Domain Name System (DNS)

MSU IT supports the Domain Name System (DNS) for departments and units at MSU. The service provides greater redundancy than is normally designed in department-level systems.

A Domain Name System (DNS) is a distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. In general, domain names for all computer systems, devices, and services at Michigan State University will be assigned under the subdomain. However, it’s not necessary to register all domains with MSU IT and its name servers.

Outside domain registrations are acceptable as long as the associated program or project is officially supported by a unit within Michigan State University. These exceptions are not handled by MSU IT.

DNS associates various information with assigned host names and resolves queries for these names into IP addresses for the purpose of locating computer services and devices.

  • Domain name registrations and DNS administration for domain names within the domain
  • MSU units may also register outside domain names that they own

MSU’s Domain Name System is centrally funded and is provided to MSU units and MSU affiliated customers at no charge.

The DNS service observes the standard maintenance window for administrative systems.

No more than 30 minutes of unplanned downtime per month, or an uptime percentage of 99.93%.

Service requests are acknowledged within 48 hours. When a request is made, an expected fulfillment date is provided and sent to the individual requesting the service.

Many MSU domains follow a four-part structure. The full domain name (host name) is generally a four-part name of the form “” where you pick “sysname” and “unit” is the department or unit code that has been assigned to your unit.

Five-part (or longer) domain names are permissible, if desired to subdivide the domain names within a given unit. The name “” itself may also be assigned to a unit’s key server (file server or web server, generally), and to a unit’s mail server, which may or may not be the same as the file/web server.

The domain is generally limited to major administrative units. MAUs are entitled to their unit’s name as a subdomain. Other subdomains may be assigned with the prior MSU IT approval. Subdomains are NOT automatically issued on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Read the Domain Name Guidelines for more information.