DNS works on Both TCP and UDP why?

In interview, I have been asked many times – on which protocol DNS works? I say: TCP and UDP both. They ask: why it works on both protocols…that’s it! I say: sorry cound’t answer this question but I know that it works on both protocols. Here is the answer I have retreived from many resources on the web. The answer is very simple: TCP is a connection-oriented protocol and it requires data to be consistent at the destination and UDP is connection-less protocol and doesn’t require data to be consistent or don’t need a connection to be established with host for consistency of data.


UDP packets are smaller in size. Can’t be greater then 512 bytes. So any application needs data to be transffered greter than 512 bytes uses TCP 


We often discuss why services use both the protocols i.e. TCP and UDP. These services can also realy on TCP instead of UDP because TCP is a connection-oriented protocol whereas UDP is connection-less! then why use UDP?


For example, DNS uses both TCP and UDP for valid reasons described below. Note that UDP messages are not larger than 512 Bytes and are trucncted when greater than this size. So DNS uses TCP for Zone transfer and UDP for name queries either regular (primary) or reverse. UDP can be used to exchange small information whereas TCP must be used to exchange information larger than 512 bytes. If a client doesn’t get response from DNS it must retransmit the data using TCP after 3-5 seconds of interval.


We all know that there shouldn’t be any inconsistency in DNS zones – to make this happen DNS always transfer Zone data using TCP because TCP is reliable and make sure zone data is consistent by transffering the full zone to other DNS servers who has requested the data.


Shouting more on this…


The problem occurs when Windows 2000 server and Advanced Server products uses Dynamic ports for all above 1023. In this case your DNS server should not be internet facing ie. doing all standard queries for client machines on the network. The router (ACLs) must permitted all UDP inbound traffic to access any high UDP ports for it to work.


Now talk about LDAP. It always uses TCP – this is true and why not UDP. because a secure connection is established between client and server to send the data and this can be done only using TCP not UDP. UDP is only used when finding a domain controller (Kerberos) for authentication.