truly remarkable. It continued to use the digital assignment system, but allowed to reach the remote computer by name. The system was hierarchical and distributed. Top-level domains could denote different types of users, for example .mil or .edu. As soon as a name like berkeley.edu was assigned to the University of California at Berkeley, its system administrator could independently add computers to this domain, giving them numbers and names. An administrator could also delegate individual subdomains.

A few months after the first testing of the new naming system and making various improvements to it, Mokapetris, Postel and Partridge published their idea in the RFC memorandum for November 1983. The system gained significant popularity for several years (with the support of Arpanet project managers in Darpa), initially as an addition, and then a complete replacement of the host table.

The list of top-level domains was officially agreed only in October 1984, and implemented in January 1985, but in fact they already worked at the addresses .com,, edu, .gov, .mil, .net and .org. Since DNS was originally developed to support more than 50 million records, it has been expanded and become international. Now it contains more than a billion records, including all the DNS names that are hidden from us behind the firewalls.

CommandSkyDNS congratulates the creators of the domain name system, system administrators, as well as all Internet users on this wonderful day.

Thanks to this revolutionary idea, today we can access sites using understandable human names, rather than referring to a huge table of IP addresses.

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