He had recognised the problem in the early Internet (then ARPAnet) of holding name to address translations in a single table on a single host, and instead proposed a distributed and dynamic DNS database: essentially DNS as we have it today. Together with Jon Postel, he is acknowledged as the inventor of DNS.
Mockapetris received two bachelor's degrees (in Physics and in Electrical Engineering) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1971, and his PhD in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine in 1982.
In 1978, Mockapetris had joined the ISI where he later created the first SMTP email server. Following his RFCs 882 and 883, he wrote the first DNS implementation (called "Jeeves") for the TOPS-20 operating system in 1983. Mockapetris coordinated the first three DNS servers, which were at ISI and SRI. His implementation of DNS was running on all the Internet DNS root serverss by 1986.
He served as chairman of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) (1994 – 1995/1995) after having chaired several IETF working groups, and has also chaired the Research Working Group of the U.S. Federal Networking Council. He was a member of the Defense Messaging System Advisory Council, and the Internet Architecture Board (IAB).
Mockapetris has also worked as the program manager for networking at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense (1990 – 1993), and for the Internet-related companies @Home (1995 – 1997), Software.com (1997 – 1998) (now OpenWave), Fiberlane (now Cisco) / Verent / Siara (now Redback Networks) (1998 &ndash 1999), Urban Media (1999 – 2001), NU Domain (from 1999), and Nominum (from 1999) where is now board chairman.
On March 31 2003, he rejoined ISI as a Visiting Research Scholar at the Postel Center for Experimental Networking (PCEN) Computer Networks Division.
Mockapetris received the 1997 John C. Dvorak Telecommunications Excellence Award "Personal Achievement ? Network Engineering" for DNS design and implementation, the 2003 IEEE Internet Award for his contributions to DNS, and the Distinguished Alumnus award from the University of California, Irvine.
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