Check out the new USENIX Web site.

Home About USENIX Events Membership Publications Students
LISA 2001 Abstract

DNS Root/gTLD Performance Measurement

Nevil Brownlee, The University of Auckland, New Zealand and CAIDA, SDSC, UC San Diego; kc claffy, CAIDA, SDSC UC San Diego; Evi Nemeth, University of Colorado and CAIDA, SDSC, UC San Diego


The Internet Domain Name System (DNS) is an essential part of the Internet infrastructure. Each web site or email lookup involves traversing a tree-structured distributed database to complete the mapping from a hostname to an IP address. The root and top level domain (TLD) nameservers form the highest level of authority over the Internet naming hierarchy, and are thus potentially involved in reaching any and every URL or email address we seek. We use passive measurements to analyze performance of these critical nameservers from a client network's viewpoint.

We use NeTraMet meters on a university campus to take passive measurements of DNS response time, request loss rate and request load to the root and gTLD (generic top level domain, e.g., .com, .net, .org) servers.

From these measurements we produce strip charts that are useful for day-to-day monitoring of one's Internet connectivity, since they reveal changes in network behavior on paths between one's local network and the global servers without the need to actively inject traffic into the network. We are developing a monitoring tool to produce such plots in near real time.

  • View the full text of this paper in HTML, PDF, and PostScript.
    The Proceedings are published as a collective work, © 2001 by the USENIX Association. All Rights Reserved. Rights to individual papers remain with the author or the author's employer. Permission is granted for the noncommercial reproduction of the complete work for educational or research purposes. USENIX acknowledges all trademarks within this paper.

  • If you need the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download it from Adobe's site.

  • To become a USENIX Member, please see our Membership Information.

?Need help? Use our Contacts page.

Last changed: 30 Apr 2002 ml
Technical Program
LISA 2001 Home