DNC Newsletter - September 2002

Since the RIK was made available on 6 September, some people have sought clarification on various matters. A FAQ section of the DNC web is planned for October but some of the more common questions are covered here to assist planning.

Q. If I am an accredited .nz provider with Domainz, do I automatically become an authorised registrar on the SRS?

A. No. If you want to become an authorised registrar you will need to apply to the DNC as outlined in the published Authorisation Process policy.

Q. How much does it cost?

A. The application fee for authorisation as a registrar is $2,000 (GST excl). The domain name fee is set at $2.00 (GST excl) per domain name per month. There is also a registry minimum monthly charge of $48 (GST excl).

Q. I've already paid Domainz to be a .nz provider, why do I have to pay more money?

A. The .nz provider agreement with Domainz relates to the services Domainz offers. The authorisation application fee relates to the costs associated with the DNC assessing the application to decide if you meet the standard to become an authorised registrar. If you do become an authorised registrar, Domainz have said they will refund your accreditation fee, on a pro-rata basis, from when you connect to the SRS and cease using their services.

Q. When can I apply for authorisation?

A. All the .nz polices and procedures apply from 14 October 2002 so you can apply from that date. You are also able from that date to apply to NZRS (the registry) to connect to the SRS test system.

Q. When is all this going to happen?

A. The change over to NZRS being the registry, rather than Domainz, takes place over the weekend of 12 October 2002. At 10am on Saturday 12 October, the DRS will be taken down so that work can commence on implementing the SRS. The SRS is formally implemented at 1am on Monday 14 October.

Q. What impact will the changeover on the weekend of 12 October have on me?

A. No new domain name registrations, or amendments to current domain names, will be possible between 10am on Saturday 12 October and 1am on Monday 14 October. During this time WHOIS will still be available however, this will switch from operating on the DRS to operating from the SRS when the SRS is fully implemented and stable.

Q. Why is the system down so long?

A. We can never be entirely sure how long it is going to take to get the SRS implemented and stable. It will probably be sometime Saturday but we are aware of the need to have a definite time for when the .nz register will be available again. To be sure of this, we have set aside the Sunday as well to cover the risk of anything going wrong. We are sure we can meet 1am on Monday 14 October for everything to be working.

Q. When will I be able to start testing my software?

A. You are able to apply to NZRS, as per the Connection Process policy, from October 14. As soon as you receive details from NZRS you will get access to the test system and be able to start testing your software.

Q. When can I connect to the production system and start registering and updating my domain names?

A. Registrars will be able to connect to the SRS from 10am on Saturday 7 December 2002.

Q. How do I get all the names that I currently have allocated to me?

A. The Policy on the Domain Name Allocation Process details the procedures that will be followed to allocate domain names.

Q. What if I don't want to become a registrar, am I able to keep the arrangement I have with Domainz?

A. You are able to maintain your relationship with Domainz. Domainz is the stabilising registrar and will continue to offer the services it currently does. As other registrars get authorised and connect to the SRS you may elect to work through another registrar, that is your decision.

Technical Implementation

For most of the past month the focus of the technical team has been on acceptance testing. At this time, there are few outstanding issues and their impact is minor. The system will be fully tested by the end of the first week of October. The acceptance testing phase has focused on the XML transactions that are the basis of the system, and the replication architecture, ensuring high availability and robust disaster recovery processes.

During September, the Registrar Working Group test system was closed down. By monitoring the transactions that were coming through from the participants, it was clear that most experienced little difficulty in interpreting the technical documentation in the RIK and building the necessary connection software. The overall impression gained from the exercise is that exchanging XML transactions with the registry is not going to be a diffcult technical exercise. Registrars will likely find they are required to direct most of their efforts into hooking the transactions into their existing applications.

The Registrar Test System will be available for intending registrars, who have completed the Connection Process, to use from October 14th. At this date, the test database is likely to contain a copy of the production register (in which all domains are managed by Domainz). It is our intention to apply some 'smarts' to the building of the test system, which will likely be refreshed on a regular basis. The build scripts will endeavour to manufacture test scenarios that enable each registrar to fully test their interface, including test situations that would be difficult for registrars to create themselves, such as the domain transfer, renewal, and release processes. It is unlikely that these advanced scenarios will be implemented by October 14th but this has been assigned high priority to ensure registrars have full testing capability for as long as possible before December 7th.

The only aspect of the SRS that might not be available by October 14th is the Open Source user interface. This has been developed but, because it is not a mandatory requirement of the system, it has not yet been tested to our satisfaction. We will put more effort into this as we approach implementation but any other issues that occur in the meantime will be accorded higher priority. It will be assigned a high priority after October 14th.

Any comments?
If you have any questions or concerns about the SRS implementation, please don't hesitate to contact us. For registry or technical matters, contact [email protected]. For all other matters, contact Debbie Monahan at [email protected]

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