Google Research

RSSAC002v4 - Advisory on Measurements of the Root Server System.

  • Alejandro Acosta
  • Duane Wessels
  • Jaap Akkerhuis
  • John Bond
  • John Heidemann
  • Ken Renard
  • Ondřej Surý
  • Paul Hoffman
  • Paul Vixie
  • Ray Bellis
  • Shinta Sato
  • Warren Kumari
  • Zhiwei Yan
ICANN Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) Reports and Advisories (2020), pp. 19


In this Advisory, the RSSAC identifies and recommends a set of parameters that would be useful for monitoring and establishing baseline trends of the root server system.

In response to a desire voiced by the ICANN Board, the RSSAC made a commitment to prepare for an implementation of an early warning system that shall assist in detecting and mitigating any effects (or the absence of such effects) which might challenge the scaling and/or normal performance of the Internet's DNS root server system (RSS) caused by growth of the DNS root zone itself or changes in client behavior from a larger root zone file.

As a first step, the RSSAC has begun work to determine a list of metrics that define the desired service trends for the RSS. These metrics include the measured latency in the publication of the root zone, number of queries and responses, distribution of response types, distribution of message sizes, and the number of sources seen. With knowledge of these metrics in hand, the RSSAC can then seek to produce estimates of acceptable root zone size dynamics to ensure the overall system works within a set of parameters. The future work to define these parameters will involve RSSAC working closely with the root server operators (RSOs) to gather best practice estimates for the size and update frequency of the root zone.

It must be well understood that the measurements described in this document are a response to the current awareness, experience, and understanding of the RSS. As time progresses more, fewer, or entirely different metrics may be required to investigate new concerns or defined problem statements.

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