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Domain Name System (DNS)

Web-based DNS & Domain Name Registration Form

The Domain Name System provides the mechanism for translating Internet domain and host names for network-attached devices into numeric Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) addresses. The Domain Name System makes using TCP/IP-based applications much more user-friendly by enabling users to specify network services by name rather than number. 

The DNS also provides infrastructure for distributing the database of address-to-name mapping. The mapping database is distributed in a hierarchical fashion throughout the Internet so that an organization can maintain its own portion of the global database while still having access to all other names. For further information see 

ITS Internet Name Services for NC Public Agencies

ITS maintains the primary DNS server for state agencies and other organizations that get their Internet access from ITS. ITS coordinates with the North Carolina Education and Research Network (NCREN) to provide secondary (backup) servers for all ITS network clients. Any agency may choose to operate its own DNS server and "take over" a portion of the name database. 

ITS will support the initial setup and configuration of client-site DNS servers as well as provide a secondary DNS server. ITS recommends that clients familiarize themselves with the operation of DNS before considering this approach. 

ITS has been delegated certain subdomains within the .US domain name space for public entities within North Carolina. As an example of a .US subdomain, RFC1480 names state government agencies as * (e.g., NC Department of Transportation is Other types of subdomains exist for a variety of entities, including, but not limited to, the following: * for elementary and secondary schools; * for community colleges; and, * for libraries. 

In addition to .US domain names, ITS also provides name service to public entities using domain names ending in .com, .org, .net, .info and .biz.

ITS recommends that you register each network device in the DNS database. Although in most cases it is not required in order for TCP/IP-based applications to work, many Internet information providers now verify that any computer that connects to their service exists in the global DNS database before allowing a connection. Many other providers (including ITS) use the name of connecting systems when collecting statistical information. This technique will ensure that destination addresses are names instead of numbers, a practice which allows for greater flexibility during network changes and agency moves. Finally, registration of all attached devices in the DNS database is the recommended method of tracking which TCP/IP addresses are in use to avoid address duplication.

DNS Registration

When registering a hostname in the DNS database, provide ITS with each host TCP/IP numeric address and its associated hostname (must be unique within a domain). If a hostname has aliases, specify the primary name and which names are aliases. 

Example: - - (alias to
Use our Web-based DNS & Domain Name Registration Form to register a hostname, IP address, mail exchanger, or range of hostnames and IP addresses in our DNS database.

Although we try to work requests the day they are received, registration should be completed within two working days. This window may be occasionally exceeded when the volume of requests increases. 

E-mail only technical assistance questions to: Hostmaster receives a large number of inquiries; therefore, domain registration should be done through the Web form. 

Problems should be reported to the Customer Support Center. Telephone 919-754-6000 or 800-722-3946. 

Fax only if necessary to: (919) 850-2854. (Allow extra time for service when using Fax.) 

U.S. Postal Service mail (allowing extra time for service) to:
4115 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4115
Domain Name Registration and Modifications

If you wish to register a new domain name through ITS, or modify a registered domain name for which ITS is either named as the technical contact and/or provides name service to, send your request according to the instructions below.

We prefer that agency's use ITS for secondary name service and that they use their own or their ISP's (Internet Service Provider) DNS for primary service. In certain situations ITS will provide both primary and secondary name service.

For .US Domain names, submit requests using the domain registration option on our Web-based DNS & Domain Name Registration Form

For .ORG, .COM, .NET, .INFO and .BIZ names, submit requests using the domain registration option on our Web-based DNS & Domain Name Registration Form. You will be billed directly by Network Solutions for your domain name registration. You may register your name for between two and ten years. Costs for registering these domain names as of December 16, 2002 are $17/year for .org, .com and .net extensions, and $10/year for .info and .biz. Prices are subject to change without notice. 

For delegation of other domains, including in-addr domains, submit requests via e-mail to

Domain name requests are usually completed with 24 hours but can sometimes take longer depending upon the workload of the registrar. 

If you elect to register or modify a domain name through anyone other than ITS, and you are already receiving or intend to receive name service through ITS, please assign ITS as the technical contact. Our NIC Handle is HOS733-ORG. Also, we ask that you perform a traceroute to both of our secondary name servers (see below) and note their relative performance. Typically you can specify more than one secondary name server for your domain name. We ask that you specify the faster name server first on the registrar's domain name registration form and the slower one second.

Computer System Configuration Information

In order to use the DNS, each computer system must know what domain it belongs in and the primary and secondary DNS servers for that domain. This information is typically stored in a file called resolv.cfg on DOS/Windows systems and resolv.conf on UNIX systems. A typical configuration looks like the following: 
The domain name shown above must be modified to reflect the local domain name. A local LAN administrator will provide this information. ITS has both primary and secondary name servers. NCREN provides additional secondary name service for ITS clients. Our name server and technical contact information is as follows:
Primary Name Server
Secondary Name Server(s)
Technical Contact "NIC Handle"

If your agency is running DNS for its domain, use your local DNS server as the primary server (first in the config file), and configure the ITS and NCREN nameservers as secondary servers. 

This way to our Web-based DNS & Domain Name Registration form.

For further information e-mail
or call our Service Desk at 919-754-6000 or 800-722-3946. 

This page was last updated June 23, 2005.