Primary nameserver service

Maintain your web, email and DNS presence by opting for our primary nameserver service, available at no additional cost to Janet-connected organisations.

The primary nameserver service holds and maintains the primary source of domain name information for Janet Network connected organisations.

Our core service allows you to publish and manage DNS records on a central nameserver through a secure web portal. It is supported by secondary nameservers to provide high availability and gives that added peace of mind.

The nameservers are all situated on the Janet Network backbone and are geographically separated as a precaution against risks such as fire or network connection failure.

Key features and benefits

  • Available to Janet-connected organisations at no additional cost
  • 24/7 availability
  • Maintain business continuity including web presence and email, even if your internet connection is down following a ransomware attack or other issue
  • Flexible service options: host your full DNS records or a subdomain
  • Centrally managed service with lower overheads
  • Reliable and resilient
  • Supports both IPv4 and IPv6

Self-service portal

Organisations using the service have access to a secure web portal by default to edit your resource records and schedule changes at any time.


The service is available at no additional cost to organisations connected to the Janet Network and will help support those who do not wish to maintain a full DNS service themselves, or who have certain specific needs. 

Use of the primary nameserver service is subject to the acceptable use policy and security policy.

Registration and support

To discuss how we could help with your DNS resilience plans please contact

Technical information about the service is available on the primary nameserver service page of our community site, where you can also find your responsibilities relating to this service.

If you believe that your organisation's email or web services are not working properly, we recommend that you contact your service provider to help diagnose exactly where the problem lies.

Service level description

Service description

A service to allow eligible organisations to publish and manage their public DNS records on a central name server through a secure web portal or to request Jisc to make changes for them. 

Hours of service

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year. The associated administration service is available during the business day.

The business day is defined as Monday to Friday. It excludes 24-31 December, all English public holidays and also the Tuesday following the August public holiday. 

Target availability

The target availability is 99.95% during the hours of service defined above, measured monthly over a 12 month period, excluding service-affecting maintenance.

Service-affecting maintenance is capped at 0.5% and is normally carried out with at least two weeks' notice.

Fault management

Faults with the service may be reported via the service desk on Tel: 0300 300 2212 or via email:


One primary nameserver, supported by one or two secondary nameservers. Failure of the primary nameserver will affect the ability to make changes, but not to serve the data. 


Organisations must ensure they understand and adhere to the security policy.

Your responsibilities

You are responsible, prior to using the service, for:

  • Configuring your local equipment to either use the primary nameserver directly or to provide a local caching nameserver

You are responsible on an ongoing basis for:

  • Maintaining contact details
  • Maintaining the information using the web interface or providing the correct information to Jisc to enable the nameserver to be updated in a timely manner


This service is centrally-funded.

Request for service

You can request this service via the service desk on 0300 300 2212 or email

Service delivery time

Initial request: The basic zone information for the organisation’s domain(s) will be published and the organisation informed that the service is configured within five business days of receipt of all necessary information.

Requests for modification by Jisc to entries in the primary nameserver: Will be completed within two business days of receipt of all necessary information.

Terms and conditions

Please ensure your organisation understands and adheres to the terms and conditions


If you are experiencing an issue with the service, and wish to escalate the issue contact us via the service desk on tel: 0300 300 2212 or via email:

Technical section

This service supports both IPv4 and IPv6.

Web access to manage the DNS online is available for those who are able to manage their own DNS information.

This service can be used for hosting DNS externally or as a contingency measure against the failure of the normal primary server.

For more details, visit the primary nameserver service pages on the community site.

Defend as one

Having a secure, resilient and highly available DNS backbone is fundamental to maintaining your web presence and therefore your reputation. We have launched our defend as one campaign to highlight the importance of core services including our Janet Network resolver and secondary nameserver as well as our primary nameserver DNS services.

By signing up to primary nameserver service and joining our campaign, you can help improve your security posture and protect your organisation and the sector by working with other members to share intelligence, experiences and best practice.

Sign up to the campaign.

ISO certification

This service is included within the scope of our ISO9001 and ISO27001 certificates.

Read more about International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) standards and view Jisc certificates.

ISO 9001-2015 UKAS logo

ISO/IEC 27001 UKAS logo