The purpose of this paper is to describe the role of the
Domain Name System (DNS). This paper will discuss why it is so important to
have a protocol like DNS, so computers can communicate and transfer data effectively.
This paper will also describe the various types of data communication and
transmissions like IPv4 and IPv6. Also discussed is how the Internet Protocol
(IP) addressing standards relate to the use of DNS. The final part of this
paper will use Compare and contrast of IPv4 and IPv6, what the benefits of each
are and what advantages IPv6 has over IPv4.

IPv4 versus IPv6

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Domain Name Service

Domain Name Service (DNS) uses Port 53 and is a network
service that uses a hierarchical system that takes a web address like
Google.com and changes it into an Internet Protocol (IP) address. This IP
address could look like 173.194.205.105 which is one of many IPs used by
Google.com, in some cases if a domain name such as www.google.com isn’t working and a user could
type in the IP address 173.194.205.105 and will be directed to Google.com. These
IPs can also be translated from 173.194.205.105 to Google.com, this process is
called reverse DNS.

Hierarchy Structure and Role of DNS

DNS as a whole is used in conjunction with other network
services. The services included in its hierarchy consists of Root Servers, Top
level domains, and Subdomains. Root Servers are the first step in the DNS
process, they are used by DNS to answer requests for records and return a list
of authoritative name servers from the Top level domains (TLD). TLDs are the
closing portion of a web address such as .com, .gov, and .edu. These are
installed on the Root Server for use by those searching for an address such as
google.com. If the Root Server is not loaded with a google.com then it will not
know what to return and give an error. TLDs are assigned by the Internet
Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and they are in charge of the DNS root zone.
Subdomains are part of TLDs, such as pagethree.book.com and pageone.book.com
are part of the domain book.com. The main purpose of DNS is to make it easier
for people to visit web pages without having to memorize the IP addresses of
their favorite sites. Instead of visiting 151.101.201.140, people can simply
type www.reddit.com. “No other database on
the planet gets as many requests as DNS Servers” (Brain, Crawford, 2018). Currently
there are billions of websites that have their own unique IP address, a lot of
these IP addresses are changing and being reassigned daily by the IANA. The
role that DNS plays in the hierarchy relies on network efficiency and
particular internet protocol standards so that it may effectively handle the
billions of requests.

DNS and IPv4/IPv6

In order for DNS to work properly it relies on the use of
Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), and the more recent Internet Protocol
version 6 (IPv6). IPv4 is the most widely used IP addressing scheme, but is
quickly being phased out to make room for the more robust IPv6. With IPv4. DNS
must be configured with new standards according to RFC 3596 so that is
compatible with both IPv4 and IPv6. This is done by modifying the query types,
“All existing query types that perform type A additional section processing,
i.e., name server (NS), location of services (SRV) and mail exchange (MX) query
types, must be redefined to perform both type A and type AAA additional section
processing.” (Thompson, 2003). This means that DNS must be backward compatible
and allow a smooth transfer of domain look up by seeing IPv6 addresses and translating
them into human readable domain names like Google.com.

Compare and Contrast IPv4/IPv6

Back in the early development of the internet, IPv4 was
created with over 4.3 billion available web addresses using 32 bit IP addresses.
For the time this was more than enough because not everyone owned a computer,
no one was on the internet, and we didn’t have computers in our pockets. In the
early 1980’s IANA saw that eventually they would run out of addresses for IPv4
and eventually developed the IPv6 standard. The biggest differences between
IPv4 and IPv6 is the structure of the addresses themselves. IPv4 is written
using 32 bits 192.168.123.132, where IPv6 is written in hexadecimal as
2001:0DB8:AC10:FE01:1030:0030:0001:0003, which is 128 bits of data. This allows
more devices to use available IP addresses. Both standards of IPs will have the
same function, they will provide a readable name for DNS to see that Google.com
can use both forms and still generate the same web page.

Advantages of IPv6 over IPv4

In 2018 there will be over 50 billion devices that are
internet capable, with only 4.3 billion available IPv4 address that is a
problem. IPv6 addressing scheme which uses 128 bit address will allow the
available number of address to grow from 4.3 billion to a staggering 340
undecillion plus. Written out that is
340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,456. IPv6 will provide enough
IP addresses “for every atom on Earth, and still have enough addresses left to
do another 100+ earths.” (Wigmore, 2009). IPv6 will soon become the standard
for domains to use, but for now IPv4 and IPv6 must coexist. IPv6 has a
multitude of advantages over IPv4, most of which make IPv6 more secure, faster,
and more flexible. Some other advantages include, No more Network Address
Translation, no more private address collisions, better multicast routing, more
efficient routing, and easier administration. DNS will forever be changed when
using IPv6 by replacing DNS extensions from IP6.int to IP6.ARRPA this means the
mapping for looking up a domain name using IPv6. (Thomson, 2003).

Conclusion

It is clear that since the beginning of the internet, it was
known we needed a large number of available IP addresses. What was not known
was how many would truly be needed by the year 2020. Developing and adopting
IPv6 was the solution that will make way for enough IP addresses until the end
of days. DNS has been utilized to help with this transition so that IPv4 and
IPv6 can coexist and are compatible for use at the same time on multiple networks.