DNS Cowboys, On the Edge of a New Frontier (2023)

By Charlie Helfinstine, Comcast; De Fu Li, Comcast; Eric Stonfer, Comcast; Joe Crowe, Comcast

With cable wireline users demanding low-latency services for new applications like hosted gaming and virtual reality (VR), Multiple System Operators (MSO) are lowering the latency of critical network services like Domain Name System (DNS) by hosting them on edge compute infrastructure, such as Virtual Cable Modem Termination Systems (vCMTS). vCMTS platform is a multi-site, Kubernetes edge compute platform deployed at scale to deliver the Xfinity 10G Network experience. It has been focused on delivering best-in-class network access services to residential and business customers but is being expanded to support new network service capabilities such as DNS. No other computing platform has been deployed this close to customers inside the Comcast Network. If edge computing is the new frontier, then vCMTS platforms are literally at the edge. Our paper and presentation will outline work underway to host DNS residential caching resolvers on the vCMTS and enhance the multi-tenant capabilities of the platform to host third-party applications. In addition, the integration of vCMTS DNS into the residential DNS cache operations, engineering, and future scaling will be described. Moving network functions like DNS caching closer to the network edge will lower overall DNS latency and enhance the DOCSIS 10G Network experience.

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