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External references from the cam.ac.uk domain

Institutions with external hosts and services that are required to be closely associated with the University and therefore to have names within cam.ac.uk can apply to  to create appropriate CNAME records[1] that reference hostnames outside cam.ac.uk.

Administrative requirements:

  • The requesting institution will provide a description of the purpose for which the name is being allocated. Any subsequent change of purpose must be notified and approved.
  • The institution must nominate a responsible person or persons, to act as administrative and technical contacts in case there are issues (e.g. the technical constraints become broken); the administrative contact must be a member of the institution requesting the external reference.
  • The acceptable use terms for the CUDN and JANET[2] will apply to the external resource referenced.
  • If the external resource lies outside the UK or EU the institution should satisfy itself regarding the legislation in force (for example in respect of data protection, freedom of information and intellectual property rights) taking legal advice as appropriate.

Technical requirements:

  • All references will be CNAME records, i.e. to hostnames not addresses. Any IP addresses indirectly so referenced should have a valid reverse lookup to a canonical name, which is not the name in cam.ac.uk.
  • Web servers on the referenced external host must serve only Cambridge-related material when identified by the cam.ac.uk name[3].

Applications to be made to 

[1] A CNAME record is a record in a DNS database that maps an alias to the real or canonical name which may lie outside the current zone.

[2] See the ISC rules and guidelines.

[3] For example, if www.alumni.botolphs.cam.ac.uk has a CNAME record referencing server.myisp.com, the webserver must be configured not to serve other organisations' pages when using the cam.ac.uk name.

Minor update: August 2015