Registration Operations is More Than Just Registering Domain Names

Perceptions can be difficult to change. People see the world through the lens of their own experiences and desires, and new ideas can be difficult to assimilate. Such is the case with the registration ecosystem. Today’s operational models exist because of decisions made over time, but the assumptions that were used to support those decisions can (and should) be continuously challenged to ensure that they are addressing today’s realities. Are we ready to challenge assumptions? Can the operators of registration services do things differently?

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Call for Participation: Registration Operations Workshop at IETF-92

The next Registration Operations Workshop will take place at the start of IETF-92 on Sunday, March 22, 2015, at The Fairmont Dallas Hotel. The workshop will start at 12:30 p.m. CDT and will finish at 4:30 p.m. CDT. We are seeking proposals for Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) extensions to be featured as part of the workshop, including existing extensions that people wish to register with the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and new extensions that people wish to consider for further development.

Have you developed custom EPP extensions in your registry? Please submit a proposal to describe your extension. Facilities for remote participation will be provided.

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Summary of the Registration Operations Association Workshop

The first Registration Operations Association Workshop took place on Thursday, October 16, 2014, at the Los Angeles Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. I’d like to thank the 64 people that took the time to attend and participate in the discussion, both in-person and remote.

I started the workshop with an introduction to some of the technical challenges being faced by the domain registration industry. Additional challenges were described by Thomas Stocking of Gandi.net, Tobias Sattler of United Domains and Peter Larsen of Larsen Data ApS, and James Gould of Verisign. After discussing the challenges, we had an opportunity to consider proposals for organization presented by John Levine of Standcore LLC, Thomas Rickert of eco, and Adam Newman of IEEE-ISTO. The remainder of the morning was spent discussing those proposals and other options for creating a forum in which all interested members of our community could meet for face-to-face discussions. I’m very happy to report that we reached consensus on an approach.

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Registration Operations Association Workshop Update

In a series of recent blog posts I’ve described the technical challenges in registration operations, a proposal for an industry association, and announced an interactive workshop to explore association formation. This is an update on where things stand with the workshop.

The first Registration Operations Association Workshop is scheduled for Thursday, October 16, 2014 in the Pacific Palisades room at the Los Angeles Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel, the same venue being used for ICANN 51. The event is not affiliated with ICANN, but with ICANN’s support we’ve been able to secure a room that’s large enough to seat more than 100 people. Still, space is limited and seats are going fast. Please register quickly if you haven’t already done so. Registered attendees will receive updates via email as we get closer to the event date.

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Is it Time for a Registration Operations Industry Association? Part III

In Parts I and II of this series of blog posts I described the need for a registration operations industry association. At the end of Part II, I wrote that Part III will describe “an opportunity for everyone that’s interested in discussing this topic in a live environment.” The large number of people attending ICANN 51 in Los Angeles presents the best chance of discussion with many potential participants being in the same place at the same time. Let’s take advantage of that proximity.

Verisign will host a workshop for all interested people during the week of ICANN 51. The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel (the same venue for ICANN 51, though this event is not affiliated with ICANN) on the morning of Thursday, October 16, 2014, to discuss the challenges of registration technical operations and to explore ways to address those challenges. We’ve set up a website at www.regiops.net to provide information, describe the event, and allow people to register. We’re asking people to register in advance so we can make sure that we have a large enough room reserved and that we provide enough food for breakfast and lunch.

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Is it Time for a Registration Operations Industry Association? Part II

In Part I of this series of blog posts I described the need for an industry association of operators to discuss the technical tasks, such as the development, deployment, and ongoing systems administration of the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP), performed by registries and registrars to ensure interoperability and share best practices when providing registration services. In this blog post I’ll describe a way to make that happen.

I’ve spoken to a number of registrars who have described the challenges they face in implementing the many different EPP extensions being developed by registry operators. Here’s a concrete example: the Net::DRI Perl implementation of an EPP client includes contact extensions for 24 different registries. A registrar that wishes to manage contacts with those registries needs to implement a contact extension for each one!  With the addition of new gTLDs and many new registry operators with new business models the number of extensions can only increase. How would an industry association address these challenges and reduce confusion for everyone? How could an association be structured?

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Is it Time for a Registration Operations Industry Association?

Since 2001 there have been occasional conversations on technical mailing lists exploring the concept of creating an independent industry association or consortium of domain registration operators. My recent experiences with the evolution of extensions to the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP) have convinced me to look at these suggestions more closely, and I’m now convinced that this is an idea worth exploring.

“Registration Operations” refers to the technical tasks, such as the development, deployment, and ongoing systems administration of EPP, performed by registries and registrars to provide registration services. While EPP is used to provide domain name registration and management services, registration operations also include the tasks performed by Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) to provide address registration and systems administration services.

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