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Microsoft outsources some DNS servers to Linux

Will S'Kiddies leave penguin-powered servers alone?

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Microsoft has partially outsourced the management of its Domain Name System (DNS) servers to a firm that is using Linux for the job.

Last week Microsoft's Web server became unavailable to many users first through router misconfiguration and later through a denial of service attack. Networking experts blamed Microsoft's problems on a network domain which they said featured all four of its domain name server on the same network segment - creating a single point of failure.

Following the debacle Microsoft has partially offloaded its DNS servers to Akamai Technologies - which tests suggest is running these servers on Linux.

A number of Register readers have written to us pointing out that using nslookup, or other similar tools, it's possible to see a number of servers in the akadns.com domain are listed as authoritative DNS servers for Microsoft's domains. Full details of which can be seen below.

One enterprising reader used a program called Queso, which identifies an operating system by the way it constructs IP packets. Queso suggests the z*msft.akadns.com domain servers are running Linux, and identifies use of the 2.1 kernel.

Matt Power, of security firm BindView Corporation, said a traceroute on the z*msft.akadns.com reveals that they are geographically dispersed. However he is less sure than other readers that the Akamai servers are running Linux.

He said the Akamai server are running an operating system with an IP networking implementation similar to that of Linux, which may or may not be Linux - but is certainly not Microsoft Windows. ®

Authoritative DNS servers for Microsoft.com are now listed as follows: z6.msft.akadns.COM internet address = 207.229.152.20
z2.msft.akadns.COM internet address = 32.96.80.17
z1.msft.akadns.COM internet address = 216.32.118.104
DNS6.CP.MSFT.NET internet address = 207.46.138.20
DNS7.CP.MSFT.NET internet address = 207.46.138.21
DNS5.CP.MSFT.NET internet address = 207.46.138.12
DNS4.CP.MSFT.NET internet address = 207.46.138.11
z7.msft.akadns.COM internet address = 213.161.66.158

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