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Afilias denies .org will go down post-acquisition

Kevin Murphy, December 23, 2019, 18:05:39 (UTC), Domain Registries

.org domains will not suffer downtime as a result of Ethos Capital’s acquisition of Public Interest Registry, according to Afilias.
Afilias, which provides PIR’s back-end registry services, wrote to ICANN (pdf) last week to reject claims by DNS resolution subcontractor Packet Clearing House that .org could suffer more than three days a year of downtime if .org moves into commercial hands.
Chief technology officer Ram Mohan wrote:

Afilias — not PCH — is responsible for ensuring that .org names remain available 100% of the time. The Afilias global DNS network is diverse and robust; PCH is a contracted secondary DNS provider. Since Afilias began supporting .org in 2003, we have maintained an exemplary record of uptime, and will continue performing at world-standard levels.
Afilias states for the record that, for .org and PIR’s other TLDs, we will continue our exemplary performance at pricing consistent with our current contract with PIR.

Not-for-profit PCH had claimed that US tax law would see almost $30 million of annual donations dry up if .org became a for-profit enterprise again.
Ethos would be forced to increase .org prices dramatically or under-invest in DNS and see days of downtime, the organization claimed.

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Comments (11)

  1. Adrian Kinderis says:

    If Afilias’ DNS servcie is so robust why did auDA just outsource further DNS services to Neustar as sited in this article;

    • Ram Mohan says:

      There is a concept, often deployed in high quality and at scale operations, where diversity is a feature. Happy to educate you about this concept, its common practice, and the benefit to operational resiliency, at an appropriate time.

      • Adrian Kinderis says:

        Thanks for the response Ram, albeit it horribly condescending. Please educate me.
        I read on your website the following
        “Are you concerned about DNS? You should be. Without 100% reliable DNS, it does not matter how scalable or redundant your system is, because your customers may never get to your Web site… Rely on Afilias’ one of a kind DNS architecture that avoids the typical single points of failure that virtually all other DNS systems have deployed.
        Afilias’ DNS integrates diversity at every layer, through multiple hardware and software solutions, multiple bandwidth providers and numerous geographic locations. Afilias’ DNS utilizes anycast technology and a geographically diverse network to ensure that your DNS always resolves.”
        So does this mean .org and .info also used a redundant provider?
        Thanks for helping me understand.

        • Adrian Kinderis says:

          Further to this… the only reason I would foresee the use of another provider in this circumstance, given how robust you describe your DNS service above, is if you wanted to protect yourself against a provider going bankrupt therefore leading to failure. Now I know you have lost a few contracts recently and look like losing .org but I would hope Afilias is not in financial trouble.
          Again, very grateful for any education you can give me on this highly complex and technical issue…

    • Matt Nordhoff says:

      The au TLD has used multiple secondary DNS services for at least the last five years, since before Neustar acquired AusRegistry. Sometimes they make changes. What happened November 19 is that they replaced two of their secondary DNS providers — APNIC and Optus — with a different one, Neustar.
      Most of the SLDs, like, use only the registry backend provider’s DNS servers. A total DNS outage at Afilias (or, previously, Neustar) would lead to most SLDs going completely down.
      (I don’t know why they do it that way.)

  2. Adrian Kinderis says:

    Thanks Matt. An intelligent response that is simple enough for a dope like me to understand.
    What is interesting to me, if this is indeed the case, that these changes were to the .au TLD, then why wouldn’t the all-knowing Ram Mohan have just provided the same simple response. His response doesn’t highlight to me that he actually knows what what is going on.
    As far as the SLD’s, my understanding is that ALL SLD’s would go down, not just some. But we needn’t worry, as per Afilias website, they guarantee 100% uptime and have diversity at ALL levels. I wonder if they have had any DNS outages in .au so far? I know AusRegistry certainly didn’t in my time, but I am not sure they can say the same… it helps having a regulator with a vested interest in ensuring the registry they chose are perfect… thanks goodness those bad apples have been moved on.

  3. Rubens Kuhl says:

    Even without the TLD working, the cached knowledge of how to reach SLDs works for a long time, notably where the SLDs are queried frequently as the SLDs for TLDs delegating in the third level like .au .za or .br are.
    So while that would eventually cease, the dependency on the delegation TLD DNS servers is not as high.

  4. Derek Whalen says:

    Adrian Kinderis didn’t you work at Neustar when Afilias came to town and took over their .au business? I notice your employment ended shortly after that deal went down. You wouldn’t be salty by chance, would ya?

    • Adrian Kinderis says:

      Horribly salty at Afilias and at Neustar and at auDA. I’m mad at everyone.
      Actually I’ve got no beef whatsoever with Afilias. My concern is over auDA holding them to tender promises. Lots of items that won them the contract haven’t been delivered and auDA won’t (can’t) manage them. I think .au users deserve more from their regulator. Mind you, I’d be doing exactly the same as Afilias given the situation. You go in with cheap pricing you do what you can to cut corners after that.
      Also, it is good troll work to focus on the person rather than the content. So am I not allowed to comment on anything .au related?

    • Adrian Kinderis says:

      Also nice to have a fan and that you are so concerned as to look me up. How about addressing the actual issue?
      At least I post from my real name? Who dis?

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