DNS hosting

Not planned

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    rotblitz

    Yes, but this is not the business and service provided by OpenDNS. They provide recursive DNS, not authoritative DNS.

    You wouldn't go to Ford with the idea to produce also vacuum cleaners and coffee machines, would you?

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    briangallew

    Having set up more than one authoritative DNS service in my career, as well as more than one recursive DNS server, I think I can state with some authority that providing authoritative DNS services is not, in fact, extremely different than providing recursive DNS services.  In fact, assuming that OpenDNS uses any of the major DNS packages, pretty much every one can do both authoritative and recursive, depending upon configuration.  Further, if you think that OpenDNS isn't running authoritative DNS services already, then I suggest you learn to use the "whois" command.  You analogy is completely without merit.

    A quick list of technical requirements to provide such a service include: DNS servers (covered), web servers (you're currently looking at one), data repository (forum software is almost universally database driven), payment processing (already in place) and (OK, this is the biggie) a web application with appropriate backend processing to generate/push configs.  To be realistic, they would probably have to extend their web farm somewhat (though maybe not, I don't actually know how they are provisioned) as well as ensuring they have a resilient database service (probably already exists to drive the existing product).  The biggie here is a web app for providing a user interface.  That's non-trivial to write.  While an RoR or Django or other framework product would be quick to spin up, scaling is something you want to have figured out before you have users, and so it would take a significant effort to provide a production-ready product.

    When you get right down to it, there are no technical hurdles which are not well within OpenDNS' capabilities to provide.  The primary obstacles, in my mind, are two-fold: would it be profitable, and will it be profitable enough to go through the hassle of becoming a registrar.  The first item is not something I could answer.  Certainly there are a bunch of crappy registrars out there that have low prices and even lower capabilities, so there's money in that arena, but is there enough room in the market to support yet another entrant?  The second item, though, is the big issue.  To do that, you're going to have to get legal involved to ensure you are acting in according with the laws of all the countries in which you might want to operate.  You're probably going to need a ton of things of which I'm completely unaware (bonds?  Insurance? agreements with various entities).

    If it matters, I'm a professional systems administrator with over 24 years of experience in the field.  I have implemented everything in the technical requirements list in several different companies, so I'm pretty sure I know what I'm typing about here.

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    rotblitz

    Needless to tell me all of this, I knew it. I better don't tell you about my ICT history...

    If you look again at my first response, my concerns were in no way of a technical nature, but purely business and market related. It seems I need to expand on this:

    • David Ulevitch, the founder and CEO of OpenDNS, operated at least one DNS hosting service (EveryDNS.net) even before OpenDNS. He sold that off to a competitor some two years ago. A clear sign that there are no plans to step into that market.
    • There are so many DNS hosting services in between, even reliable free ones (I use several of them), so that it is not really a good business idea to step into that market at all. You'll not be able to make any significant money out of it, and what else would be the motivation to start it. As said, even free services are already widely spread in the internet landscape.
    • Just to have already a kind of related infrastructure is far not sufficient. As you said, you need new web and other appliations for the maintenance and administration of the DNS hosting, and you need additional maintenance efforts, e.g. automatic and manual checks for broken and abandoned zones, support of customers via web (instructions, knowledge base, FAQ, ...) and ticket system or e-mail, therefore additional technical and maybe business personnel resources, also in other depts like financial, sales and marketing, and probably much more. Not to forget the viable risks and hassles brought by people abusing a DNS hosting service for criminal and other malicious purposes. All of this costs, and without making money out of this business, I really can understand why they don't plan for this. I wouldn't do it either except for laboratory purposes as a hobby...
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    briangallew

    Thank you for that.  So it would seem that while we're both aware of the issues at hand that operate against such a choice, you are assuming decisions and choices on their part.  I'm much more interested in OpenDNS' decisions than in speculation.

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    rotblitz

    I didn't deem my statements being speculative or assumptions. Facts are generally not speculative.

    If one would say: "It is raining."

    You'd say: "There's a possibility that you or your umbrella may become wet."

    I'd say: "You or your umbrella definitely will become wet."

    What sight is far more realistic?

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    Brian Hartvigsen

    This is not something we plan to offer at this time.

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