ICANN .RAM gTLD Application 1-2055-15880 - Chrysler Group LLC. - Priority 1409 | Domainia

New gTLD Application Submitted to ICANN by: Chrysler Group LLC.

String: ram

Originally Posted: 13 June 2012

Application ID: 1-2055-15880


Applicant Information


1. Full legal name

Chrysler Group LLC.

2. Address of the principal place of business

1000 Chrysler Drive
Auburn Hills Michigan 48326
US

3. Phone number

+012485122950

4. Fax number

+012485124053

5. If applicable, website or URL

http:⁄⁄www.chryslergroupllc.com

Primary Contact


6(a). Name

Gretchen Olive

6(b). Title

Director of Policy & Industry Affairs

6(c). Address


6(d). Phone Number

+013026365401

6(e). Fax Number

+013026365454

6(f). Email Address

cscngtlds41@cscinfo.com

Secondary Contact


7(a). Name

Michael B. Hardy

7(b). Title

Manager - Sales & Marketing Architecture

7(c). Address


7(d). Phone Number

+01248 838 4837

7(e). Fax Number

+01248 512 4053

7(f). Email Address

mike.hardy@chrysler.com

Proof of Legal Establishment


8(a). Legal form of the Applicant

limited liability company

8(b). State the specific national or other jursidiction that defines the type of entity identified in 8(a).

DELAWARE, US

8(c). Attach evidence of the applicant's establishment.

Attachments are not displayed on this form.

9(a). If applying company is publicly traded, provide the exchange and symbol.


9(b). If the applying entity is a subsidiary, provide the parent company.

NA

9(c). If the applying entity is a joint venture, list all joint venture partners.

NA

Applicant Background


11(a). Name(s) and position(s) of all directors

Alfredo AltavillaDirector
Douglas Mark SteenlandDirector
James Johnston BlanchardDirector
John Beresford LanawayDirector
Leo Walter HouleDirector
Ronald Lurie ThompsonLead Director
Sergio MarchionneDirector⁄Chairman
Stephen Michael WolfDirector

11(b). Name(s) and position(s) of all officers and partners

Daniel C. KnottSenior Vice President
Daniel W. DevineAssistant Secretary
Douglas D. BettsSenior Vice President
Gualberto RanieriSenior Vice President
Holly E. LeeseSenior Vice President & Secretary
Jereen G. TrudellAssistant Secretary
Kenneth D. NilsonAssistant Treasurer
Marjorie LoebAssistant Secretary
Michael J. KeeganSenior Vice President
Michael ManleyExecutive Vice President
Nancy A. RaeExecutive Vice President
Pietro GorlierSenior Vice President
Ralph V. GillesSenior Vice President
Reid BiglandSenior Vice President
Richard K. PalmerCFO & Senior Vice President
Robert L. WatsonAssistant Treasurer
Scott G. KunselmanCTO & Senior Vice President
Scott R. GarberdingSenior Vice President
Sergio MarchionnePresident, CEO, COO
Walter P. Bodden Jr.Treasurer

11(c). Name(s) and position(s) of all shareholders holding at least 15% of shares

Fiat North America LLCNot Applicable
UAW Retiree Medical Benefits TrustNot Applicable

11(d). For an applying entity that does not have directors, officers, partners, or shareholders: Name(s) and position(s) of all individuals having legal or executive responsibility


Applied-for gTLD string


13. Provide the applied-for gTLD string. If an IDN, provide the U-label.

ram

14(a). If an IDN, provide the A-label (beginning with "xn--").


14(b). If an IDN, provide the meaning or restatement of the string in English, that is, a description of the literal meaning of the string in the opinion of the applicant.


14(c). If an IDN, provide the language of the label (in English).


14(c). If an IDN, provide the language of the label (as referenced by ISO-639-1).


14(d). If an IDN, provide the script of the label (in English).


14(d). If an IDN, provide the script of the label (as referenced by ISO 15924).


14(e). If an IDN, list all code points contained in the U-label according to Unicode form.


