Root Server System Root Scaling Study

29 May 2009

Responding to a request from the ICANN Board, the Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) and the Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) have commissioned a study of the potential impact on the operation of the root server system of adding IPv6 address records, IDN top level names, other new TLDs, and new records to support DNS security to the root zone.

The Terms of Reference [PDF, 88K] for the study cover all aspects of root zone operation, including data production, compilation, and publication to the root servers (including anycast instances) and serving data from the root servers.

A study team of experts led by Lyman Chapin and including Patrik Fältström, Glenn Kowack, Jaap Akkerhuis, Bill Manning, and Lars-Johan Liman expects to complete its work by the end of August 2009.

Their goal is to construct a model of the root server system (including all of its provisioning and query components) that shows how the different parts are related, and how changing something in one part affects each of the other parts. The model will demonstrate the effect of changing the value of one or more variables (e.g., the rate at which new TLDs are added to the root, or the expected frequency of emergency key rollover events in a signed root) on each of the components of the root server system.

The study team intends to gather information from as many sources as possible in order to construct a complete and accurate model of the root server system. The public comment period will last from 28 May 2009 to 31 July 2009.