Welcome!

Apache Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Christopher Harrold, Janakiram MSV

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog

@DevOpsSummit: Blog Post

Glue Records and Why They Are Crucial | @DevOpsSummit #DevOps #WebPerf

A lot has been written and discussed about Domain Name System (DNS) in the past few days

Glue Records and Why They Are Crucial
By Nilabh Mishra

A lot has been written and discussed about Domain Name System (DNS) in the past few days. The DDoS attacks on one of the major managed DNS Providers a while ago just made us all take DNS issues seriously once again.

So why so much emphasis on getting DNS Right? Like a lot of other people in this Ecosystem, we believe that DNS is not just a metric but a lifeline; a backbone for our online systems. It is extremely important to the Internet as it lays the foundation for the WWW (World Wide Web).

DNS, in simple terms, translates Host names to IP Addresses. The objective of DNS seems straight forward and simple, yet in real life, it has grown to become one of the most complex systems we have today.

All these add more complexity to an already complex system.

  • Domain Registries
  • Global Top Level Domains (gTLDs)
  • Numerous Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs)
  • An ever-growing list of all the new TLDs (.space, .photography etc.)

Since DNS is not restricted to a single machine (being a distributed, coherent, and hierarchical database) and involves multiple hierarchies and entities, ensuring that every hierarchy and entity involved in managing the system is working efficiently becomes crucial. At the top of the hierarchy is:

  • Root(.)
  • gTLD servers
  • Authoritative Nameservers for domains

Every level in this hierarchy has an important role to play in the resolution process of a Domain Name:

  • The Registries (Verisign managing .COM and .NET)
  • Registrars (GoDaddy and Namecheap)
  • Registrants (those register a Domain Name)
  • ISPs
  • Managed DNS Service Providers

We all are a part of this system and it becomes extremely important for us, as Registrants, to keep an eye on how these multiple components are functioning to ensure that we have a stable and well-functioning system.

In this article, we will focus on a very important concept in DNS known as “Additional Records,” or “Glue Records.”

Additional Records or Glue Records
In simplest of terms, Glue records are A records or IP Addresses that are assigned or mapped to a Domain Name or a sub-domain. Glue records become extremely important when the Nameservers for a domain name are the sub-domains of the domain name itself.

The Glue records can be seen under the “Additional Section” of a DNS Response.

Let’s take an example to understand how Glue Records work; assume you have a domain name called “yourdomain.com” for which you are using the following set of Nameservers:

ns1. yourdomain.com

ns2. yourdomain.com

In the DNS Resolution process, the authoritative nameservers for yourdomain.com are ns1.yourdomain.com and ns2.yourdomain.com. The DNS resolution for ns1.yourdomain.com would first require the resolution of yourdomain.com, which returns the authoritative nameservers as ns1 and ns2.yourdomain.

As you may have already noticed, this creates a circular dependency, or other words a Loop, and the resolution never succeeds.

Glue records help in breaking this dependency by providing the IP Addresses for ns1.yourdomain.com and ns2.yourdomain.com in the lookup process, this breaks the loop from getting created as we no longer need to resolve the nameservers for the IP Addresses – these addresses are already provided in the form of “Glue Records”.

image2

In the example above, we see that Glue records helped remove the circular dependency by providing the A Records for ns1.ctrls.in and ns2.ctrls.in which were returned as the Authoritative Nameservers for the domain: ctrls.in. If this was not the case, the DNS Lookup would have failed because of a circular dependency.

For Domain names, which do not use sub-domains of the same domain as Authoritative Nameservers, Glue records help in reducing the number of lookups by providing the IP Addresses for the authoritative Nameservers. Here is an example for Wikipedia.com.

image1

In this case, Wikipedia.org returned ns1.wikimedia.org, ns2.wikimedia.org and ns3.wikimedia.org as the authoritative nameservers for the domain. This would have required an additional level of DNS lookup for Wikimedia.org to get the A/AAAA record for the domain name initially queried for i.e. Wikipedia.org.

One of our customers, a leading CDN provider headquartered in China, reached out to us a while ago, complaining that the A records being returned for two of their Nameservers were incorrect (Old IPs).

When investigating this case, we observed that when doing a DNS Experience test for the Nameservers, the IPs being returned by the authoritative nameservers were correct. However, when running a DNS Direct test to the Nameservers of the Domain using any of the gTLDs (a-m.gtld-servers.net.), the IPs returned were the incorrect IPs.

Digs to the domain name using the command: dig “domain name here” @a.root-servers.net returned the same response as Catchpoint’s DNS tests.

Further investigation led us to believe that this was one of those cases where the changes to the GLUE/Additional record at the Domain Registrar’s end was not pushed to the gTLD Servers.

Catchpoint DNS Monitors
Experience DNS Test For DNS tests that use the experience monitor, Catchpoint randomly selects a server from each level of the DNS route and queries it for the domain.
Direct DNS Test This test provides the complete query and response from the DNS server specified for the test along with the length of time it took to complete the test and any errors received during testing.


What fixed this issue?
Based on our recommendations, our Client reached out to the Domain Registrar for the domain and got the Glue records updated for the Domain. The change made was pushed to all the gTLD servers and the issue was resolved.

This incident emphasizes the importance of monitoring each level as well as each component of this amazingly vast system we know as DNS. Having a Monitoring strategy focused around DNS is not just recommended but is crucial to discover issues that may be under our control or out of our control.

The post Glue Records and Why They are Crucial appeared first on Catchpoint's Blog.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Mehdi Daoudi

Catchpoint radically transforms the way businesses manage, monitor, and test the performance of online applications. Truly understand and improve user experience with clear visibility into complex, distributed online systems.

Founded in 2008 by four DoubleClick / Google executives with a passion for speed, reliability and overall better online experiences, Catchpoint has now become the most innovative provider of web performance testing and monitoring solutions. We are a team with expertise in designing, building, operating, scaling and monitoring highly transactional Internet services used by thousands of companies and impacting the experience of millions of users. Catchpoint is funded by top-tier venture capital firm, Battery Ventures, which has invested in category leaders such as Akamai, Omniture (Adobe Systems), Optimizely, Tealium, BazaarVoice, Marketo and many more.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to great conferences, helping you discover new conferences and increase your return on investment.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "IoT Now" was named media sponsor of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...