Browse Definitions:
Definition

recursive DNS server

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A recursive DNS server is a domain name system server that takes website name or URL (uniform resource locator) requests from users and checks the records attained from authoritative DNS servers for the associated IP address.

Recursive DNS servers are required to support the authoritative DNS servers, which  would not otherwise be able to handle the workload created by the huge number of user requests. Recursive DNS servers further distribute this load to make website name requests supportable.

When a user types in  www.whatis.techtarget.com, for example, this address itself does not contain the direction to find the site on the internet. It is only through DNS servers that the IP address is located and used to reach the site (unless the request has been made before from that computer and the response IP address has been cached locally).

Recursive servers are the first ones contacted as the result of a request. Should the contacted server have a cached response for the IP address from an authoritative server with a valid time to live (TTL), it is delivered. If the recursive server doesn’t have the IP address, then it begins its check through the hierarchy of authoritative DNS servers. Authoritative DNS servers in turn have their records supplied by the internet registrars where website owners set up their site names.

DNS servers are a weak point in the internet, as was demonstrated in late 2016 when a wide-scale botnet attack took down access to many major sites.

This was last updated in November 2016

Continue Reading About recursive DNS server

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • incident management plan (IMP)

    An incident management plan (IMP), sometimes called an incident response plan or emergency management plan, is a document that ...

  • crisis communication

    Crisis communication is a method of corresponding with people and organizations during a disruptive event to provide them with ...

  • Zerto

    Zerto is a storage software vendor that specializes in enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery in virtual and ...

SearchStorage

  • SSD write cycle

    An SSD write cycle is the process of programming data to a NAND flash memory chip in a solid-state storage device.

  • data storage

    Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical ...

  • hard disk

    A hard disk is part of a unit -- often called a disk drive, hard drive or hard disk drive -- that stores and provides relatively ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close