VeriSign Implements ‘Rapid Updates’ for DNS

VeriSign has implemented an enhancement, called “rapid updates,” to its .com and .net Domain Name System (DNS) servers.

Previously, VeriSign updated DNS servers for .com and .net twice each day by generating a file from its .com and .net registry database and globally distributing it to all 13 of the .com and .net DNS servers.

With the new rapid updates service, it will now be possible for domain registrants to launch Web sites more quickly and to experience “greater continuity” in service when changing hosting providers or modifying domain name registrations.

Because VeriSign’s registry service is used by all registrars offering .com and .net registration services, such as GoDaddy, Open SRS and even VeriSign’s own registrar service in the form of Network Solutions, this registry change will likely have a broad impact on the Internet.

Competitors Supporting VeriSign

But registrars typically critical of VeriSign’s tactics, such as Tucows, which runs the Open SRS registrar service, have come out in support of VeriSign’s move.

“Companies that bundle Web and e-mail services with a domain name, can now provide their customers with the ability to see their new Web sites almost immediately,” said Elliott Noss, CEO of Tucows. “Rapid updates enables us to provide our customers with better levels of service.”

VeriSign manages relationships with more than 200 ICANN-accredited registrars who submit over 60 million domain name transactions daily. Currently, VeriSign’s global registry for .com and .net manages more than 14 billion DNS queries or “lookups” each day.

Positive and Negative Effects

With new, rapid updates, VeriSign distributes updates every few seconds to accommodate changes that affect any of the more than 35 million domain names for .com or .net.

With the new update process, domain registrants can add a new domain name, change their hosting provider or make other changes to their domain name, and see those changes reflected in the .com and .net DNS servers within a matter of minutes.

In addition, with the ability to modify DNS data quickly, ISPs and domain name registrars should now be able to respond more quickly to denial-of-service attacks and Web site outages.

The new service also could give additional weaponry to phishers and spammers, who will now be able to move their operations much more quickly from server to server.

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