looking for a secondary.

Matthew Seaman m.seaman at infracaninophile.co.uk
Wed Dec 17 10:55:12 UTC 2008

Gary Kline wrote:

> 	well, i've certainly asked more ignorant q's, so hrer goes:
> 	what is a ``zone''?  i do my own dns and have since 04/2001.

A zone is a group of related DNS records all under the same administrative
control.  'Related' meaning they all end in the same sequence of labels.  Zone
boundaries are determined pretty much by delegation to another set of DNS

So there's a '.org' zone containing primarily the NS records for all the 
domains registered under .org.  This is distinct from the 'thought.org'
zone you control and here all the sub-entries like www.thought.org or
plato.thought.org are part of the same zone.  It's not an entirely cut and
dried definition, but you can think of a zone as 'the chunk of the DNS space
that one person controls.'

> 	thought.org is my one domain, altho i've got several virtual 
> 	websites.  

'domain' in DNS-speak is any sequence of labels[*] known to the DNS.  So
even if the DNS data is a host name, an e-mail address, the name of a
whole network, a crypto key for DKIM or DNSSEC or some aggregate service name
hosted across several different servers via SRV records, they're all domains.
Domains can be absolute (ie. from the root of the DNS) or relative to some
intermediate domain.

ie. 'thought.org' is your only zone, although you've got several domains
within it for virtual websites.



[*] And a 'label' is a sequence of characters not including the separator
character '.' -- a domain is hence a sequence of labels joined together
by '.' characters.  It's conceptually like the distinction between filename
and path 

Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                  Flat 3
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey     Ramsgate
                                                  Kent, CT11 9PW

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