15(a). If an IDN, Attach IDN Tables for the proposed registry.

Attachments are not displayed on this form.

15(b). Describe the process used for development of the IDN tables submitted, including consultations and sources used.


15(c). List any variant strings to the applied-for gTLD string according to the relevant IDN tables.


16. Describe the applicant's efforts to ensure that there are no known operational or rendering problems concerning the applied-for gTLD string. If such issues are known, describe steps that will be taken to mitigate these issues in software and other applications.

Applicant anticipates the introduction of this TLD without operational or rendering problems. Based on a decade of experience launching and operating new TLDs, Afilias, the back-end provider of registry services for this TLD, is confident the launch and operation of this TLD presents no known challenges. The rationale for this opinion includes:  - The string is not complex and is represented in standard ASCII characters and follows relevant technical, operational and policy standards;    - The string length is within lengths currently supported in the root and by ubiquitous Internet programs such as web browsers and mail applications;   - There are no new standards required for the introduction of this TLD;   - No onerous requirements are being made on registrars, registrants or Internet users, and;   - The existing secure, stable and reliable Afilias SRS, DNS, WHOIS and supporting systems and staff are amply provisioned and prepared to meet the needs of this TLD

17. (OPTIONAL) Provide a representation of the label according to the International Phonetic Alphabet (http://www.langsci.ucl.ac.uk/ipa/).


Mission/Purpose


18(a). Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD.

(a)	Describe the mission⁄purpose of your proposed gTLD

Chrysler Group LLC, formed in 2009 to establish a global strategic alliance with Fiat S.p.A. produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products in more than 120 countries around the world. With the resources, technology and worldwide distribution network required to compete on a global scale, the alliance builds on Chrysler Group’s culture of innovation, first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925, and Fiat’s complementary technology that dates back to its founding in 1899.
Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan USA, Chrysler Group’s product lineup features some of the worldʹs most recognizable vehicles, including the Chrysler 300 and Town & Country, Jeep Wrangler, all-new Dodge Dart, Ram 1500, Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 and Fiat 500. Chrysler Group operates 28 manufacturing facilities in four countries and employs more than 57,200 people. Fiat contributes world-class technology, platforms and powertrains for small- and medium-size cars, allowing Chrysler Group to offer an expanded product line including environmentally friendly vehicles.
Chrysler Group LLC seeks the proposed (.ram) gTLD as a restricted, exclusively-controlled gTLD for the purpose of expanding Chrysler Group LLC’s ability to:
• create a connected digital presence and personalized brand experience for customers and other business partners;
• deliver product and service marketing⁄advertising;
• enable marketing campaign activation;
• facilitate secure interaction and communication with individuals and entities with whom Chrysler Group LLC has a business relationship;
• improve business operations;
• simplify Internet user navigation to information about Chrysler Group LLC products and services;
• demonstrate market leadership in protecting customer privacy and confidential information online; and
• meet future client expectations and competitive market demands.


