With the support from RIPE NCC Association the Tajik ISP Eastera launched one of 13 root DNS servers in Tajikistan, which serves the Tajik and regional segments of the Internet.

This initiative became possible under the RIPE NCC Public Projects Foundation, which was created to support innovative and socially beneficial projects. Eastera was able to demonstrate all the advantages of the project to launch K-root DNS in the Tajik segment of the Internet, and RIPE NCC selected the company's proposal as one of the best regional projects.

RIPE NCC is one of the five regional Internet registrars that distribute Internet resources and the associated registration with coordination of activities for the global support of the Internet functionality. The RIPE NCC functions as an association of local Internet registrars (Local Internet Registry, LIR). LIRs are large regional Internet providers or telecommunications companies.

RIPE NCC and Eastera coordinate joint activities, exchange operational information and experience within the framework of the project cooperation.

If you ask a regular user what a website is, he/she will probably answer “mail.ru”, “google.com”, “facebook.com”, etc. In a general sense, this is enough - one would find an interesting website and share its link with the friends (Domain Name).

The Domain Name is a symbolic name used to identify nodes in the Internet. Names provide information about the addresses of various resources in the Internet in a convenient form for a human. The common name space of the Internet functions thanks to the DNS (Domain Name System) - a computer distributed system for obtaining information about domains.

Each DNS server responsible for the name can delegate responsibility for the further part of the domain to another server (from an administrative point of view - to another organization or person), which makes it possible to assign responsibility for the relevance of the information to the servers of various organizations (people) responsible only for “their” part of the domain name. 

According to Eastera CEO Maruf Muhammedov, each ISP in Tajikistan has its own DNS server that serves clients within its network and interacts with neighboring networks with which it has a direct connection.

“There are 13 root DNS servers. They have the Latin alphabet designations. One of these 13 DNS servers is K-root. Prior to launching K-root in Tajikistan, user requests for local websites first would go to foreign root DNS servers, the closest of which is located in Russia — L-root DNS — to recognize an IP address, and further were redirected to Tajik websites. It used to take some time. Now identification takes place primarily through the K-root DNS server domestically” says Mukhammedov. In other words, now a user sends the Internet request directly through the Tajik K-root DNS and does not depend on abroad servers.

“It wasn’t intentionally decided to number the servers’ quantity under 13. This is due to a message size limit of 512 bytes, according to the established DNS standard. All 13 root server names fit into the allotted 512 bytes. DNS was mirrored in order to increase fault tolerance, if others are unavailable”, says Mukhammedov.

What is the main advantage of hosting K-root DNS in Tajikistan?

K-root DNS works 24/7, without interruption. Any failure or inaccessibility will lead to the fact that requests for the conversion of names into IP addresses will be processed longer and this will affect the speed of opening web pages.

“With that said, during the Tajik K-root DNS failure, while being in Tajikistan you search for any local website, your request would first go through one of the 13 root servers that are outside of Tajikistan. In reality, this can increase the waiting time for a page to be updated to 60 milliseconds (60 ms is an approximate time for packets to go from Dushanbe to Moscow and back)”, explains Mukhammedov.

Let's take a simple example when root DNS is obviously needed. If the general Internet is unavailable in Tajikistan, i.e. access to the external Internet is lost, the request for Tajik sites will still be processed, since internal resources between the Tajikistan ISPs will still be available, since the root DNS is now located inside the country.

Thus, the existence of this server in Tajikistan directly contributes to the development of local content and contributes to the improvement of the web queries. The implementation of this project contributed in the Internet speed and its availability, reduction of dependency on external DNS nodes and the state of external Internet channels.