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DNS Root Server System Advisory Committee

The ICANN Bylaws (Article VII, Section 3(b)) describe the DNS Root Server System Advisory Committee as follows:

  • There shall be a DNS Root Server System Advisory Committee. The initial chairman of the DNS Root Server System Advisory Committee shall be appointed by the Board; subsequent chairs shall be elected by the members of the DNS Root Server System Advisory Committee pursuant to procedures adopted by the members. The responsibility of the Root Server System Advisory Committee shall be to advise the Board about the operation of the root name servers of the domain name system. The Root Server System Advisory Committee should consider and provide advice on the operational requirements of root name servers, including host hardware capacities, operating systems and name server software versions, network connectivity and physical environment. The Root Server System Advisory Committee should examine and advise on the security aspects of the root name server system. Further, the Root Server System Advisory Committee should review the number, location, and distribution of root name servers considering the total system performance, robustness, and reliability.

The committee includes representatives of organizations responsible for operating the world’s thirteen root nameservers and other organizations concerned with stable technical operation of the authoritative root server system. ICANN Director Jun Murai has been appointed chair of this committee.

RSSAC Statements:

The committee meets periodically, usually in conjunction with IETF meetings. The committee’s organizational meeting was held in Singapore on 2 March 1999. Here is a list of committee meetings:


Notes of meetings are linked where available.
MEETINGS IN 2009
35
08 November 2009
34
26 July 2009
33
22 March 2009
MEETINGS IN 2008
32
16 November 2008
31
27 July 2008
30 Philadelphia 09 March 2008
MEETINGS IN 2007
29 Vancouver 02 December 2007
28 Chicago 22 July 2007
27 Prague 18 March 2007
MEETINGS IN 2006
26 San Diego 05 November 2006
25 Montreal 08 July 2006
24 Dallas 10 Mar 2006
MEETINGS IN 2005
23 Vancouver 06 November 2005
22 Paris 31 July 2005
21 Minneapolis, Minnesota 06 March 2005
MEETINGS IN 2004
20 Washington DC 07 November 2004
19 San Diego 01 August 2004
18 Rome/Seoul telecon 29 February 2004
MEETINGS IN 2003
17 Minneapolis, MN, USA 09 November 2003
16 Wien, Austria 13 July 2003
15 San Francisco, CA, USA 24 March 2003
MEETINGS IN 2002
14 Atlanta, Georgia, USA 16 November 2002
13 Yokohama, Japan 14 July 2002
12 Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA 17 March 2002
MEETINGS IN 2001
11 Salt Lake City, Utah, USA 09 December 2001
10 London, England 05 August 2001
9 Minneapolis, MN, USA 18 March 2001
MEETINGS IN 2000
8 San Diego, CA, USA 13 December 2000
7 Pittsburgh, PA, USA 31 July 2000
6 Adelaide, Australia 27 March 2000
MEETINGS IN 1999
5 Washington, DC, USA 9 November 1999
4 Oslo, Norway 12 July 1999
3 (no formal mtg) San Jose, CA, USA 21 June 1999
2 Minneapolis, MN, USA 16 March 1999
1 Singapore 2 March 1999

Projects the committee has been pursuing include:

  • The committee conducts projects under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between ICANN and the U.S. Government’s National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

    The CRADA has been extended twice.

  • The statement of work under the CRADA is as follows:

    • The Statement of Work (SoW):The parties will collaborate on a study and process for making the management of the Internet (DNS) root server system more robust and secure. The collaboration will address:

      • Operational requirements of root name servers, including host hardware capacities, operating system and name server software versions, network connectivity, and physical environment.Examination of the security aspects of the root name server system and review of the number, location, and distribution of root name servers considering the total system performance, robustness, and reliability.Development of operational procedures for the root system, including formalization of contractual relationships under which root servers throughout the world are operated.


      • The study will address the technical management of the entire Internet (DNS) root server system, including all (currently thirteen) root servers located throughout the world and the techniques and equipment for generating, maintaining, and distributing authoritative root zone files. The study will include formulation of the operational procedures, requirements, and protocols referenced above through engineering analysis and will be accomplished with appropriate consultation with affected parties, including existing operators of the Internet root server system, through use of collaborator’s Root Server System Advisory Committee and otherwise. After operational procedures, requirements, and protocols are formulated, they will be evaluated by implementing them in a controlled manner on the Internet (DNS) root server system. Any change(s) in the designated authoritative source for root zone files must be approved by the Department of Commerce in a separate document and nothing in this SoW or this Agreement is intended to direct such a change.

  • In late 1999 and early 2000, the committee engaged in a major project to ensure that the root nameserver system operated smoothly through the various Y2K events. The committee issued a Y2K statement on 15 July 1999.

    Work is proceeding on defining appropriate agreements and technical measures to operate the root nameserver system according to the guidance in RFC 2870. These requirements will be incorporated in a memorandum of understanding between each operator and ICANN. A model of the MoU has been developed.

    The committee has been working on the development of a plan to enhance the architecture of the root-zone editing and distribution system. Jun Murai gave a presentation at the ICANN meeting in July 2000, after which the ICANN Board directed that a proposal be prepared for implementing the enhanced architecture, for presentation to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

    The committee, with the help of the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA), is engaged in gathering traffic and performance measurements and conducting statistical analysis of the measurements and other data to better understand the performance of the root nameserver system and to plan for future reconfigurations.

  • The committee is studying new technical developments that may affect the requirements for the root nameserver system, including IPv6, DNSSEC, and IDN.

Comments and quesitons to the Committee should be directed to rssac-comments@icann.org.

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