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ICANN and CZ.NIC Collaborate to Increase Regional Internet Stability and Reliability

Prague, Czech Republic

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and CZ.NIC - an interest association of legal entities, founded in 1998 by leading providers of Internet services with currently 114 members, are excited to announce the first of a series of upgrades to the L-Root in Prague and Europe. These upgrades aim to enhance the stability, security and resiliency of the Internet for users throughout the European continent.

A joint operation between ICANN and CZ.NIC, the deployment of the L-Root server cluster in Prague is designed to respond to traffic in excess of 500 times the load we currently see on the L-Root network, meaning this upgraded server will be capable of handling tens of millions of queries per second. "This improved infrastructure benefits Internet users globally by providing a firm basis to all Internet applications that rely on DNS to function."

"ICANN is excited to extend the long-held partnership we have had with CZ.NIC since 2009, and appreciates the tremendous amount of time and effort they spend hosting this critical infrastructure. Their hard work speaks volumes to their commitment to both the Domain Name System and the stability and resiliency of the global Internet," said Terry Manderson, Director of DNS Engineering at ICANN.

"The development of the Internet and its related services is our mission. We are very grateful for the opportunity to work on a project directed by ICANN. I'd like to use this opportunity to mention that in 2009, the CZ.NIC Association was the first ICANN partner that started to operate a mirror of the L-root server," said Ondřej Filip, CEO of the .CZ Czech national domain administrator. "We are incredibly happy that a project as young as our DNS server (Knot DNS) has gone as far as to be deployed at the highest level."

There are 13 "root" DNS servers, identified by alphabetic letters A through M - the "L" root server operated by ICANN being one. Computers typically communicate with each other using numeric addresses, while humans find it easier to use and remember names (for instance, users typically remember the domain name "ICANN.ORG" more easily than the Internet Protocol address, 2620:0:2d0:200::7).

The DNS translates names into addresses and the root servers, such as the one being upgraded in Prague, provide the pointers to the servers for top-level domains (the last part of domain names, such as the "ORG" in "ICANN.ORG"). Spreading this root information geographically by duplicating the root servers in various locations leads to a resilient, dispersed system that reduces the risk of being taken offline by a problem or attack and reduces the time it takes to look up names on the Internet.

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For further information please contact:

ICANN:
Luna Madi
Communications Director, EMEA
London, UK
Tel: +44 7780 947574
Email: luna.madi@icann.org

CZ.NIC:
Vilém Sládek
PR Manager
Prague, Czech Republic
Tel: +420 739 452 919
Email: vilem.sladek@nic.cz

About ICANN:

ICANN's mission is to ensure a stable, secure and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet you have to type an address into your computer - a name or a number. That address has to be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN coordinates these unique identifiers across the world. Without that coordination we wouldn't have one global Internet. ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet's unique identifiers. ICANN doesn't control content on the Internet. It cannot stop spam and it doesn't deal with access to the Internet. But through its coordination role of the Internet's naming system, it does have an important impact on the expansion and evolution of the Internet. For more information please visit: www.icann.org.

About CZ.NIC:

The CZ.NIC Association was founded in 1998 and now has 114 members. The main activities of the Association are operation of the .CZ domain name registry, operation of the .CZ top-level domain and awareness-raising activities in the field of domain names. Currently, the Association is intensely working on expanding the DNSSEC technology and the mojeID service, development of domain administration system and promotion of new technologies and projects beneficial to the Internet infrastructure. The most important projects include the registry system FRED, DNS server Knot DNS, security project Turris and routing daemon BIRD. CZ.NIC also participated in development of the FENIX security project. The Association also operates the national CSIRT team of the Czech Republic - CSIRT.CZ. More information is available at http://www.nic.cz/.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."