CSU Policy: Domain Name Services

Policy Title: Domain Name Services Category: Information Technology
Owner: Vice President for Information Technology Policy ID#: 4-1018-004
Academic Computing and Networking Services
Web: https://www.acns.colostate.edu/
Phone: 970-491-5133
Original Effective Date: 12/18/1998
Last Revision: 8/2/2019
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The Domain Name Service (DNS) provides a translation between computer names and numeric Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Although IP addresses are used to deliver information to computers on the Internet, people have a much easier time remembering names than numeric sequences. The DNS allows users to specify names and takes care of the translation to IP addresses behind the scene.

Educause manages all of the domains under the top-level domain .EDU and has delegated the second-level domain ColoState.EDU to Colorado State University. The American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN), another non-profit organization, has assigned all IP addresses beginning with 129.82.*.* to CSU.

This document describes the University’s policy regarding how names in the ColoState.EDU domain are to be allocated.


This policy applies to all departments and business units of the University.


Domain Name: A human readable name commonly used to refer to a service on the Internet, such as www.colostate.edu (CSU’s main website). Domain names are much easier to remember than IP addresses.

IP address: A series of numbers that uniquely identify a service or a computer on the Internet. Publicly accessible IP version 4 (IPv4) addresses at CSU all begin with 129.82 and end with two additional numbers separated with a period (129.82.x.y).

Top-level Domain: The most general part of a domain name (e.g. .EDU or .COM). CSU has been assigned the second-level domain ColoState.EDU as a subdomain of .EDU.

Sub-domain: A “third-level” domain that is a part of a larger domain under the Domain Name System (DNS) hierarchy


Academic Computing and Networking Services (ACNS) is responsible for providing and/or delegating domain name services for campus computers, and for coordinating domain name services with campus units. Campus requests for domain name registration are generally expected to be under the ColoState.EDU top level domain (see policy provisions, below). Questions or problems related to DNS at Colorado State University are to be directed to dns.admin@colostate.edu.


Third-level domain names within ColoState.EDU

Names immediately preceding ColoState.EDU are called third-level domain names. These names typically are used as a “subdomain”, under which all machines in a college or a department would be registered. For example, ACNS uses ACNS.ColoState.EDU as its sub-domain, and departmental workstations are registered as host.ACNS.ColoState.EDU.

Other programs or core campus services may also be assigned a third-level domain name. Requests for third-level sub-domains or services registered at this level are to be sent to dns.admin@colostate.edu for consideration. In general, inappropriate requests for third-level domain names would include:

  • Workstations or departmental servers
  • Individuals’ names
  • Services not of general interest to CSU students, faculty and staff 

Non-ColoState.EDU Domain Names

When assigning domain names to computers placed on CSU’s network (i.e. assigned an IP address in the 129.82.x.y range), computers are to be registered within the ColoState.EDU name space.

The University recognizes, however, that there may be exigent circumstances where obtaining an “outside” domain name for a service hosted on campus may be desirable. For example, when CSU constituents are involved in an inter-agency program, project, or publication, and there is a need to maintain a web site associated with that activity on the campus network, registering such hosts under the ”.ORG” top-level domain may be appropriate. In these cases, campus departments may contract with third party vendors to obtain an outside domain name. It is the department’s responsibility to obtain the domain name, pay any one-time and recurring costs, to “point” the name to a CSU IP address hosting the service, and to configure the on-campus service to work correctly in this scenario.

Use of ColoState.EDU Domain Names Off-campus

In general, ColoState.EDU domain names are only to be assigned to computers appearing on the campus network (i.e. computers assigned a 129.82.x.y IP address). In the event a campus unit decides to outsource web services, a CSU web page can be configured to redirect traffic to the outsourcing vendor’s site. It may also be desirable for a ColoState.EDU domain name to appear on a network not managed by the University. In that case, a dean or department head may request an exception to this general rule. This request should be sent via email to dns.admin@colostate.edu and must include a description of the service being hosted and a departmental contact possessing detailed technical information related to the request.

When hosting an off-campus web service using a ColoState.EDU domain name, all relevant campus policies (e.g. IT Security Policy and the Acceptable Use Policy) still apply.

Problem Resolution

Problems associated with campus DNS should be sent via email to dns.admin@colostate.edu. Should that fail to result in a timely resolution, the department head and the Director of ACNS are to be notified. In rare instances when an acceptable resolution is still not achieved, the issue shall be elevated to the Vice President for Information Technology..


Approved by ITEC on December 18, 1998

Approved August 2, 2019 by Rick Miranda, Provost/Executive Vice-President


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