Domain Name System

what is dns

Domain Name System (DNS) converts names (e.g. to IP addresses (e.g. that are used by networked devices to locate other networked devices across the Internet. It can be compared to a phone book, allowing the user to enter a user-friendly name, and returning the address for that name.

How DNS Works

A domain name is a human-readable name — like — that users type in a web browser URL field. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages these domain names. A domain name and its matching IP address is called a “DNS record.”

In a nutshell, a user types in his browser, which then queries the DNS server for SDSU's IP addresses. The servers return SDSU's address so the browser can request data from SDSU's web host, which returns the elements necessary to build their home page in the local browser.

how dns works

DNS Record Types

The following are commonly used DNS record types:
A Record Address record. A Records map server IP addresses to domain names. For example, to
CNAME Canonical Name record. A CNAME record establishes one domain as an alias to another (thereby, routing all traffic addressed to the alias to the target; the canonical address).
Alias Record Like a CNAME record, Alias records can be used to map one address to another. But Aliases can coexist with other records using the same name.
MX Record Mail Exchange Record. These records will redirect a domain’s email to the servers hosting the domain’s user accounts. Mail exchange records are used for determining the priority of email servers for a domain.

Requesting DNS Records

Requesting DNS Records
All DNS requests must be submitted by the IT support for your college or department. All requests and changes must be submitted by a ticket request in ServiceNow.

Service Overview

  • The DNS Services component includes the following: design, configure, maintain and administer enterprise-level DNS resolution services for all of the SDSU.
  • ITSO maintains the DNS records for, and other SDSU domains.


Please email [email protected] for more information for any questions.