The Importance of DNS

Yesterday I talked to the GenCyber folks about DNS, the Domain Name System, and described it as a “phone directory for the Internet.”

Perhaps I should think of a better analogy. We can often get along without a phone directory, but not without DNS. We got a demo earlier today when Akamai’s Edge DNS Service failed. (Akamai called it an “issue,” but it failed.) Many web sites, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Delta Airlines, and 30,000 other companies outsource their DNS to Akamai, and they were unreachable earlier today because there was no way to translate something like into an IP address.

The Ars Technica web site has more detail. I found their last paragraph particularly interesting:

The Internet was originally designed to be decentralized and fault-resistant—but as the world’s biggest sites and services coalesce around a few massive infrastructure providers, failures at those providers have increasingly significant effects on the Internet ecosystem as a whole.