Nameserver Basic: Let’s Look Into How Nameserver Works

If you are accustomed to online life or anyhow handled with Domain-hosting ever, you must have heard the name Nameserver. Whether you understand Nameserver or not, you can nohow avoid dealing with it. Because, at a stage of integration of Domain with hosting Account, you essentially need to fix up Nameserver in the definite field of Domain Name C-panel. Or alternatively you must, at least, be aware of use of this.

Many a man like to put the issue aside as they think if there were a thing like Nameserver, it must have been functioning from an unknown dark kingdom. Thus they ban this fact which limits their orientation about dealing with site and blog-building project.

But friends, truly speaking, understanding Nameserver is an advanced IT fact. If you are the one determined to build up your future by blogging, site building and money making activities or are already engaged in such business, getting knowledgeable of this term will astonishingly increase your confidence.

Nameserver Basic focus image

Those who are newcomer in this field are requested to grasp the following contents before going on—

What is DNS

DNS has two long forms—

  • Domain Name Server
  • Domain Name System

Roughly speaking, Domain Name Server is the server which responds to the Domain Name request through Browsers by users to redirect a user to the associated IP Address for that Domain.
Domain Name System is the whole process of Name Resolution (Turning Domain Name into IP Address) that occurs in connection with the components- Domain Name Server, Namespace, Resolver and so on. If you’re not sure of what is Namespace and Resolver; don’t worry. We’re going to illustrate these later with your own language.
However, Domain Name System is a broader idea than Domain Name Server. Actually Domain Name Server is a part of Domain Name System. But our total illustration will be centered round with the Domain Name Server.

What is Domain Name Server or Name Server

QUESTION: I’m not sure of Domain Name Server. Please clarify this. Is it like Web Server or so?

ANSWER: In easy word, The major functionality of the Domain Name Server is translating Domain Name into IP Address. This is the prime reason why Domain Name System evolved. If IP Address were enough to recognize each device, probably, no such thing as Domain Name System would come into being in the history of Internet.
Now, for the sake of transparent understanding; let’s dive deep into the spreading ground of Domain Name Server.
Suppose, you intend to build a website. What do you need? Mainly you need to purchase two things—

  • Your own Domain Name from a Domain Name Registrar
  • A hosting account from a Web Server hosting company

Now how do people from anywhere around the globe find your site?
In brief, the story goes as follows—

  • Your Domain Name Registrar provides you two nameserver addresses with your Registrar account. First one is called Primary Server and second one is the back-up Server usable is case of failure of the first.
  • You store your site’s files in Hosting Server (computer) by Hosting Cpanel.
  • Your Hosting provider also manages a Domain Name Server together with Web Server. It is essential to know these Domain Name Server and Web Server are the same machine; consequently, hold the same IP. This Domain Name Server by Host usually includes Domain Names information hosted to the company Web Server in the same computer. They provide you two nameserver addresses with hosting package.
  • You replace Registrar’s nameserver addresses with Host’s nameserver addresses form your Domain Name Cpanel or Domain Name account.
  • Your site is on the go among millions in the World Wide Web.
  • Somebody (user) looking for your site, enter the site’s URL (mainly Domain Name) on the Browser.
  • Browser sends request to the DNS (Domain Name Server) via user’s ISP.
  • DNS (Domain Name Server) searches for matching your Domain Name with the corresponding IP Address which is actually the IP Address of your Web Hosting Server which you predefined from Domain Cpanel.
  • If matched, the DNS passes the domain name request to the associated IP Address; in this case to the web server in the same machine where the files of your site are located.

QUESTION: I come to understand I got two nameservers with my Domain Registrar account. These nameservers are supposed to transform my domain name into hosting server’s IP address. Right? Then why do I need to use Host’s nameservers? Can’t I link my Domain Name with Host’s IP other way?
ANSWER: Of course, you can. You needn’t use Host’s nameserver for the purpose of referencing your domain to their IP. You can do that (connecting domain with hosting) by changing A Name from your Domain Cpanel. A Name is the associated IP Address for a certain domain. In Domain Cpanel, just keep the nameserver as it is. Replace A record (provided IP Address) with the IP Address of your Host. You’re done!

QUESTION: We see that nameservers provided by my Registrar or Host serve the same purpose; that is, locating the IP Address of my Web Server? Now question, how is this possible when two company’s nameservers are built on different infrastructure?
ANSWER: Most reasonable question here. Through this question, we can reach the center point of our issue.
As a matter of fact, NAMESERVERS are not the things segregated one from other. All the nameservers around the world are interconnected with one another and thus created a unified single network built up on a common infrastructure. You can also build a Domain Name Server, as part of common DNS network, by fulfilling the requirement of Hardware and Software.
Let’s have an intensive look at more truth about Domain Name Server or Nameserver—

  • All the DNS around the globe are interconnected as if they were a single Server being part of the whole Internet system.
  • To build up a Domain Name Server requires a Domain Name Server Software most popular of which are BIND, Djbdns, Microsoft’s DNS Server etc.
  • Domain Name Server is the first thing you must pass through in order to enter the colorful world of Internet.
  • No other database around the world gets as many request as Domain Name Server does.
  • Domain Name Servers had been developed maintaining stages and layers and so they are hierarchical.
  • In the Domain Name Server hierarchy, the topmost stage is the Root Name Server, 13 in number, lies at different locations around the world.
  • Under each Root Name Server, there are multiple Physical DNS Servers-each for one TLD (Top Level Domain) such as .com, .net, .edu, .org, .biz, .edu etc. In this way, there are about 750 Root Name Server Instances throughout the world.
  • Below the stage of Root Name Server Instances, there are Domain Name Registrars who maintain Name Server with the information provided directly by the end-users or Domain buyers. The DNS that is managed by different Server Hosting companies are also included in this final stage. DNS servers of this stage are referred to as Authoritative DNS server.
  • Unlike other DNS server, only the Authoritative DNS servers store the DNS record information (‘this domain’ is to ‘this IP’) deserving capability to send a domain requester to the desired IP Addrerss.

How does Nameserver system work?

QUESTION: Who operate these 13 Root Nameservers?

Domain Nameserver hierarchy

ANSWER: 12 Companies most of which are from USA operate these Root Servers being named after letters from A to M.

QUESTION: Who coordinates these operators? Or, in other word, is there any coordinating organization or agency for the Root Servers?
ANSWER: Yes, they are authorized by an ICANN Committee named DNS Root Servers System Advisory Committee.

QUESTION: Isn’t it clear that Root Servers store all the DNS records and passes them downward?

ANSWER: Not at all. As I mentioned earlier, DNS record information are stored in Authoritative nameserver.
TLD or Generic Top Level Domain (.com, .org etc.), ccTLD or County Code Top Level Domain (.uk, .in, .bd etc.) and Internationalized Top Level Domain (.gov etc.) collectively make up global list of Top Level Domain that had created worldwide Root Zone.
Root Servers only contain the information about the Root Zone or indicate where the queried TLD is located which is the ending part of a domain name (such as .com in www.toursandtravels.com).
Again, each TLD has their own set of nameservers that store the information about Authoritative Server of a specific domain under that TLD; Or in other word, says who is authoritative for storing the DNS records for that domain.

QUESTION: Now please show up step by step, how, being requested by Browser, does a Domain Name find its destination to the desired IP Address or related site?
ANSWER: Just follow—

  • You enter a Domain Name (suppose www.netplanter.com) in the Browser to reach NETPLANTER site.
  • Your Browser sends the request to the DNS of your ISP. Noted that the ISPs manage a DNS which is called Recursive or Resolver DNS Server.
Resolver DNS Server: It is the server that resolves (departs the whole) the Domain Name and sends query upward to the DNS tree in order for finding the Authoritative DNS if the Domain Information is not found in its record or as saved CACHED data. Contextually, this server also caches data from its previous query. This means if a domain information is found through QUERY and successfully delivered the request to the destination IP, the information remains stored in its database without needing to be queried second time. If further request comes for the same domain, Resolver DNS Server easily responds to that sending directly to the IP Address.
  • The Resolver DNS, if found the domain-related record as cached-up data, it directly sends the user to the desired IP Address.
  • If not found, the Resolver DNS passes the request up to the DNS tree (to the Root Server). The process might have to be done recursively depending on TLD of the requested domain.
  • Root Server locate the corresponding TLD (here .com.
  • TLD passes the request to the Authoritative DNS of the Domain Name under that TLD (here netplanter.com) or to the Authoritative DNS of the sub-Domain (here www.netplanter.com
  • Matching the information recorded in its database, Authoritative DNS sends the request (user) to the correct IP Address or to the site located in the Server device holding that IP.

Hope my analytical analytical article “Nameserver Basic: Let’s Look Into How Nameserver Works” satisfied you mostly. If so, don’t forget comment, friends.

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