ICANN Resolutions » ICANN IMRS Cluster

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Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Thu, 7 Nov 2019
Resolution Number: 
2019.11.07.08 – 2019.11.07.09
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, ICANN organization has established a need to expand the ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS) by installing a cluster in Singapore, resulting in increased root server capacity for the Asian region and resulting in increased resiliency of not just the IMRS, but the entire Root Server System.

Whereas, the Board Finance Committee (BFC) has reviewed the financial implications of adding a Singapore cluster to the IMRS.

Whereas, both the organization and the BFC have recommended that the Board authorize the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to take all necessary actions to execute contracts and procure equipment to install an IMRS cluster in Singapore and make all necessary disbursements pursuant to the contracts.

Resolved (2019.11.07.08), the Board authorizes the President and CEO, or his designee(s), to take all necessary actions to execute contracts and procure equipment to install an IMRS cluster in Singapore and make all necessary disbursements pursuant to the contracts.

Resolved (2019.11.07.09), specific items within this resolution shall remain confidential for negotiation purposes pursuant to Article 3, section 3.5(b) of the ICANN Bylaws until the President and CEO determines that the confidential information may be released.

Rationale for Resolution: 

ICANN organization recommended expanding the ICANN-managed Root Server (IMRS) by adding a new cluster in Singapore at a cost of [REDACTED FOR NEGOTIATION PURPOSES].

The IMRS, which is also known as l.root-servers.net, comprises equipment at nearly 170 sites across the world. Most of these sites consist of a single server and are known as IMRS singles. The IMRS also includes three larger sites, called IMRS clusters, composed of dozens of servers each. There are currently three IMRS clusters, located in the US near Los Angeles and near Washington, D.C., and in Prague, Czech Republic. These sites have considerably higher capacity to answer DNS queries than the IMRS single sites. The extra capacity of IMRS clusters is useful in times of normal query load but critical in times of larger-than-normal load, such as during a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, when attackers flood the IMRS with traffic.

There are several reasons that adding an IMRS cluster in Singapore is an appropriate strategic decision at this time and a good use of ICANN org resources.

The cluster will address existing demand for root service in the Asian region. Existing IMRS sites in Asia together already receive twice as many queries as the next busiest region (Europe).

An IMRS cluster in Singapore will increase the topological diversity of the entire IMRS. Right now, with the three existing clusters located in North America and Europe, the Asian-region Internet is underrepresented. Design best practices call for the large capacity IMRS clusters to be evenly distributed throughout the Internet's topology.

The Internet infrastructure in Singapore is well suited to support an IMRS cluster. The Internet in Singapore is highly developed and robust. In addition, the country is extremely well connected via submarine cables compared to other countries in the region.

An IMRS cluster in Singapore will provide a significant increase in overall resiliency for the IMRS as a whole. The Singapore cluster would connect to the Internet with 100 Gbits/second of bandwidth, allowing it to answer over 24 million DNS queries per second. In the event of an attack resulting in significant additional traffic, the extra capacity provided by the Singapore cluster will allow attack traffic to be absorbed, which helps mitigate the attack. With sufficient capacity, queries in the Asian region can continue to be answered.

The Board reviewed the organization's and the Board Finance Committee's recommendations for adding an IMRS cluster in Singapore and agrees with those recommendations.

Taking this Board action fits squarely within ICANN's mission and the public interest in that it ensures that large expenditures are reviewed and evaluated by the Board if they exceed a certain amount of delegated authority through ICANN's Contracting and Disbursement Policy. This ensures that the Board is overseeing large disbursements and acting as proper stewards of the funding ICANN receives from the public.

There will be a financial impact on ICANN to add an IMRS cluster in Singapore. This impact is currently not included in the FY20 Operating Plan and Budget. This action will have a direct positive impact on the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system.

This is an Organizational Administrative function that does not require public comment.