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Those follow the delegation chain to find a name-to-address mapping the first time, but then cache this information for some time. is a large set of those caching DNS servers placed around the world.
DNS is becoming more, not less, critical as it becomes involved in more functions than the name-to-address mapping for which it was designed.
Network communica - tion relies on a complex series of name-to-address resolution operations, routing from switch to switch to firewalls, which are thankfully becoming increasingly more prevalent.
When the new IPv6 adddress format came into use, the need to change name-to-address mapping tools to handle that format is understandable.
The longer the interval, the less DNS traffic is generated gives the IP address of a hierarchically higher name server to which the name server goes when it cannot complete a name-to-address or address-to-name mapping based on its own information.