DNS configuration 1

DNS configuration 2

In the first picture, the order when making a query is client -> ISP DNS Server -> Root DNS -> Top Level DNS -> Authoritative name server.

But in the second picture, the order is client -> ISP DNS Server -> Root DNS -> Top Level DNS -> googleplex.edu name server -> compsci.googleplex.edu.

I am wondering if the name server in the purple zone in the second picture (googleplex.edu name server and compsci.googleplex.edu name server) is authoritative servers.


For a registered domain, the authoritative nameservers are defined by the domain holder and given to the registrar to be passed up to the nameservers for the next higher level domain. For example, the nameservers for stackoverflow.com are chosen by SO's admins, given to the domain registrar Donuts, who then passes them to VeriSign (who run the com domain) so that the nameservers for com can return them in response to any queries.

For subdomains of that domain, the nameservers queried first are those defined for that domain, as above. If the subdomain has NS records, instead of whatever type was asked for, then the nameservers shown in those NS records must be returned instead, as they are authoriative. This is indeed a delegation. The client then must query those servers.

This is pretty much exactly what your second image shows.

You can run dig with the +trace option to see this work with any DNS query you care to make.

  • So the answer for my question is no, isn't it? – null Mar 14 at 13:50
  • 1
    @null In that picture, the servers on the right-hand side are authoritative servers for the zones . (the root), edu, googleplex.edu, and compsci.googleplex.edu respectively. – Håkan Lindqvist Mar 14 at 14:39

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