18(b). How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

(b)	How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?
i. What is the goal of your proposed gTLD in terms of areas of specialty, service levels, or reputation?
The goal of the proposed (.ram) gTLD in terms of specialty, service levels and reputation is:
• Specialty – Chrysler Group LLC is a leading global manufacturer and distributor of Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, SRT and Fiat vehicles. Mopar distributes approximately 280,000 parts and accessories in more than 120 countries and is the source for all original equipment parts for Chrysler Group vehicles. In the course of its business with customers and other business partners, highly-sensitive, personal and confidential information is collected and shared between authorized parties. To further demonstrate Chrysler Group LLC’s commitment and market leadership in the area of data security and privacy within its industry, Chrysler Group LLC intends to utilize the (.ram) gTLD to create a restricted, exclusively-controlled online environment for customers and other business partners with the goal of further securing the collection and transmission of personal and other confidential data required for contracted services and other product-related activities.
• Service levels –One of the key goals of the proposed (.ram) gTLD is to create a restricted, exclusively-controlled online environment for customers and other business partners which will increase customer confidence and trust in conducting business online. Through greater use of online tools by customers, Chrysler Group LLC expects to further streamline business processes, reduce turn-around times, provide more personalized service and improve overall client service delivery and satisfaction.
• Reputation – Chrysler Group LLC has a reputation of stellar client service, innovation and market leadership. With the online channel growing in importance, one of the goals of the proposed (.ram) gTLD is to position Chrysler Group LLC to meet future client expectations and competitive market demands to ensure it can continue to grow its reputation in the Automotive and Light Truck industry, as well as in the global marketplace.
ii. What do you anticipate your proposed gTLD will add to the current space, in terms of competition, differentiation, or innovation?
Chrysler Group LLC plans to operate the proposed (.ram) gTLD as a restricted, exclusively-controlled TLD and as such, will not be commercially offered for registration by the general public. Thus, Chrysler Group LLC and affiliated entities will have exclusive ownership and control over all second-level registrations within the TLD. As a result, we believe the proposed (.ram) gTLD will add to the current names space in three (3) areas:
• Competition – As technology advances, so too do client expectations of companies online. They expect that companies will utilize the latest and greatest technology and online practices to improve the user experience, protect their information and deliver quality service. With the anticipated expansion in the digital environment, Chrysler Group LLC anticipates that the proposed (.ram) gTLD will enable it to communicate, interact and protect data in ways and under conditions not possible under the existing namespace, thus enabling Chrysler Group LLC to meet future client expectations and competitive market demands.
• Differentiation – While today companies like Chrysler Group LLC can register brand strings at the second-level (eg., chrysler.com, jeep.com,dodge.com, ramtrucks.com, mopar.com, driveuconnect.com), the proliferation of cybersquatting and typo squatting has placed a great burden on consumers to carefully tread online because there is no guarantee that what looks like a branded website is indeed an authorized website of the brand owner. The proposed (.ram) gTLD will enable customers and other business partners and Internet users to distinguish on the face of the domain name alone whether the site is an authorized company site because the gTLD will be a restricted, exclusively- controlled online environment where only authorized Chrysler Group LLC web properties and e-mail will exist and operate online.
Innovation - The proposed (.ram) gTLD as a restricted, exclusively-controlled TLD will provide Chrysler Group LLC with a new platform on which to build future innovation of its online brand presence.
iii. What goals does your proposed gTLD have in terms of user experience?
The Internet has been plagued by cybersquatting, typo squatting, phishing, pharming and identity theft scams. This malicious online conduct has shaken the trust and confidence of consumers to share information and transact business online. Thus, the proposed (.ram) gTLD has the following user experience goals:
• Unify the full breadth of products and services offered by Chrysler Group LLC under one brand umbrella;
• Improve and streamline the manner in which customers and other business partners can interact with Chrysler Group LLC in the online digital space;
• Foster trust and confidence in online interactions by customers and other business partners with Chrysler Group LLC;
• Reduce the risk of Internet users being misled, believing and⁄or acting on erroneous, information about Chrysler Group LLC, its business partners and⁄or its products and services presented online by unauthorized 3rd parties; and
• Simplify online navigation to Chrysler Group LLC products, services and business partner information.

