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DNS AND E-MAIL

By…..

SUKANTA BEHERA
Reg. No.
07SBSCA048
DNS and E-mail
DNS:
DNS stands for Domain Name System. It is incredibly
Important but completely hidden part of internet. The
DNS system forms one of the largest and most active
distributed database on the planet. Without DNS, the
Internet would shout down very quickly.
When we use the web or send an e-mail
message, we can see it, we use a domain name to do
it. For example:-
The URL http://www.gmail.com contains the domain
name gmail.com. So the e-mail address is like that
“abc@gmail.com.”
Human-readable names like “gmail.com” is
easy for us to remember, but its difficult to
remember the IP addresses that’s why it becomes
in human-readable names. But when we enter the
name of any domain the domain name servers
converts it into corresponding IP address.

IP address
To keep all of the machines on the Internet
straight, each machine is assigned a unique
address called an IP address. IP stands for
Internet protocol, and these address are 32-bit
numbers normally expressed as four “octal” in a
“dotted decimal number.” A typical IP address
looks like this:
70.123.252.42
The four numbers in an IP address are called
octets because they can have values between 0
and 256 (28 possibilities per octet).
Every machine on the Internet has its own IP
address. A server has a static IP address that
does not change very often. A home machine that
is dialing up through a modem often has an IP
address that is assigned by the ISP when you dial
in. That IP address is unique for your session and
may be different the next time you dial in. In this
way, an ISP only needs one IP address for each
modem it supports, rather than for every
customer.
Domain Names
If we had to remember the IP addresses of
all of the Web sites we visit every day. Human
beings just are not that good at remembering
strings of numbers. We are good at
remembering words, however, and that is where
domain names come in.

For example:
www.google.com - a typical name
www.yahoo.com - the world's best-known name
www.mit.edu - a popular EDU name
DNS Services

 Hostname to IP address translation
 Host aliasing
 Canonical and alias names

 Mail server aliasing
 Load distribution
 Replicated Web servers: set of IP
addresses for one canonical name
DNS Infrastructure
root DNS server

 Host at
cis.poly.edu 2
3
wants IP address TLD DNS server
4
for
5
gaia.cs.umass.e
local DNS server
du
6
 Infrastructure: 1 8
7

 Client resolver
authoritative DNS server
 Local DNS server
requesting host
 Authoritative cis.poly.edu
DNS Server
gaia.cs.umass.edu
 Root DNS Server
Distributed, Hierarchical
Database
Root DNS Servers

TLD
com DNS servers ca DNS servers edu DNS servers
Servers

yahoo.com amazon.com ucalgary.ca usask.ca poly.edu umass.edu
DNS servers DNS servers DNS servers DNS servers DNS servers DNS servers

 Root servers and TLD servers typically
do not contain hostname to IP
mappings; they contain mappings for
locating authoritative servers.
DNS: Root name servers
 contacted by local name server that
can not resolve name
 root name server:
 contacts authoritative name server if
name mapping not known
 gets mapping

 returns mapping to local name server
TLD and Authoritative Servers

 Top-level domain (TLD) servers: responsible for
com, org, net, edu, etc, and all top-level country
domains uk, fr, ca, jp.
 Network solutions maintains servers for com
TLD
 Educause for edu TLD
 Authoritative DNS servers: organization’s DNS
servers, providing authoritative hostname to IP
mappings for organization’s servers (e.g., Web
and mail).
 Can be maintained by organization or service
provider
Local Name Server

 Each ISP (residential ISP, company,
university) has one.
 Also called “default name server”

 When a host makes a DNS query, query is
sent to its local DNS server
 Acts as a proxy, forwards query into
hierarchy.
 Reduces lookup latency for commonly
searched hostnames
DNS records
DNS: distributed db storing resource
records
RR (RR)
format: (name, value, type, ttl)

 Type=A  Type=CNAME
 name is alias name for some
name is hostname “cannonical” (the real) name
 value is IP www.ibm.com is really
 Type=NS
address servereast.backup2.ibm.com
 value is cannonical name
 name is domain
(e.g. foo.com)
 Type=MX
 value is IP address
of authoritative  value is name of

name server for mailserver associated
this domain with name
E-mail
(Electronic Mail)
E-mail stands for electronic mail it is a exchange
of computer-stored messages by telecommunication.
E-mail messages are commonly stored in ASCII text.
However, we can send non-text files, such as graphic
images and sound files, as attachments sent in binary
streams. E-mail was one of the first uses of the
Internet and is still the most popular use. A large
percentage of the total traffic over the Internet is e-
mail. E-mail can also be exchanged between online
service provider users and in networks other than the
Internet, both public and private.
E-mail is one of the protocols included with the
Transport Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
suit of protocols. A popular protocol for sending e-mail
is Simple Mail Transfer Protocol and a popular
protocol for receiving it is POP3.
How E-mail Works
Every day, the citizens of the Internet send
each other billions of e-mail messages. If
you're online a lot, you yourself may send a
dozen or more e-mails each day without even
thinking about it. Obviously, e-mail has
become an extremely popular communication
tool.
Have you ever wondered how e-mail gets
from your computer to a friend halfway
around the world? What is a POP3 server, and
how does it hold your mail? The answers may
surprise you, because it turns out that e-mail
is an incredibly simple system at its core. In
this article, we'll take an in-depth look at e-
Steps in sending & Receiving E-mail

Step A: Sender creates and sends an email
The originating sender creates an email in their Mail User Agent
(MUA) and clicks 'Send'. The MUA is the application the originating sender
uses to compose and read email, such as Eudora, Outlook, etc.

