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Senior Project - SnakeBound


Internet Domain Name Services Manager

Senior Project: 1999-2000
Andrew Fisher, Aaron Fromm, Kenneth Griest and Raymond Schultz

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a distributed database containing all the information that the network uses for successful communication between hosts. It allows local control of segments of the overall database, yet data in each segment are available across the entire network through a client-server scheme. Name servers contain information about some segment of the database and make it available to clients.

The overall design of DNS allows it to be easily scaled to very large systems. However, this ability to scale to large systems has one major drawback: DNS is very difficult to manage. It is very likely and very easy for an error to propagate its way into one of the system's DNS configuration files. If an error is present in a DNS configuration file, it is the nature of DNS not to work at all and as a result, an entire network could be unable to connect to the Internet. In addition, the complex nature of DNS configuration files makes it inherently difficult to track down and fix any errors that may be present. The task of keeping a DNS configuration file error-free is an ever-present concern among system administrators.

The goal of this project was to produce a system to facilitate the creation of DNS configuration files. To accomplish this in a uniform manner across multiple platforms, this was implemented as a web-based application. The system allows a user to add, edit, and delete DNS information pertaining to their network. While doing this, the system helps to minimize errors that could cause DNS to fail by assisting the user in entering all appropriate information, and by ensuring that the format of information entered is correct. The system provides step by step guidance, with detailed explanations, for adding, editing, and deleting information from DNS. Once changes are made, the system will automatically regenerate the correct DNS configuration files. The system was implemented in Python, using an Oracle database.

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