University of Maryland

The history of D-Root

The University of Maryland was active in the early days of DNS. During the IETF meeting held from July 27th to 29th, the Name Domain Planning working group met. The working group recorded the following in its meeting report:

“On the second day we held a one-hour meeting with a wider attendance to discuss root domain servers. In addition to the earlier attendees, we also had Steve Wolff (NSF), Marty Schoffstall (RPI) Hans-Werner Braun, and a few others. The impetus for this was the poor root nameserver service available on NSFNET and one goal of this meeting was to get some nameservers established that would provide good service to the NSFNET. We discussed and finally agreed on three new nameservers. Maryland and RPI were chosen fairly early on. Maryland was chosen in large part because it is in a position to service NSFNET, ARPANET, MILNET, and SURANET all equally well. After a bit more discussion we nominated NASA Ames and the third in absentia. Ames is an ideal location due to its connection to MILNET, ARPANET, NASA-Sci-Net, NSFNET?, and BARRNET?. Milo already had one of everything else, so he was happy to take on a root nameserver too. These three servers and the server at Gunter Adam are expected to be fully operational by the next IETF meeting.”

Significant events and milestondes for D-Root include:

October 21, 2002

There was a massive DDos attack on the root name servers. Gerry Sneeringer of the University of Maryland co-authored an analysis report of that event with Paul Vixie (ISC) and Mark Schleifer (Cogent).

June 2011

D-Root started supporting IPv6.

January 2013

In anticipation of moving to anycasting, D-Root was transitioned from its original UMD local IP address (once known as to its current address,

April 3, 2013

UMD partnered with Packet Clearing House to provide expanded anycasting opportunities using the server and network facilities in their various data centers around the world.

October 2015

Wrote a packet monitoring system that examines each D-Root server's incoming and outgoing traffic for the purposes of creating the RSSAC002 Metric data and operational monitoring.

October 16, 2015

Started publishing RSSAC002 Metric data.

March 2016

Participated in the RSSAC002v3 working party.

November 2017

D-Root to moved AS 10886.

May 2018

Transitioned from BIND to NSD.