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whoami.akamai.net [was: Google Public DNS Problems?]

On May 02, 2013, at 12:12 , Joe Abley <jabley at hopcount.ca> wrote:
> On 2013-05-02, at 12:10, Joe Abley <jabley at hopcount.ca> wrote:
>> On 2013-05-02, at 11:59, Charles Gucker <cgucker at onesc.net> wrote:

>>>   That's not entirely true.    You can easily do lookup for
>>> whoami.akamai.net and it will return the unicast address for the node
>>> in question (provided the local resolver is able to do the
>>> resolution).    This is a frequent lookup that I do when I don't know
>>> what actual anycast node I'm using.
>> Using to tell me about whoami.akamai.net tells me what Akamai authoritative server Google last used to answer that query.
> Oh, now that I poke at it, it seems like whoami.akamai.net is telling me about the address of the resolver I used, rather than the address of the akamai node I hit.
> Never mind, I understand now :-)

For clarity: Looking up the hostname "whoami.akamai.net" will return the IP address in the source field of the packet (DNS query) which reached the authoritative name server for Akamai.net.

We use this to look for forwarding or proxying, which is frequently unknown / invisible to the end user.

It has the side-effect that querying against an anycast server (e.g. or will show the unicast address of the anycast node which forwarded to our servers.

In case anyone is wondering, we do not do any special logging or watching of this hostname. It is logged for a short time on the local hard drive the same as any other DNS query, but unless someone actually looks, we will not notice if you query for it. So feel free to use it for your own purposes as much as you like. We have a bit of spare DNS capacity. :)