VeriSign's rapid DNS updates in .com/.net

I reforward this email in hopes that it was by simple omission that nobody
from Verisign is yet to respond to it. All questions in sections 1 - 3 are
valid and something that directly concerns proposed changes, none of that
had been asked before here in brief nanog discussion after Verisign's
post on Friday. And of course, I'm still relying that its more then simple
PR tactic that made verisign post to nanog originally and that they are
going to consult internet engineering community before making any significant
change to most widely used TLD infrastructure and that if there are any
problems found that would arrise from the change that the plan to address
them would be made available.


I reforward this email in hopes that it was by simple omission that nobody
from Verisign is yet to respond to it.

Replying to your original message has been on my to-do list.

1. Currently SLD deligation info for .com/.net TLDs seems to be updated about
twice a day and new entire TLD dns zone is published as one bulk operation.
These changes seems to be synced pretty well to changes in whois database
as seen at, so listing of nameservers in whois seems
almost always correct. Is it my understanding that after this change SLD
dns delegation will not be synced to nameserver listing in whois?

You are correct that the .com/.net zone files and Whois data are
currently updated at around the same time, twice per day. Those
processes will continue after the deployment of the rapid updates. As
a result, the .com/.net zone files available through the zone file
access program will continue match the data currently available in
Whois. But the .com/.net the authoritative servers will contain
changes not yet reflected in Whois.

2. Is it only changes in SLD delegation (listing of nameservers or ips of
nameservers) that will be effected?

Essentially, yes, but see below.

Does that mean that changes to domain such as moving domain from one
registrar to another, delition of domain will still be done once per


Related - what about status codes as submitted by registrar? In
particular, would change of status that causes domain to temporarily
or permanently not be delegated (but keeps listing of nameservers in
whois) also be processed immediatly?

You're referring to Hold status, of which there are several kinds, all
of which keep a domain's NS records out of the .com/.net zones. A
change in status will cause a domain's NS records to be inserted or
withdrawn from the .com/.net zones in near-real time.

3. Is it my understanding that with this change those who participate
in bulk whois program will not be able to see entire history of dns
delegation changes for the domain?

You said "bulk whois program", but I believe you're referring to the
"TLD Zone File Access Program"
(Establish Your Web Presence With Domain Names Powered By Verisign - Verisign). VeriSign does not make the
bulk .com/.net Whois data available.

In that case, you remove value of
participation in bulk TLD zone downloads for certain kinds of research
activity and in addition may actually be breaking service agreement for
providing this kind of data. To cover that "hole" you need provide a way
to not only download entire TLD zone but also changes done to domain
since last time entire TLD zone file has been published (to give an
example what I'm asking is ability to download "UPDATES" as in routevews
directory rather then entire bgp dump from "RIBS" directory).

Please note that being able to find entire history of domain delegation
changes is important in quite a number of cases, for example when you
need to show that either your dns registrar or isp screwed up (and then
corrected itself but does not want to admit it because that may cause them
to pay compensation per SLA) or to show improper unathorized use of the
domain, when its suspect that domain may have been hijacked (but dns has
been changed for half an hour and then returned back) or when you're tracking
domains used by spammers that change info from one zombie computer to another
every 10-30 minutes (you want to be able to create entire list of zombies
associated with such a domain and report these to ISPs, not just one or
two taken once or twice per day, because otherwise spammers would just
register different domain when that reported one is deactivated but they
will still keep use of the same zombies)

Right now we don't have plans to make the deltas available, but I will
make sure the right people see the suggestion and your supporting
reasons for wanting them.

4. Last comment is I believe that such public announcement of changes
should to go other mail lists and not just nanog which covers primarily
those concerned with network routing in US and Canada, but not necessarily
with dns operations at your ISP. I'm subscribed to at least three dns
specific mail lists and have not seen anything there. The onece I remember
by name are, the other is bind-users, third one is I think
dns list at RIPE.

I'm not suggesting you make announcement on exactly those lists (or only
on those lists + nanog), but if Verisign is trying to have better
involvement with community and making viable prior notices worldwide of
changes it is making to dns system, some investigation on where is it best
to make such notices that it would reach largest number of persons
concerned with dns technical support worldwide should be done.

With over 7000 subscribers (if I'm remembering the numbers from
Susan's latest statistics slide correctly), NANOG covers more than
just routing in North America: a posting here reaches Internet
operators worldwide. Indeed, my original posting has already appeared
in other places. But your point is well taken.