Mark Gritter (markgritter) wrote,
Mark Gritter

Replacing DNS

Lauren Weinstein lays out objectives for an alternate naming system. He calls the project IDONS: Internet Distributed Open Name System. I have some opinions on the matter, having thought about many of the issues for my (unfinished) PhD thesis. ;)

Briefly, though, I think his list of objectives misses two important ones:

  • Low-latency lookups. DNS latency can already contribute too much to page load latency.

  • Location-aware lookups. Content distribution networks like Akamai are sort of bolted on to DNS in a way that doesn't entirely work. A new solution should take this use-case (and other "anycast" services) into account.

    More controversially, perhaps, I find one of this objectives to be a non-requirement to any serious effort:

  • No fees nor charges necessary for any name or address operations across IDONS

    The economic model implied by such a goal is neither clear, nor particularly desirable. If I am going to consume resources on other people's servers, some sort of payment seems appropriate. In fact, this could be a criticism leveled at today's DNS infrastructure--- an entry in the .com database costs the same whether it is looked up once per year or a hundred times a second.

    It might not be *feasible* to charge for name ownership in a distributed infrastructure. Or the payment might take the form of a quid pro quo arrangement to host other people's entries. But to assume from the outset that names are free seems potentially disastrous.
  • Tags: dns, economics, geek, policy
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