iv. Provide a complete description of the applicant’s intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above.
The proposed gTLD will be a restricted, exclusively-controlled gTLD where only Applicant, affiliated entities and authorized business partners will be permitted to register second-level domains for Applicant business purposes, and only for a term of one to ten years. Registrants who seek registrations for second-level names under the TLD will be required to present evidence in writing to accredited registrar(s) for the TLD demonstrating explicit authorization from an officer of the Applicant company to register second-level names within the TLD to protect against unauthorized registration within the TLD by unaffiliated third parties. Registrants must supply corporate contact and ownership information, not personal information, for each registration obtained under the TLD for display in the TLD WHOIS.
To the extent second-level domain names are ever registered to Applicant’s business partners and⁄or affiliates that are not owned by Applicant or its corporate parent company, registrants will be required to execute a registration agreement that incorporates all required ICANN consensus policies and other legal⁄policy requirements imposed on new gTLD applicants into the terms and conditions of the domain name registration agreement. Such registration may also be subject to additional terms and conditions under separate business partner and⁄or affiliate agreements with Applicant entity. Registrations by business partners or affiliates not owned by Applicant or its corporate parent company will require written, pre-approval by designated individual(s) at Applicant company, must provide corporate contact information, not personal information, for WHOIS purposes and must be made with Applicant’s registrar of choice. Registrants must not use the domain name in any way that may damage or diminish Applicant’s brand reputation, business relationships or other business interests. Failure to do any of the above will result in the immediate suspension of registrant’s registration agreement and⁄or deletion of all domain names currently registered in the TLD.
v. Will your proposed gTLD impose any measures for protecting the privacy or confidential information of registrants or users? If so, please describe any such measures.
The proposed (.ram) gTLD will be a restricted, exclusively-controlled TLD where Chrysler Group LLC will have exclusive control. Corporate contact information will be clearly listed in the WHOIS record for each registration within the TLD. Thus, there are no measures that need to be proposed to protect the privacy or confidential registration information of registrants⁄users of the TLD. However, Chrysler Group LLC is investing in the proposed (.ram) gTLD to further demonstrate its commitment and market leadership with regard to privacy of consumer data (as evidenced by its current data privacy policy, http:⁄⁄www.chrysler.com⁄universal⁄privacy.html), as Chrysler Group LLC believes the utilization of the proposed new gTLD could position the company to more fully meet online challenges that may threaten the security of customer data in the future.
vi. Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits.
Prior to using the proposed (.ram) gTLD for product and service marketing⁄advertising, marketing campaign activation, interaction and communication with individuals and entities with whom Chrysler Group LLC has a business relationship, and⁄or implementing new online navigation strategies, Chrysler Group LLC has the ability to incorporate messaging regarding (.ram) as part of appropriate company and product communication campaigns that will likely involve all communication channels, including but not limited to, TV, radio, mobile, print, social media, direct mail, online advertising and marketing via our active, client and affiliate-facing websites and other public relations activities to:
• Further communicate Chrysler Group LLC’s commitment to online consumer safety and data privacy;
• Inform the market of Chrysler Group LLC’s ownership and planned use of the proposed (.ram) gTLD;
• Clearly define the expected benefits to customers, prospective customers, other business partners and Internet users at large.

Future outreach and communications campaigns will be carried out as when a valid business case is identified to reaffirm and clarify the above. Chrysler Group LLC believes outreach and communication will be critical to building trust and confidence in the legitimacy of the TLD.

18(c). What operating rules will you adopt to eliminate or minimize social costs?

(c)	What operating rules will you adopt to eliminate or minimize social costs (e.g., time or financial resource costs, as well as various types of consumer vulnerabilities)? What other steps will you take to minimize negative consequences⁄costs imposed upon consumers?


i. How will multiple applications for a particular domain name be resolved, for example, by auction or on a first-come⁄first serve basis?

• There will not be multiple applications for a particular domain in the proposed (.ram) TLD because this will be a restricted, exclusively-controlled TLD where only Chrysler Group LLC and its affiliated, authorized entities will be able to seek and obtain registrations.

ii. Explain any cost benefits for registrants you intend to implement (e.g., advantageous pricing, introductory discounts, bulk registration discounts).

• This question is not applicable to a restricted, exclusively-controlled, self-funded TLD, like the proposed (.ram) TLD.

iii. Note that the Registry Agreement requires that registrars be offered the option to obtain initial domain name registrations for periods of one to ten years at the discretion of the registrar, but no greater than ten years. Additionally, the Registry Agreement requires advance written notice of price increases. Do you intend to make contractual commitments to registrants regarding the magnitude of price escalation? If so, please describe your plans.

• The proposed (.ram) TLD will be a restricted, exclusively-controlled, self-funded TLD available only to Chrysler Group LLC and its authorized, affiliated entities. Thus, there will be no per domain name registration cost incurred by any party for this TLD and thus, no price changes and⁄or escalations for which registrants will need to be notified.


