DNS Name Resolution Techniques: Iterative and Recursive Resolution

Conventional name resolution transforms a DNS name into an IP address. At the highest level, this process can be considered to have two phases. In the first phase, we locate a DNS name server that has the information we need: the address that goes with a particular name. In the second phase, we send that server a request containing the name we want to resolve, and it sends back the address required.

Somewhat ironically, the second phase (the actual mapping of the name into an address) is fairly simple. It is the first phase—finding the right server—that is potentially difficult and represents most of the work in DNS name resolution. While perhaps surprising, this is a predictable ...

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