Evolution of HTTP and DNS for 5G

5G world


While cruising the web, we unknowingly use DNS and HTTP protocols to navigate and interact with websites. HTTP (Hypertext Transmission Protocol) is the internet communication protocol our browser uses to send information between our internet-enabled device (laptop, smartphone, Apple® watch, etc.,) and the web page it is communicating to. DNS (Domain Name System) is the protocol that translates internet addresses to find the various sites and information we seek. 5G and Virtualization are leading the evolution of DNS domain translation and HTTP web service protocols with "lightweight" versions to achieve low latency and software versions to work in the cloud, raising the need for visibility and proactive service assurance of these critical web service enablers.

As Alan Carlton notes in his 2017 article, “HTTP and DNS in 5G World,” no matter where the web page is located or who develops the web browser, it is guaranteed that they will be able to interoperate because they all use the standardized HTTP protocol to communicate. DNS is equally fundamental as it is the protocol which allows end user devices to translate a given human readable URL such as “www.google.com” to a machine usable IP address that the network can make sense of.”

HTTP and DNS are IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) protocol standards that have been around for almost two decades and more than three decades, respectively. While they have gone through updates and revisions to add features and improve security, HTTP and DNS are now going through revolutionary changes to get ready for 5G.

As Alan Carlton further notes, “(m)any technical reasons are driving the changes in HTTP and DNS. However, at the highest level, the main driver is certainly the rapid evolution of the internet architecture to the virtualized model. In the last few years, we have seen the migration of many of the internet’s applications from standalone physical web servers to virtualized platforms located in immense centralized data centers. Looking ahead, we can see that 5G networks, which are expected to be deployed in the 2020 timeframe, will take this to the next level creating new requirements for the evolution of HTTP and DNS.”

Virtualization and Mobile Edge Computing are the driving forces around the evolution of these protocols. To meet the low latency and high throughput of requirements of 5G, HTTP and DNS must become more lightweight and lean with its procedures. With early, proprietary versions of 5G already rolling out this winter and an apparent acceleration of the 5G timeline from 2020 to 2019, IETF working groups must expedite their work to prepare for these new standards.

The most critical time to gain visibility and assure these "service enablers" is when they undergo change. That is when DNS and HTTP evolve into “lite” versions for 5G and when they transition to software or virtualized versions.  Virtualized implementations of DNS will require software instrumentation that can bring visibility and service assurance resolution down to the virtual machine level. New "lighter" versions of HTTP and DNS made for 5G will need to be monitored to assure that they work as expected. Connect with us to learn more about assuring the next versions of HTTP and DNS.

~ John English, Sr. Solutions Marketing Manager, NETSCOUT