Community-based Designation


19. Is the application for a community-based TLD?

No

20(a). Provide the name and full description of the community that the applicant is committing to serve.


20(b). Explain the applicant's relationship to the community identified in 20(a).


20(c). Provide a description of the community-based purpose of the applied-for gTLD.


20(d). Explain the relationship between the applied-for gTLD string and the community identified in 20(a).


20(e). Provide a description of the applicant's intended registration policies in support of the community-based purpose of the applied-for gTLD.


20(f). Attach any written endorsements from institutions/groups representative of the community identified in 20(a).

Attachments are not displayed on this form.

Geographic Names


21(a). Is the application for a geographic name?

No

Protection of Geographic Names


22. Describe proposed measures for protection of geographic names at the second and other levels in the applied-for gTLD.

     We will protect names with national or geographic significance by reserving the country and territory names at the second level and at all other levels within the TLD, as per the requirements in the New TLD Registry Agreement (Specification 5, paragraph 5).
We will employ a series of rules to translate the geographical names required to be reserved by Specification 5, paragraph 5 to a form consistent with the ʺhost namesʺ format used in domain names.
Considering the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) advice “Principles regarding new gTLDs”, these domains will be blocked, at no cost to governments, public authorities, or IGOs, before the TLD is introduced (Sunrise), so that no parties may apply for them. We will publish a list of these names before Sunrise, so our registrars and their prospective applicants can be aware that these names are reserved.
As defined by Specification 5, paragraph 5, such geographic domains may be released to the extent that Registry Operator reaches agreement with the applicable government(s). Registry operator will work with respective GAC representatives of the country’s relevant Ministry of Department to obtain their release of the names to the Registry Operator.
If internationalized domains names (IDNs) are introduced in the TLD in the future, we will also reserve the IDN versions of the country names in the relevant script(s) before IDNs become available to the public. If we find it advisable and practical, we will confer with relevant language authorities so that we can reserve the IDN domains properly along with their variants.
Regarding GAC advice regarding second-level domains not specified via Specification 5, paragraph 5: All domains awarded to registrants are subject to the Uniform Domain Name Dispute
Resolution Policy (UDRP), and to any properly-situated court proceeding. We will ensure appropriate procedures to allow governments, public authorities or IGO’s to challenge abuses of names with national or geographic significance at the second level. In its registry-registrar agreement, and flowing down to registrar-registrant agreements, the registry operator will institute a provision to suspend domains names in the event of a dispute. We may exercise that right in the case of a dispute over a geographic name.

Registry Services


23. Provide name and full description of all the Registry Services to be provided.

Throughout the technical portion (#23 - #44) of this application, answers are provided directly from Afilias, the back-end provider of registry services for this TLD. Applicant chose Afilias as its back-end provider because Afilias has more experience successfully applying to ICANN and launching new TLDs than any other provider. Afilias is the ICANN-contracted registry operator of the .INFO and .MOBI TLDs, and Afilias is the back-end registry services provider for other ICANN TLDs including .ORG, .ASIA, .AERO, and .XXX.

