[dns-operations] stealth slaving the root zone

Suzanne Woolf woolf at isc.org
Wed May 16 19:46:00 UTC 2012

On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 08:11:45PM +0100, Jim Reid wrote:
> On 16 May 2012, at 18:07, Joseph S D Yao wrote:
> >On Wed, May 16, 2012 at 09:31:29AM +0100, Jim Reid wrote:
> >...
> >>easily serve a zone containing a few million names. [And FWIW I very
> >>much doubt the vanity TLD madness will continue long enough for the
> >>root zone grow to anywhere like that size: maybe a few thousand new
> >>TLDs at most.] There are of course non-trivial problems making every
> >
> >Jim, if vanity has started to have bounds, I've not been aware of it.
> True. However the $186k entrance fee and other unavoidable costs will  
> set some limits.

The thing to watch for is pressure to lower that.

The current commitment on ICANN's part, in deference to the findings
from the discussions of root scaling in SSAC, RSSAC, and elsewhere,
limits growth in the root zone to no more than 1000 new delegations in
a year. DNS experts told ICANN quite clearly that slow change could be
quite large before it should cause concern, and a growth factor of 10
against the current zone is not large. They also warned that abrupt
change could be more of a concern, depending on the magnitude.

Of the 2100 or so applications currently received
evaluation will take some time and not all requested names will be
delegated, with no clear way to predict how many actual delegations
will result or when (the evaluation phase determines that, according
to the guidelines in the New gTLD Applicants' Guidebook as published).

In the short-to-medium term, I'm not worried about this; a factor of
10 growth in the number of delegations, with no corresponding change
in update rates, seems unlikely to cause operational stress on any
timescale that wouldn't also allow appropriate steps to be taken to
mitigate it-- and a number of parties, including ICANN itself and an
assortment of governments via the GAC, are keeping a close eye on the
specifics of how this plays out in practice.

In the long term, I expect pressure to lower both the entry fee and
the technical requirements, just because that's the way of the
world. Much depends on how well new gTLDs do in the next few years.


(NB: I serve as the RSSAC liaison to the ICANN Board of Directors, but
I don't speak for ICANN and have no non-public knowledge on the
current program status.)

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