[gtld-tech] Delegated nameservers RFC compliance

Mark Andrews marka at isc.org
Mon Jul 18 21:07:26 UTC 2016

As part of preparations for shipping nameservers that support DNS
COOKIES (RFC 7873) I have been measuring EDNS Compliance in a number
data sets the results of which are available at https://ednscomp.isc.org
along with a online tester.  We wanted how much will break when we
ship BIND 9.11.0 which has DNS COOKIES on by default.

We found there were zones that could no longer resolve if validation
was enabled. Named falls back to plain DNS on certain detected
errors as there isn't time to probe exact failure causes by trial
and error.  Even if trial and error worked for DNS COOKIEs the
problem will get worse as more EDNS features get used.

We found zones that were taking multiple seconds to resolve.  We
were back to the sort of resolution times we saw when EDNS was first
introduced for some zones.

We saw increased queries being needed to be made as servers didn't
correctly ignore unknown EDNS options.

All these errors are easily determinable by running a handful of
queries against each server.

RFC 1034 and RFC 1035 were written assuming that servers delegated
to would be RFC compliant.  Currently GTLD servers are checked and
there is no reason that servers delegated to by the GTLD servers
can't also be checked and the operators asked to fix the faults
detected.  This can be done at both the RFC 1034 and RFC 1035 level
and at the EDNS level.  It is not a actionable condition if all the
EDNS tests fail in a way that indicated the EDNS is not supported.

I would suggest that {E}DNS compliance checking be done within a
week of a new server being registered and delegated to and 1/2
yearly thereafter.  If a server fails a test that the operator /
registrant be informed and the server be retested in a month.  I
would also suggest that compliance testing results and test date
should be record in whois or similar so there is no need to retest
too frequently.

Mark Andrews, ISC
1 Seymour St., Dundas Valley, NSW 2117, Australia
PHONE:	+61 2 9871 4742		         INTERNET: marka at isc.org

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