October 31, 2019 to November 1, 2019 AGM
JW Marriott Austin
America/Winnipeg timezone
OARC31 Presentation Videos available at https://youtube.com/DNS-OARC

What's the DNS, anyway?

Nov 1, 2019, 2:00 PM
Griffin Hall (JW Marriott Austin)

Griffin Hall

JW Marriott Austin

110 E 2nd St Austin TX 78701 USA
No longer available: Standard Presentation Public Workshop


Vittorio Bertola (Open-Xchange / PowerDNS)


The recent discussions over encrypted DNS deployment and "applications doing DNS" suffer a lot from circular arguments and talking past each other. In my opinion, this is due to a lack of agreement on the fundamental nature of today's DNS. So - what's the DNS? When you look for a definition, you cannot really find a clear, widely shared one, but most people would say that it is a distributed database. But is it really? When you look at its current uses and properties, the DNS looks more like a direction system, i.e. something that gives different directions to different people trying to reach the same service from different places.

The talk will demonstrate that this is the current nature of the DNS, explore its properties and suggest a more useful topic for discussion: are we happy with this model and if so, can we agree on it and make it work properly in the future?


What's the nature of today's DNS? Is the DNS a database or something else? If we could agree on what it is, possibly it would be easier to discuss its future developments.

Talk Duration Lightning Talk 5 Minutes

Primary author

Vittorio Bertola (Open-Xchange / PowerDNS)

Presentation materials