[dns-operations] Karl Auerbach on adding 'millions' more TLD - what do folks think about the operational impact?

Steve Gibbard scg at gibbard.org
Tue Jan 9 05:30:11 UTC 2007

On Mon, 8 Jan 2007, Douglas Otis wrote:

> There will always be a desire to create more TLDs.  It seems .com has
> demonstrated that the trunk of this tree can become very large and
> still be facilitated.  It is clear the management rules within the

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it's worth considering what 
a zone should be used for, and who it should be used by.

There's a lot more of the world than the portion covered by the Internet's 
well-connected core, and there are a lot of very populated areas with very 
poor connectivity to the outside world.  Putting root servers and servers 
for small TLDs into those regions means those regions can get fast and 
reliable DNS service.  While getting servers for small TLDs into place can 
be a lot of work, the work is more political than technical.

.Com works very well in the parts of the world where it's got good 
coverage, and to Verisign's credit they're doing a lot of work on 
expanding that portion of the world.  But my understanding from the people 
I've talked to at Verisign about it is that it takes a lot more hardware 
to handle the .com database than to handle smaller zones, and keeping the 
.com zone in sync over low bandwidth satellite links is a challenge.

An argument can certainly be made that .Com exists to serve the parts of 
the world that have good connectivity (and, for that matter, can easily 
pay for their domain names in US Dollars), but I would hope people 
wouldn't make the same argument about the root.

So, how big is too big for the root?  I don't have an answer, but suspect 
the limiter is the rate of churn rather than the size of the zone file. 
What percentage of names need to be updated in a given day?  How much 
bandwidth is used for each of those updates?  How many updates fit in some 
arbitrary amount of bandwidth -- 5 kb/s?  10kb/s?  50 kb/s? -- that won't 
place a huge burden on an already congested satellite link?


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