DNS has been a great hidden mystery to most people who use the Internet regularly. As a Web performance analyst, I see the effects of poorly deployed or improperly maintained DNS services.

Business 2.0 brings this to the rest of you. While sounding a little apocalyptic, it does highlight a problem that those of us who work close to the ground know: DNS is inherently complex and fragile.

Complex in the sense that a single mis-step can bring down a site like Google, or prevent Comcast users from using the Internet (not just the Web). Complex in the sense that the software, even after being re-written from the ground up for BIND 9, requires an incredible level of knowledge and expertise to configure and maintain correctly.

I run caching BIND servers at my home, because I know how easy it is for a DNS outage to take me off the Internet. But the level of knowledge needed to set up that service for 5 computers is incredible.

Services such as UltraDNS and Akamai have made DNS management for large companies a core component of their service offerings. Nominum, home of Paul Mockapetris (father of BIND and DNS), sells a robust and scalable BIND replacement.

The question now is: what next? What could replace the DNS infrastructure? So far I haven’t been hearing a lot of conversation about this, because without DNS, nothing will work.

DNS and name resolution using DNS are integrated into EVERY operating system from phones to supercomputers. So is the question not what will replace DNS?, but what will replace BIND?

Don’t know….