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[O'Reilly DNS book]

I've been familiar with the Domain Name System for many years, even before the modern world wide web, as I learned the ins and outs of routing email in an environment of mixed domain-based (@) and uucp-based (!) addressing. I don't miss uucp even a little bit.

But understanding how the DNS works, and how to properly and safely configure these services is crucial to running a safe and efficient internet presense.

I've been registering domain names since 1988 and have had a fulltime internet connection in my home office since 1994. I am very comfortable with the entire domain registration process and host more than a hundred domains on my network of nameservers.

My Network Solutions NIC handle is SF22, which gives some indication as to how long I've been doing this.

DNS Configuration on your Server

My DNS server of choice is BIND 9 from the Internet Software Consortium, primarily on the UNIX/Linux platform. I've been using it extensively since BIND version 4 and have become adept at building and installing BIND in a secure, chroot jail in short order.

I've written up some notes on how to do this yourself in a BIND 9 Tech Tip, but I can be retained to build everything directly on your system. I build the software, create the jail, and set up the boot-time scripts so that the nameserver launches automatically at startup. It's usually install and forget.

Zone Management Software

For installations with "busier" zones, I can create scripts that maintain the zone files for you, so that editing a simple text file and typing "make" fully updates your nameservers without risk of a syntax error bringing down your entire domain. One customer maintains hundreds of domains with my perl-based tools.

Domain Ownership Research

I'm very adept with "whois" tools, and I've been retained before to research the real owner of a domain-name "squatter" in order to allow the customer to file an ICANN complaint. It turned out to involve much more than just "whois" research: there was a network of related domains that had to be uncovered, and I created custom perl-based web-scouring software to help reveal these associations. My report to the customer included more than one hundred domain names registered by the party in question that had not yet been discovered.