Yesterday was not good for folks who use Google’s Resolving DNS services (known as Google DNS). Indeed, many users – not surprisingly – were flipping out when they were unable to visit any website or correspond via email.  Many users took to their mobile devices, which were hopefully not using Google DNS, to look for fixes. A number of outlets, such as Gawker, Gizmodo, and Geekosystem covered the story and explained what was going on. Lifehacker offered help on solving the issue.

So, what exactly was the problem? What is DNS anyway, and why did this affect so many users?  How does this resolving name server play into the picture and how does it work with an Authoritative name server?

When your client (i.e. your Web browser) needs to connect to a website, it will need the IP address of the site.  This IP address is found by the operating system asking the “resolving name server.”  This resolving name server is configured within your network or within your operating system.  In the instance of yesterday, everyone had configured their systems to use Google DNS name servers.

The resolving name server will then take the request and ask authoritative name servers (this is what DNS Made Easy provides) for the IP address of the website.  This is then given to the web client to make the query.

Resolving name servers are crucial for your everyday Internet access.  With any major outage new lessons are being learned about what can be done to prevent downtime for users when using services like Google DNS.  We will be reporting back as soon we see more activity and details in this case.

For a detailed explanation of what a resolving name server is, and what an authoritative DNS server is.  Please view http:///www.learndns.com.