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Araneus Information Systems Report on Root Zone Glue Handling

7 April 2011

The "Report on Root Zone Glue Handling" [PDF, 252 KB] makes a useful contribution to an ongoing discussion within the DNS community regarding the most appropriate way to manage glue changes in the root zone and their complexities. ICANN makes no comment on its proposed solutions, but feels the report adds to an understanding of the challenges in making changes to the current root zone glue management process. For that reason, ICANN wishes to share this Report with the DNS stakeholders.

Background:

ICANN initially consulted with the DNS community regarding how root zone glue records are managed in 2005 (http://forum.icann.org/lists/root-glue-comments/). Glue records are used to identify the IP address of a name server, and are required under current root zone management processes. When multiple TLDs share the same name server, changes or updates to the name server's IP address will jointly affect each top-level domain. The requirement for all affected top-level domain operators to agree to such changes can lead to very lengthy processing times for these requests, even when there is urgency involved.

Since those initial discussions, and in the years following, IANA department staff have periodically encountered requests that affect a significant number of TLDs that share "glue". In 2009, ICANN commissioned Araneus Information Systems Oy (http://www.araneus.fi/) to prepare an analysis of root zone glue management through the IANA root zone change process. Andreas Gustafsson of Araneus submitted the final version of his "Report on Root Zone Glue Handling" [PDF, 252 KB] in November 2009, and the IANA department has used this information for additional analysis of the impact of glue record changes in the root zone. No changes to the process are currently being proposed.