The Internet’s Gilded Age

The rise of the Internet has heralded rapid changes in our society. The opportunities presented by a capable and ubiquitous communications system and a global transportation network have taken some corporations from the multinational to the status of truly global mega-corporation. Good examples of these new corporations include Google, Apple,…


The Root of the DNS

Few parts of the Domain Name System are filled with such levels of mythology as its root server system. Here I’d like to try and explain what it is all about and ask the question whether the system we have is still adequate, or if it’s time to think about…


NANOG 69

NANOG 69 was held in Washington DC in early February. Here’s my notes from the meeting. It would not be Washington without a keynote opening talk about the broader political landscape and NANOG certainly ticked this box with a talk on international politics and cyberspace. I did learn a new…


Addressing 2016

Time for another annual roundup from the world of IP addresses. Let’s see what has changed in the past 12 months in addressing the Internet, and look at how IP address allocation information can inform us of the changing nature of the network itself. The process of exhausting the remaining…


BGP in 2016

It has become either a tradition, or a habit, each January for me to report on the experience with the inter-domain routing system over the past year, looking in some detail at some metrics from the routing system that can show the essential shape and behaviour of the underlying interconnection…


A Postscript to the Leap Second

The inexorable progress of time clocked past the New Year and at 23:59:60 on the 31st December 2016 UTC the leap second claimed another victim. This time Cloudflare described how the Leap Second caused some DNS failures in Cloudflare’s infrastructure. What is going on here? It should not have been…


Let’s Encrypt with DANE

There is a frequently quoted adage in communications that goes along the lines of “Good, Fast, Cheap: pick any two!” It may well be applied to many other forms of service design and delivery, but the basic idea is that high quality, high speed services are costly to obtain, and…


Leaving it to the Last Second

Thanks to the moon, the earth’s rate of rotation is slowing down. It’s a subtle interaction and the modelling of planetary dynamics predicts that the earth’s rotation should slowing down by an average of 2.3 milliseconds per century. But this is not quite so uniform, as the Economist reported in…


Scoring the DNS Root Server System, Pt 2 – A Sixth Star?

In November I wrote about some simple tests that I had undertaken on the DNS Root nameservers. The tests looked at the way the various servers responded when they presented a UDP DNS response that was larger than 1,280 octets. I awarded each of the name servers up to five…


Scoring the Root Server System

The process of rolling the DNS Root’s Key Signing Key of the DNS has now started. During this process there will be a period where the root zone servers’ response to a DNS query for the DNSKEY resource record of the root zone will grow from the current value of…