Step B: Sender's MDA/MTA routes the email
The sender's MUA transfers the email to a Mail Delivery Agent
(MDA). Frequently, the sender's MTA also handles the responsibilities of an
MDA. Several of the most common MTAs do this, including send mail.
The MDA/MTA accepts the email, then routes it to local mailboxes or
forwards it if it isn't locally addressed. In our diagram, an MDA forwards the
email to an MTA and it enters the first of a series of "network clouds,"
labeled as a "Company Network" cloud.
Step C: Network Cloud
An email can encounter a network cloud within a large company
or ISP,
other largest network cloud in existence: the Internet.
The network cloud may encompass a multitude of mail servers,
DNS servers, routers, lions, tigers, bears (wolves!) and other
devices and services too numerous to mention. These are prone
to be slow when processing an unusually heavy load,
temporarily unable to receive an email when taken down for
maintenance, and sometimes may not have identified
themselves properly to the Internet through the Domain Name
System (DNS) so that other MTAs in the network cloud are
unable to deliver mail as addressed. These devices may be
protected by firewalls, spam filters and mail ware detection
software that may bounce or even delete an email. When an
email is deleted by this kind of software, it tends to fail silently,
so the sender is given no information about where or when the
delivery failure occurred.

Email service providers and other companies that process a
large volume of email often have their own, private network
clouds. These organizations commonly have multiple mail
servers, and route all email through a central gateway server
Step D: Email Queue
The email in the diagram is addressed to someone at another
company, so it enters an email queue with other outgoing email messages. If
there is a high volume of mail in the queue—either because there are many
messages or the messages are unusually large, or both—the message will be
delayed in the queue until the MTA processes the messages ahead of it.
Step E: MTA to MTA Transfer
When transferring an email, the sending MTA handles all aspects of mail
delivery until the message has been either accepted or rejected by the
receiving MTA.
As the email clears the queue, it enters the Internet network cloud, where it is
routed along a host-to-host chain of servers. Each MTA in the Internet network
cloud needs to "stop and ask directions" from the Domain Name System
(DNS) in order to identify the next MTA in the delivery chain. The exact route
depends partly on server availability and mostly on which MTA can be found
to accept email for the domain specified in the address. Most email takes a
path that is dependent on server availability, so a pair of messages originating
from the same host and addressed to the same receiving host could take
different paths. These days, it's mostly spammers that specify any part of the
path, deliberately routing their message through a series of relay servers in an
attempt to obscure the true origin of the message.
To find the recipient's IP address and mailbox, the MTA must drill down
through the Domain Name System (DNS), which consists of a set of servers
distributed across the Internet. Beginning with the root name servers at the
top-level domain (.tld), then domain name servers that handle requests for
domains within that .tld, and eventually to name servers that know about the
local domain
Step F: Firewalls, Spam and Virus Filters
The transfer process described in the last step is somewhat
simplified. An email may be transferred to more than one MTA within a
network cloud and is likely to be passed to at least one firewall before it
reaches it's destination.

An email encountering a firewall may be tested by spam and virus
filters before it is allowed to pass inside the firewall. These filters test to see
if the message qualifies as spam or malware. If the message contains
malware, the file is usually quarantined and the sender is notified. If the
message is identified as spam, it will probably be deleted without notifying
the sender.

Spam is difficult to detect because it can assume so many different
forms, so spam filters test on a broad set of criteria and tend to misclassify a
significant number of messages as spam, particularly messages from
mailing lists. When an email from a list or other automated source seems to
have vanished somewhere in the network cloud, the culprit is usually a spam
filter at the receiver's ISP or company. This explained in greater detail in
Virus Scanning and Spam Blocking.
Delivery
In the diagram, the email makes it past the hazards of the spam trap...er...filter,
and is accepted for delivery by the receiver's MTA. The MTA calls a local MDA
to deliver the mail to the correct mailbox, where it will sit until it is retrieved by
the recipient's MUA.
RFCs
Documents that define email standards are called "Request For Comments
(RFCs)", and are available on the Internet through the Internet Engineering
Task Force (IETF) website. There are many RFCs and they form a somewhat
complex, interlocking set of standards, but they are a font of information for
anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of email.