Ever wondered what a day in the life of the internet looks like? Nominet has sought to answer that, looking at the .uk’s virtual visitors across just one day, the 5 April 2017, using powerful analytics tools they have built in-house to monitor the UK registry.
To get closer to actual visitors, as opposed to machine-to-machine traffic, Nominet filtered the data using Alexa Top Sites as it’s a list compiled based on visits from web browsers and so will tend to favour humanly-driven traffic over infrastructure lookups. The traffic seen in their animation is created from authoritative DNS queries to .UK domains over 24 hours. The source of the queries is the location of the IP address that the query came to us from – this is likely to be the ISP provided resolver rather than the actual client. In reality, the destination of the query is one of Nominet’s servers which are distributed worldwide, however to simplify the visualisation they have made the destination the location of the domain owner.
Across the day, you can see visits from right across the globe, from Buenos Aires to Tokyo, with the largest number coming from the US, followed by Germany and France. All in all, our infrastructure handled 2.2 billion DNS queries over the course of that day, hitting 37k queries per second at its lunchtime (GMT) peak.
The analytical tools the .uk country code top level domain (ccTLD) manager has developed can do far more than just create cool videos. They are used to constantly evolve and refine our processes and systems to best serve users of the .UK domain. Using this phenomenal power to analyse the DNS, one of the fundamental protocols of the internet, is the bedrock of the cyber security services Nominet says they provide to clients, helping them to monitor their networks for suspicious activity, and identify specific threats and trends.