DNS and GTM Terminology

Standard DNS terms

There are standard Domain Name System (DNS) terms that apply to Global Traffic Management.

To understand the rest of this guide you must be familiar with the following terms:
  • domain name
  • fully qualified domain name (FQDN)
  • nameserver
  • authoritative nameserver
  • resolver
  • hostname
  • IP address
  • A IPv4 address record
  • AAAA IPv6 address record
  • autonomous systems (AS)
  • TTL (time to live)

Akamai's GTM terms

In addition to the industry-standard DNS terms, the Akamai GTM system has its own terminology.

GTM domain
The DNS forms a tree-structured namespace. For example, in this list of domain names each item is a domain, and each domain is also a subdomain of the one above it in the list:
In Akamai's GTM system, the term domain is used in a slightly restricted sense. A GTM domain is a DNS domain, whose name usually ends in .akadns.net. There are a number of attributes that are specified at the GTM domain level. The most important one is portal access control. Anyone with permission to edit a GTM domain has permission to modify or delete any of the properties (subdomains) within that domain.
GTM property
A property is a subdomain within a GTM domain. For example, a customer might have two GTM domains, cars and trucks, in the customer.com.akadns.net domain:
Within the cars.customer.com.akadns.net domain you could create these properties:
These properties will produce the following fully qualified domain names:

Properties vs. Domains:

Most traffic management behavior is configured at the property level.

When you create a GTM domain, do not include the property name in the domain name.

For example, if your own domain is customer.com, you would likely create a GTM domain of customer.com.akadns.net, with properties such as www and images.

The www and images properties can each have different traffic management behavior, with traffic going a different set of data centers.

Then, you can set up CNAMEs to GTM from your own domain, such as:

www.customer.com CNAME www.customer.com.akadns.net 
images.customer.com CNAME images.customer.com.akadns.net
GTM Data Center
In the simplest situations, a GTM data center represents a customer data center. This is a location containing one or more servers to which GTM will direct traffic. More generally, a data center is the name for a set of possible answers that GTM can return for a query. Data centers are the unit of load balancing granularity in GTM.
A property is usually configured with at least two or more data centers. For example, you might have data centers in the U.S. and in Europe, and you want to balance load between them, but would prefer that U.S. users get sent to the U.S. data center and European users get sent to the European data center.
Note: You can select a data center as traffic targets.
A resource is anything you can measure whose scarcity affects load balancing. Examples of resources include bandwidth, CPU load average, database queries per second, or disk operations per second.