Google DNS – a phone book for the internet – logs 70bn requests daily

14 Feb 2012

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Google’s public DNS (domain name system) – the largest public DNS service in the world – is handling on average more than 70bn requests a day, the search giant revealed today.

As Google software engineer Jeremy Chen explains it in the official Google blog DNS acts like the phonebook of the internet. “If you had to look up hundreds or thousands of phone numbers every day, you’d want a directory that was fast, secure and correct. That’s what Google Public DNS provides for tens of millions of people.”

Google launched Public DNS in December  2009 with the intention of speeding up the web.

Chen explained that about 70pc of Public DNS’s traffic comes from outside the US.

“We’ve maintained our strong presence in North America, South America and Europe, and beefed up our presence in Asia. We’ve also added entirely new access points to parts of the world where we previously didn’t have Google Public DNS servers, including Australia, India, Japan and Nigeria,” Chen added.

He explained that Google has come up with a way to pass information to content distribution networks (CDNs) so users can be sent to nearby servers instead of going long haul.

“Our proposal, now called “edns-client-subnet,” continues to be discussed by members of the Internet Engineering Task Force. While we work with the IETF, other companies have started experimenting with implementing this proposal.

“We’ve also taken steps to help support IPv6. On World IPv6 Day, we announced our IPv6 addresses: 2001:4860:4860::8888 and 2001:4860:4860::8844 to supplement our original addresses, 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

“Google Public DNS’s goal is simple: making the web—really, the whole Internet!—faster for our users,” Chen said.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com