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Maintaining Strong Cache Consistency for the Domain Name System

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4 Author(s)
Xin Chen ; & Media, Edison ; Haining Wang ; Ren, S. ; Xiaodong Zhang

Effective caching in the domain name system (DNS) is critical to its performance and scalability. Existing DNS only supports weak cache consistency by using the time-to-live (TTL) mechanism, which functions reasonably well in normal situations. However, maintaining strong cache consistency in DNS as an indispensable exceptional handling mechanism has become more and more demanding for three important objectives: 1) to quickly respond and handle exceptions such as sudden and dramatic Internet failures caused by natural and human disasters, 2) to adapt increasingly frequent changes of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses due to the introduction of dynamic DNS techniques for various stationed and mobile devices on the Internet, and 3) to provide fine-grain controls for content delivery services to timely balance server load distributions. With agile adaptation to various exceptional Internet dynamics, strong DNS cache consistency improves the availability and reliability of Internet services. In this paper, we first conduct extensive Internet measurements to quantitatively characterize DNS dynamics. Then, we propose a proactive DNS cache update protocol (DNScup), running as middleware in DNS name servers, to provide strong cache consistency for DNS. The core of DNScup is an optimal lease scheme, called dynamic lease, to keep track of the local DNS name servers. We compare dynamic lease with other existing lease schemes through theoretical analysis and trace-driven simulations. Based on the DNS dynamic update protocol, we build a DNScup prototype with minor modifications to the current DNS implementation. Our system prototype demonstrates the effectiveness of DNScup and its easy and incremental deployment on the Internet.

Published in:

Knowledge and Data Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 8 )