In computing, a name server (also spelled nameserver) consists of a program or computer server that implements a name-service protocol. It maps a human-recognizable identifier to a system-internal, often numeric, identification or addressing component.
The most prominent types of name servers in operation today are the name servers of the Domain Name System (DNS), one of the two principal name spaces of the Internet. The most important function of these DNS servers is the translation (resolution) of humanly memorable domain names and hostnames into the corresponding numeric Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, the second principal Internet name space, used to identify and locate computer systems and resources on the Internet.
Domain Name Systems
The Internet maintains two principal namespaces, the domain name hierarchy and the Internet Protocol (IP) address system. The Domain Name System maintains the domain namespace and provides translation services between these two namespaces. Internet name servers implement the Domain Name System. A DNS name server is a server that stores the DNS records, such as address (A) records, name server (NS) records, and mail exchanger (MX) records for a domain name (see also List of DNS record types) and responds with answers to queries against its database.
The top hierarchy of the Internet Domain Name Server is served by the root name servers maintained by delegation by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Authoritative name server
An authoritative name server is a name server that gives answers in response to questions asked about names in one or more zones. An authoritative-only name server only returns answers to queries about domain names that have been specifically configured by the administrator. Name servers can also be configured to give authoritative answers to queries in some zones, while acting as a caching name server for all other zones.
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