Registry services for this TLD will be performed by Afilias in the same responsible manner used to support 16 top level domains today. Afilias supports more ICANN-contracted TLDs (6) than any other provider currently. Afilias’ primary corporate mission is to deliver secure, stable and reliable registry services. This TLD will utilize an existing, proven team and platform for registry services with:
• A stable and secure, state-of-the-art, EPP-based SRS with ample storage capacity, data security provisions and scalability that is proven with registrars who account for over 95% of all gTLD domain name registration activity (over 375 registrars);
• A reliable, 100% available DNS service (zone file generation, publication and dissemination) tested to withstand severe DDoS attacks and dramatic growth in Internet use;
• A WHOIS service that is flexible and standards compliant, with search capabilities to address both registrar and end-user needs; includes consideration for evolving standards, such as RESTful, or draft-kucherawy-wierds;
• Experience introducing IDNs in the following languages: German (DE), Spanish (ES), Polish (PL), Swedish (SV), Danish (DA), Hungarian (HU), Icelandic (IS), Latvian (LV), Lithuanian (LT), Korean (KO), Simplified and Traditional Chinese (CN), Devanagari (HI-DEVA), Russian (RU), Belarusian (BE), Ukrainian (UK), Bosnian (BS), Serbian (SR), Macedonian (MK) and Bulgarian (BG) across the TLDs it serves;
• A registry platform that is both IPv6 and DNSSEC enabled;
• An experienced, respected team of professionals active in standards development of innovative services such as DNSSEC and IDN support;
• Methods to limit domain abuse, remove outdated and inaccurate data, and ensure the integrity of the SRS, and;
• Customer support and reporting capabilities to meet financial and administrative needs, e.g., 24x7 call center support, integration support, billing, and daily, weekly, and monthly reporting.

Afilias, leveraging a proven registry infrastructure that is fully operational, staffed with professionals, massively provisioned, and immediately ready to launch and maintain this TLD, will support this TLD in accordance with the specific policies and procedures of the registry operator, the Applicant, and its registry operations and compliance support provider, CSC Corporate Domains, Inc. (CSC). Throughout this application, registry operator includes the administration and management services for this TLD by CSC.

The Applicant chose CSC to provide extensive support for the operations and compliance of this new TLD. During the set-up of registry operator services, CSC will assist the Applicant with:
• Configuring client specific inventory, billing, specialized business rules, as well as access & permission rights for the user interface that will interact with the Afilias’ EPP-based, SRS;
• Connecting & performing all OT&E testing with Registry & Trademark Clearinghouse interfaces;
• Scheduling data escrow deposits, and their processing & payment administration;
• Conducting and managing ICANN Pre-Delegation system testing (along with Afilias);
• Project Management for the delegation process; and
• Training authorized staff for policy compliance under the new TLD.

Many ongoing needs of the Applicant, as registry operator, will also be provided by CSC, including:
• Day-to-Day service of TLD requests via dedicated service team;
• 24X7X365 Tier 1 Technical Support;
• Generation, review and submission of monthly ICANN compliance reports;
• Dedicated Account Management & Issue escalation;
• Weekly data escrow deposits and data escrow administration (along with Afilias)
• System monitoring, maintenance and upgrades (along with Afilias)
• Management of TLD systems and vendors
• Internal business reporting
• ICANN policy monitoring and reporting

The below response includes a description of the registry services to be provided for this TLD, additional services provided to support registry operations, and an overview of Afilias’ approach to registry management.

Registry services to be provided
To support this TLD, Applicant and Afilias will offer the following registry services, all in accordance with relevant technical standards and policies:
• Receipt of data from registrars concerning registration for domain names and name servers, and provision to registrars of status information relating to the EPP-based domain services for registration, queries, updates, transfers, renewals, and other domain management functions. Please see our responses to questions #24, #25, and #27 for full details, which we request be incorporated here by reference.
• Operation of the registry DNS servers: The Afilias DNS system, run and managed by Afilias, is a massively provisioned DNS infrastructure that utilizes among the most sophisticated DNS architecture, hardware, software and redundant design created. Afilias’ industry-leading system works in a seamless way to incorporate name servers from any number of other secondary DNS service vendors. Please see our response to question #35 for full details, which we request, be incorporated here by reference.
• Dissemination of TLD zone files: Afilias’ distinctive architecture allows for real-time updates and maximum stability for zone file generation, publication and dissemination. Please see our response to question #34 for full details, which we request, be incorporated here by reference.
• Dissemination of contact or other information concerning domain registrations: A port 43 WHOIS service with basic and expanded search capabilities with requisite measures to prevent abuse. Please see our response to question #26 for full details, which we request, be incorporated here by reference.
• Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs): Ability to support all Unicode characters at every level of the TLD, including alphabetic, ideographic and right-to-left scripts. Please see our response to question #44 for full details, which we request, be incorporated here by reference.
• DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC): A fully DNSSEC-enabled registry, with a stable and efficient means of signing and managing zones. This includes the ability to safeguard keys and manage keys completely. Please see our response to question #43 for full details, which we request, be incorporated here by reference.

