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SAC117 - Report on Root Service Early Warning Systems

Warren Kumari
Joe Abley
Jaap Akkerhuis
Tim April
Patrik Fältström
James Galvin
Julie Hammer
Geoff Huston
Russ Mundy
Rod Rasmussen
Matthew Thomas
Suzanne Woolf
ICANN Security and Stability Advisory Committee (SSAC) Reports and Advisories, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) (2021), pp. 22


The concept of an early warning system for the root zone comes originally from the Root Scaling Study Team and TNO Reports, both published in 2009. Since then the concept has evolved away from an original intention of modelling the potential impact on the operation of the root service with the addition of internationalized domain names (IDNs), IPv6, and new gTLDs to the root zone into a concept that is intended to provide feedback about the operational stability of the root service as more gTLDs are added to the root zone. In reviewing these publications, the SSAC came to the conclusion that an early warning system for the root zone is currently infeasible, as was also concluded by OCTO-15. The root zone system is highly complex, and our current understanding of it does not allow us to predict imminent failure within its conventional and conservative operational parameters. This however, should not take away from efforts to better understand and gather data on the root server system, which root server operators are collecting, as described in RSSAC002 and RSSAC047.