Google Research

RSSAC028 - Technical Analysis of the Naming Scheme Used For Individual Root Servers

  • Warren Kumari
  • Joe Abley
  • John Bond
  • Brian Dickson
  • Paul Hoffman
  • Suresh Krishnaswamy
  • Matt Larson
  • Declan Ma
  • Bill Manning
  • Jim Martin
  • Robert Martin-Legene
  • Daniel Migault
  • Shinta Sato
  • Arturo Servin
  • Davey Song
  • William Sotomayor
  • Paul Vixie
  • Wesley Wang
  • Suzanne Woolf
ICANN Root Server System Advisory Committee (RSSAC) Reports and Advisories (2017)


The Domain Name System (DNS) is supported by root servers that serve the root zone. Individual root servers were named under the “” domain in 1995. The zone is delegated to the root servers. This naming scheme has worked well for root servers and the Internet community at large for over two decades. However, given today’s Internet environment, the RSSAC has studied the naming scheme used for individual root servers and considered the consequences of making changes. The study documents a risk analysis of different alternative naming schemes.

This analysis includes:

  • Where the names reside in the DNS hierarchy
  • Who administers the zone in which the names reside
  • How different naming schemes affect DNSSEC validation of priming responses
  • The size of priming responses

From the risk analysis, the document aims at providing:

  • Recommendation to root server operators, root zone management partners, and ICANN on whether changes should be made, and what those changes should be
  • Recommendations on signing the addresses associated with the root servers
  • Recommendation on the naming scheme for the root servers

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