Domain Naming System (DNS)

Last updated: August 12, 2022

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a global naming system that associates more easily memorized host or domain names to numerical IP addresses.

The UW’s primary domain is, though is also frequently usedDomain names are most commonly used for websites; for example, the University of Washington’s primary website uses the domain  Websites that are affiliated with the primary domain may use a subdomain, where the subdomain is prepended to the primary domain. For example, this website uses a subdomain of; Many departments on campus have established one or more subdomains under and UW-IT can also help get other non-UW domain names that end in typical suffixes like .com, .net, .org etc often for grants and projects.

While you may still request static IP addresses or DNS hostnames from UW-IT, we also have available a self-service system through the Networks Portal tool for administrative contacts in our Contact database.  While not strictly DNS, ensure that your contact information is current and in our Contact database and that you are associated with the correct Contact groups through the portal so that you may request proper access and rights to the self service DNS portion of the tool.

DNS Services

UW-IT provides the following DNS-related services:

  • Caching resolvers are provided to the University of Washington campus. These servers cache information that links domain names to IP addresses so that domains can be resolved quickly by cutting out some intermediate steps. The IP addresses of the caching servers are and These are the servers that campus computers should use to lookup IP addresses and names. For most clients this is provided automatically by a DHCP server.
  • Authoritative name service is provided by UW-IT for subdomains of, and for other domains that departments may wish to use (such as For more information, visit requesting a new domain or subdomain.
  • URL Forwarding may be set up as part of a departmental web-page. Information on URL forwarding service.
  • IP addresses (DHCP, Static, and Static DHCP)
  • RFC 1918 address space, or private non-internet routed network spaces, can be used by organizations on their own internal networks, but cannot be routed over the Internet. In addition to P172  which no longer is automatically deployed, we are increasing usage of 10Net space and most new buildings will be configured with large blocks of 10Net addresses and a small public space deployment.
  • Secondary nameservice for departments running their own Nameservers.
  • UW-IT has an internal IP address management (IPAM) tool which we use to allocate available IP address space into subnets, associate contact groups with those allocations, and provide centralized DHCP service through that tool.