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ICANN: Continuous Data-driven Analysis of Root Server System Stability Study Plan

ICANN new generic Top Level Domains logoBrief Overview

Purpose: This study has been commissioned to examine the technical impact of the New gTLD Program on the root server system. As the first step, The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and its partners SIDN and NLnet Labs are publishing the draft study plan for public comment. Feedback from the larger DNS community is critical to ensure a comprehensive approach to data gathering and analysis. Comments may be incorporated into the final study design.

Current Status: ICANN has commissioned TNO, which will lead a consortium with SIDN and NLnet Labs, to complete the study. This public comment period is a first step in the endeavor to seek engagement from across the DNS community.

Next Steps: TNO will consider the feedback and adjust its study plan as appropriate, publishing a final version of the plan before launching the data collection and analysis activities on which the study conclusion will be based.

Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose

The CDAR study aims to assess the technical impact of the New gTLD Program on the security and stability of the root server system both in its current state and in the future. The draft study plan outlines six key goals:

  1. Provide a clear view on the current and future impact of the New gTLD Program on the security and stability of the DNS and the root, in particular.
  2. Identify next steps, if any, to safeguard the root system’s security and stability prior to any further expansion of the root zone.
  3. Contribute to using commonly accepted, best practice root stability parameters and reference data sets.
  4. Facilitate constructive discussion in ICANN‘s multi-stakeholder community about the technical impact of the New gTLD Program on the stability of the root zone system.
  5. Contribute to broad consensus of the study results by making the study instrumentation available and providing support to ICANN‘s community members interested in applying the instrumentation themselves.
  6. Provide an extensible proof-of-concept for continuous future root stability investigation that allows for flexible extension with new analysis modules.

Section II: Background

A review of the Program for security and stability impact is a previous commitment based on advice from ICANN‘s Governmental Advisory Committee [PDF, 276 KB] and other discussions. Specifically, ICANN committed to review the effects of the New gTLD Program on the operations of the DNS root system, and to postpone delegations in a future round until it is determined that the delegations in the 2012 round have not jeopardized the root system’s security or stability. ICANN published a request for proposals in June 2015. TNO and its partners, SIDN and NLnet Labs, were awarded the study contract in October 2015. The consortium presented its methodology at a workshop session at ICANN54.

Section III: Relevant Resources

This ICANN announcement was sourced from: