ICANN is issuing today a Request for Information (RFI) [PDF, 660 KB] to identify potential Emergency Back-End Registry Operators (EBERO).
One of ICANN’s core missions is to preserve the operational security
and stability of the Internet while also supporting open competition.
With the upcoming launch of the New generic Top-Level Domain (New gTLD)
program, the Internet will see a number of new gTLD registry operators.
Although all applicants must meet technical, operational and financial
requirements (see the gTLD Applicant Guidebook â www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/dag-en.htm)
the community developed new gTLD program includes provision for a
backup process. The EBERO is designed to be activated should a registry
operator require assistance to sustain critical registry functions for a
period of time or in the case of transition for one registry operator
Candidates are expected to meet the requirements outlined in the RFI,
which requires, for example, at least three years of experience in
operating Domain Name services (DNS) and one year of experience
operating Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS) and Extensible
Provisioning Protocol (EPP) services. Besides the technical
requirements, ICANN seeks candidates from geographically diverse regions
in order to provide local service to registries in all regions and
provide alternate sites in case of local disasters.
ICANN is looking forward to receiving comprehensive information from
the potential candidates. Negotiations with certain respondents to the
RFI that provide comprehensive information will be initiated for the
purpose of creating process details and entering into an agreement to
provide backend services. The deadline for responses is November 30, 2011 at 23:59 UTC. Please direct your information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Responses after the deadline will not be considered.
RFI activities schedule at a glance:
|Request for proposals issued by ICANN
||14 September 2011
|Respondents’ Q&A â Teleconference
||On or about 16 November 2011
|Written proposals due
||30 November 2011 â 23:59 UTC
1. What is a registry?
A “Registry” is the authoritative, master database of all domain
names registered in each Top-Level Domain. The registry operator keeps
the master database and also generates the “zone file” which allows
computers to route Internet traffic to and from top-level domains
anywhere in the world.
2. What is an Emergency Operator?
Emergency Operator or Back-End Registry Operator is an organization
that has partnered with ICANN to provide registry services in case
another registry is unable to operate. The emergency operators will be
selected by ICANN based on the criteria outlined in the RFI.Â
3. What happens when a gTLD registry operation fail either financially or due a technical emergency?
If an emergency occurs, and a Registry is unable to provide critical
services, it will be the function of the Emergency Operator to ensure
the continuity of the services. This provider emergency transition
process is managed by ICANN and requires multiple providers to be
available to take on the function in case one provider is not able to
timely take the operation or if there is a conflict of interest.
4. What are the critical registry functions?
Functions that are critical to the operation of a gTLD registry (i.e., those provided by the EBERO) are:
- Domain Names System (DNS) resolution;
- Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) properly signed zone (if DNSSEC is offered Â by the registry);
- Shared Registration System (SRS), usually by means of the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP);
- Registration Data Directory Services (RDDS), e.g., WHOIS provided over both port 43 and through a web based service;
- Registry Data Escrow.
5. What kind of information is ICANN requesting and who should respond?
Respondents should be parties interested in committing themselves as
potential Emergency Back-End Registry Operators.Â The RFI covers
numerous areas, but respondents should be prepared to discuss the
- Capabilities and experience in the critical registry functions;
- Registry Transition concepts, experience, SLAs, and use cases;
- Pricing models for providing critical registry functions;
- Profile of the respondents organization, leadership and resources.
In April 2009, ICANN published the ICANN gTLD Registry Continuity Plan â www.icann.org/en/registries/continuity/.
This document depicts a gTLD Registry Continuity Framework developed in
collaboration with experienced gTLD, ccTLD registries and members of
the technical community.Â The overall goals of ICANN’s gTLD Registry
Continuity Framework are:
- the protection of existing registrants; and
- to ensure confidence in the DNS.
The Registry Continuity framework recognized the need for a
prescribed ability to continue services in the event of a Registry
Operator failure.Â It introduced the concept of a Back-End Operator and
the intrinsic complications in a single back-up operator supporting all
existing capabilities of different registry models.Â In view of those
complications, the concept of identifying base level “critical
functions”, required to maintain the minimum operating services of a Top
Level Domain, was established and defined.
In May 2010 ICANN published a New Top-Level Domain Explanatory Memorandum “gTLD Registry Transition Processes Model” (RyTP) – www.icann.org/en/topics/new-gtlds/registry-transition-processes-clean-30may11-en.pdf [PDF, 747 KB]. This
document further elaborates on the concept of critical functions
required for maintaining Top-Level Domain services and discusses the
types of transitions between one Registry Operator and another.Â The
concept of the Emergency Back-End Registry Operator was
also introduced to support the TLD critical functions of failing
Registry Operators, when there is no immediate assigned successor
Links to Relevant Information:
This ICANN announcement was sourced from: