I am often asked what I think of multiple root nameserver systems — sort of like the Public-Root or the Open Root Server Confederation (ORSC) pushed by others in the past years. Whenever some well meaning person asks me for multiple roots in DNS, I answer:
DNS is a distributed, coherent, autonomous, hierarchical database. It is defined to have a single root, and every one of the hundreds of millions of DNS-speaking devices worldwide has the single-root design assumptions built into it. It would theoretically be possible to design a new system that looked superficially to be a lot like DNS but which had a multiple-roots design assumption. DNS cannot be 'upgraded in place' to make it into such a system, however. Current thinking in the community is that if we were going to do all the work to completely replace DNS, we'd want a system that did not superficially look like DNS. Is that what you want us to work on?
And if they say "but multiple roots are working for some people!", I respond:
A lot of things can be made to work in a lab that won't work for the world, but this isn't even one of those. The folks who claim to have made multiple roots work are scam artists and they're trying to sell you the London Bridge and if you check carefully you'll see that the tradeoffs they're willing to make in order to get the appearance of multiple-root functionality are not going to be acceptable to anyone without their particular bridge to sell.
If they ask "but WHY can't the existing system be upgraded in place?", I say:
Because coherency was designed into the system as a basic assumption, it's always correct to cache and reuse data according only to the domain name, record type, zone class, and time to live. There is no requirement to keep track of who you heard it from or what naming universe THEY think they're in. So, there can only be one .COM, one .SEX if any, and one. (root), and if more than one party claims authority for the same domain, some hell breaks loose and you'll see lots of extra network traffic, lots of false negative responses, and lots of junk in everybody's syslog files.
Usually they finish by whining "but I WANT it!!!" and so, I tell them:
So what? Everybody wants something. I want a pony. Get over it.
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