Understanding DNS SOA Records via simple analogy

Let’s keep aside the techy hocus-pocus about what’s a SOA record is, and let’s understand it via an everyday common analogy:

Think about a normal suitcase that we carry to the airtport for our flight. The suitcase is zip-shut and locked with all the contents inside. To identify the suitcase, we attach a PAPER LABEL on it, which shows the owner’s name, address, phone, flight# etc. Without that PAPER LABEL, no one would be able to know about the OWNER of that suitcase. And yes, we use ONE paper label PER suitcase.

Now, let’s connect this analogy with our SOA…

  • SOA = PAPER LABEL stuck on the suitcase.
  • DNS Zone = The suitcase itself.
  • NS, CNAME, A, MX, PTR records etc = items kept inside the suitcase.
  • 1 SOA per DNS zone = 1 LABEL per suitcase
  • Without a SOA section (PAPER label), we won’t be able to identify the owner of the DNS zone (suitcase).
  • Wherever u carry the suitcase, LABEL goes with it. Just like that, SOA is acually the text field WITHIN the DNS Zone records. Whenever you copy the zone record, ALL fields (like NS, A, CNAME etc) + the SOA fields also gets copied.

That’s all about what’s a SOA is. Now, you may re-visit and re-read the techy articles on internet about SOA and it may now sudden make sense! Happy reading. 🙂

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