Here's a complete guide to the Internet's Domain Name System (DNS) and the Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND) software, the UNIX implementation of DNS. DNS is the system that translates hostnames into Internet addresses. Until BIND was developed, name translation was based on a "host table"--if you were on the Internet, you got a table that listed all the systems connected to the Net and their addresses. As the Internet grew, host tables became unworkable. DNS is a distributed database that solves the same problem effectively, allowing the Net to grow without constraints. Rather than having a central table that gets distributed to every system on the Net, it allows local administrators to assign their own hostnames and addresses, and install these names in a local database. This database is automatically distributed to other systems as names are needed.
In addition to covering the basic motivation behind DNS, and how to set up the BIND software, this book covers many more advanced topics: how to become a "parent" (i.e., "delegate" the ability to assign names to someone else); how to use DNS to set up mail forwarding correctly; debugging and trouble-shooting; and programming. Assumes a basic knowledge of system administration and network management.