Each service will meet or exceed the contract service level agreement. All registry services for this TLD will be provided in a standards-compliant manner.

Security
Afilias addresses security in every significant aspect – physical, data and network as well as process. Afilias’ approach to security permeates every aspect of the registry services provided. A dedicated security function exists within the company to continually identify existing and potential threats, and to put in place comprehensive mitigation plans for each identified threat. In addition, a rapid security response plan exists to respond comprehensively to unknown or unidentified threats. The specific threats and Afilias mitigation plans are defined in our response to question #30(b); please see that response for complete information. In short, Afilias is committed to ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all information.

New registry services
No new registry services are planned for the launch of this TLD.
Additional services to support registry operation
Numerous supporting services and functions facilitate effective management of the TLD. These support services are also supported by Afilias, including:
• Customer support: 24x7 live phone and e-mail support for customers to address any access, update or other issues they may encounter. This includes assisting the customer identification of the problem as well as solving it. Customers include registrars and the registry operator, but not registrants except in unusual circumstances. Customers have access to a web-based portal for a rapid and transparent view of the status of pending issues.
• Financial services: billing and account reconciliation for all registry services according to pricing established in respective agreements.

Reporting is an important component of supporting registry operations. Afilias will provide reporting to the registry operator and registrars, and financial reporting.

Reporting provided to registry operator
Afilias provides an extensive suite of reports to the registry operator, including daily, weekly and monthly reports with data at the transaction level that enable the registry operator to track and reconcile at whatever level of detail preferred. Afilias provides the exact data required by ICANN in the required format to enable the registry operator to meet its technical reporting requirements to ICANN.

In addition, Afilias offers access to a data warehouse capability that will enable near real-time data to be available 24x7. This can be arranged by informing the Afilias Account Manager regarding who should have access. Afilias’ data warehouse capability enables drill-down analytics all the way to the transaction level.

Reporting available to registrars
Afilias provides an extensive suite of reporting to registrars and has been doing so in an exemplary manner for more than ten years. Specifically, Afilias provides daily, weekly and monthly reports with detail at the transaction level to enable registrars to track and reconcile at whatever level of detail they prefer.

Reports are provided in standard formats, facilitating import for use by virtually any registrar analytical tool. Registrar reports are available for download via a secure administrative interface. A given registrar will only have access to its own reports. These include the following:
• Daily Reports: Transaction Report, Billable Transactions Report, and Transfer Reports;
• Weekly: Domain Status and Name server Report, Weekly Name server Report, Domains Hosted by Name server Weekly Report, and;
• Monthly: Billing Report and Monthly Expiring Domains Report.

Weekly registrar reports are maintained for each registrar for four weeks. Weekly reports older than four weeks will be archived for a period of six months, after which they will be deleted.

Financial reporting
Registrar account balances are updated real-time when payments and withdrawals are posted to the registrarsʹ accounts. In addition, the registrar account balances are updated as and when they perform billable transactions at the registry level.

Afilias provides Deposit⁄Withdrawal Reports that are updated periodically to reflect payments received or credits and withdrawals posted to the registrar accounts.

The following reports are also available: a) Daily Billable Transaction Report, containing details of all the billable transactions performed by all the registrars in the SRS, b) daily e-mail reports containing the number of domains in the registry and a summary of the number and types of billable transactions performed by the registrars, and c) registry operator versions of most registrar reports (for example, a daily Transfer Report that details all transfer activity between all of the registrars in the SRS).

