Domain Name System (DNS)
and Network Time Protocol (NTP)
Domain Name System (DNS) – CDT provides DNS hosting and management for existing ca.gov domains using a reputable, robust cloud provider.
Note: If you need to apply for a new third-level ca.gov domain, please go to the Domain Name Request System.
Network Time Protocol (NTP) – CDT’s NTP service provides accurate time to hosts owned and operated by state and local government entities. Authenticated NTP service can also be provided upon request.
- Cloud provider provides a 100% uptime SLA
- Advanced security with DDoS and DNSSEC
- 3 user accounts per domain to manage your DNS records
- Access to your domains’ DNS information at any time
- Services provided by appliances in Rancho Cordova, San Jose, and Seattle (tick.ca.gov, tock.ca.gov, and clock.ca.gov)
- Authenticated NTP and more detailed information available upon request
- DNS hosting for ca.gov subdomains
- NTP availability
There are no charges for DNS or NTP administration.
Government entities with existing domains can submit technical / administration / maintenance requests to CDT via a Case/Request (or Service Desk if you do not have access to the CDT Request System).
Service Request Name Link
New DNS or NTP Services
New, modifications or deletions are submitted via a Case/Request.
Order DNS or NTP Services
New Third-Level Domains
Government entities can request new third-level domains (xxxx.ca.gov).
What is Domain Name System (DNS)?
- DNS is an internet technology service that allows a domain name to be translated into an Internet Protocol (IP) address. A domain is a meaningful and easy way to remember a name that relates to an Internet address.
- DNS handles the mapping between host names, which we find convenient (cdt.ca.gov), and Internet addresses that computers understand (i.e.,10.1.1.1).
What is a Domain Name?
A domain name is used to locate an organization or other entity on the Internet. (e.g., cdt.ca.gov is the domain for the CDT web site).
What is a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN)?
- A FQDN is the complete name to specify a specific computer location in the DNS domain hierarchy.
- For example, there may be two groups within the DNS Made Easy organization – sales and support. We could use the sub-domains sales.dnsmadeeasy.ca.gov and support.dnsmadeeasy.ca.gov. If there was a specific system in the support sub-domain, the FQDN for this computer would be computer1.support.dnsmadeeasy.ca.gov.
- dnsmadeeasy.ca.gov is the FQDN for the web server for the entire DNS Made Easy organization. Whereas www.support.dnsmadeeasy.ca.gov could be the FQDN for the web server for only the support department inside of the DNS Made Easy organization.
What is Time To Live (TTL)?
- TTL is the amount of time that your DNS record is cached in resolving name servers on the Internet, measured in seconds.
- The higher the TTL, the faster the performance of DNS since most machines will have the value cached for a longer period of time, reducing lookups. A TTL that is too high can cause lengthy reconvergence times when you change the name or IP address of an existing FQDN (i.e. some parts of the world may pick up the new change immediately, while others could wait the entire length of your TTL).
- Generally, FQDN’s that change frequently, like websites, should use a TTL between 2 and 15 minutes. For more static records (like servers), 2-4 hours could be more appropriate.
What is NTP?
NTP is the Network Time Protocol. It is used to allow machines from all over the world to have the exact, same, time. Our NTP service are provided by ‘tick.ca.gov’, tock.ca.gov’ and ‘clock.ca.gov’.
What is the Domain Name Request System?
- The Domain Name Request system at https://domainnamerequest.cdt.ca.gov allows requests for new domains under CA.GOV. It contains a definitive registry for existing third-level CA.GOV domains (xxx.ca.gov) for state and local government entities (e.g., city, county, police or fire department, reclamation, water district, etc.).
- Guides users with built-in prompts.
- To submit the required documentation for new requests.
- To define proper nomenclature per policy (SAM 5195, SIMM 40A).
- Access to domain ownership information at any time.
- Annual reminders to keep domains and contacts current.
- CDT coordination of registration renewals.
What are the rates for DNS and NTP?
- CDT coordinates registration renewals at no charge
- DNS or NTP administration is provided at no charge
How do I request changes to CA.GOV DNS services?
- Government entities with existing domains can submit technical, administrative, or maintenance requests via CDT IT Services Portal: https://services.cdt.ca.gov/csm
- Contact your CES Account Lead if you do not have access to the CDT IT Services Portal, https://cdt.ca.gov/account-lead-lookup/
How do I request a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate for my website from an outside vendor such as GoDaddy.com, GEO Trust, Digicert, etc.?
- In order for CDT to approve a SSL certificate request the following information must be provided:
- Which registrar/hosting provider was used (i.e. GoDaddy, Amazon, GeoTrust, DigiCert etc.)
- The date of the request (CDT receives multiple validation emails from multiple providers in a few hours)
- The fully qualified domain name (FQDN) requested (i.e. ‘www.CDT.ca.gov’ or ‘*.cdt.ca.gov’)
Service Option Fulfillment Timeframe SLO Notes/Dependencies
Add DNS Entry
95% within 3 Business Days Process Includes
Change DNS Entry 95% within 3 Business Days Process Includes
Delete DNS Entry
95% within 3 Business Days
DNS Information Request 95% within 5 Business Days
Add NTP 5-10 Days (95%)
3rd Party SSL Renewal 95% within 2 Business Days