Title of Service: Domain Name System Service

Status of Document: This document describes services offered in June 2011.

1. Introduction

1.1 The Domain Name System provides the name to address mapping function for the Internet. It exists as a distributed database across the Internet maintained by a process of delegated authority. The Oxford name servers are authorised to store and supply naming information about computers in the ox.ac.uk domain. Some other domains owned by the University or associated with University projects are also delegated to the Oxford name servers. OUCS manages the Oxford name servers, but authorises local network administrators to perform updates to their particular sub-networks.

2. Summary of OUCS’s responsibilities

Hours of Service

2.1 The service operates at all times.

2.2 Operator cover is provided from 08:30 to 20:30 on weekdays. Periodic monitoring takes place outside these hours, and informal arrangements exist for staff to be called, but no funding is provided to make this contractual.

2.3 If a fault is notified between 09:00 and 17:00 on a working day, OUCS will commence investigation and correction within one hour (provided that no similar fault is also being handled by the same team).

2.4 If a fault is notified outside these hours, OUCS will use its best endeavours to attend the fault, but no funding is allocated to this purpose.

Serviceability Targets

2.5 It is intended, as far as is possible, to maintain service of all components at all times.


2.6 The service is replicated on three servers. Client software allows for fail-over from one server to another, and all delegations at the root servers provide two alternatives.

2.7 The machines providing the service are distributed between the 129.67 and 163.1 networks.

2.8 A fully configured stand-by server is maintained outside OUCS.

Alternative Facilities

2.9 No alternative exists to these facilities.

Hardware and Software Maintenance

2.10 The machines used are maintained under warranty by the suppliers.

2.11 Software updates are applied by OUCS staff – this is done on a machine-by-machine basis, with no interruption to service.

System Development

2.12 There is no scheduled development time.

Administration and Support

2.13 Information for departmental and college system administrators is given at

2.14 The preferred mechanism for updating the Oxford University hosts database is by a web-based interface provided at https://networks.oucs.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/perl/networks/dns. Zones other than ox.ac.uk and related reverse-DNS zones are still managed manually, by email to hostmaster@ox.ac.uk.

3. Information

2.15 Notification of faults, outages, etc is circulated on the mailing list itss-announce@maillist.ox.ac.uk

4. Fault Reporting

2.16 Faults should be reported to hostmaster@ox.ac.uk. OUCS will liaise with department and College computing officers: no end-user support is provided.

5. Education and Training

2.17 Not applicable.

6. Summary of client’s responsibilities

3.1 The requirements for University systems to make use of these services are given at http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/network/dns.

3.2 The client will provide contact details of the person with responsibility for departmental and college networks, with whom OUCS can liaise over address problems, etc.

7. Premium services

4.1 Not applicable.

8. Logging

Logs are kept of queries to the authoritative and resolving servers. Logs are retained for 90 days.