Afilias approach to registry support
Afilias, the back end registry services provider for this TLD, is dedicated to managing the technical operations and support of this TLD in a secure, stable and reliable manner. With over a decade of registry experience, Afilias has the depth and breadth of experience that ensure existing and new needs are addressed, all while meeting or exceeding service level requirements and customer expectations. This is evident in Afilias’ participation in business, policy and technical organizations supporting registry and Internet technology within ICANN and related organizations. This allows Afilias to be at the forefront of security initiatives such as: DNSSEC, wherein Afilias worked with Public Interest Registry (PIR) to make the .ORG registry the first DNSSEC enabled gTLD and the largest TLD enabled at the time; in enhancing the Internet experience for users across the globe by leading development of IDNs; in pioneering the use of open-source technologies by its usage of PostgreSQL, and; being the first to offer near-real-time dissemination of DNS zone data.

Demonstration of Technical & Operational Capability


24. Shared Registration System (SRS) Performance

24	SRS Performance 

THE RESPONSE FOR THIS QUESTION USES ANGLE BRACKETS (THE “〈” and “〉” CHARACTERS), WHICH ICANN INFORMS US (CASE ID 11027) CANNOT BE PROPERLY RENDERED IN TAS DUE TO SECURITY CONCERNS. HENCE, THE FULL ANSWER TO THIS QUESTION IS ATTACHED AS A PDF FILE.


Answers for this question (#24) are provided directly from Afilias, the back-end provider of registry services for this TLD.

Afilias operates a state-of-the-art EPP-based Shared Registration System (SRS) that is secure, stable and reliable. The SRS is a critical component of registry operations that must balance the business requirements for the registry and its customers, such as numerous domain acquisition and management functions. The SRS meets or exceeds all ICANN requirements given that Afilias:
• Operates a secure, stable and reliable SRS which updates in real-time and in full compliance with Specification 6 of the new gTLD Registry Agreement;
• Is committed to continuously enhancing our SRS to meet existing and future needs;
• Currently exceeds contractual requirements and will perform in compliance with Specification 10 of the new gTLD Registry Agreement;
• Provides SRS functionality and staff, financial, and other resources to more than adequately meet the technical needs of this TLD, and;
• Manages the SRS with a team of experienced technical professionals who can seamlessly integrate this TLD into the Afilias registry platform and support the TLD in a secure, stable and reliable manner.

Description of operation of the SRS, including diagrams
Afilias’ SRS provides the same advanced functionality as that used in the .INFO and .ORG registries, as well as the fourteen other TLDs currently supported by Afilias. The Afilias registry system is standards-compliant and utilizes proven technology, ensuring global familiarity for registrars, and it is protected by our massively provisioned infrastructure that mitigates the risk of disaster.

EPP functionality is described fully in our response to question #25; please consider those answers incorporated here by reference. An abbreviated list of Afilias SRS functionality includes:
• Domain registration: Afilias provides registration of names in the TLD, in both ASCII and IDN forms, to accredited registrars via EPP and a web-based administration tool.
• Domain renewal: Afilias provides services that allow registrars the ability to renew domains under sponsorship at any time. Further, the registry performs the automated renewal of all domain names at the expiration of their term, and allows registrars to rescind automatic renewals within a specified number of days after the transaction for a full refund.
• Transfer: Afilias provides efficient and automated procedures to facilitate the transfer of sponsorship of a domain name between accredited registrars. Further, the registry enables bulk transfers of domains under the provisions of the Registry-Registrar Agreement.
• RGP and restoring deleted domain registrations: Afilias provides support for the Redemption Grace Period (RGP) as needed, enabling the restoration of deleted registrations.
• Other grace periods and conformance with ICANN guidelines: Afilias provides support for other grace periods that are evolving as standard practice inside the ICANN community. In addition, the Afilias registry system supports the evolving ICANN guidelines on IDNs.

Afilias also supports the basic check, delete, and modify commands.

As required for all new gTLDs, Afilias provides “thick” registry system functionality. In this model, all key contact details for each domain are stored in the registry. This allows better access to domain data and provides uniformity in storing the information.

Afilias’ SRS complies today and will continue to comply with global best practices including relevant RFCs, ICANN requirements, and this TLD’s respective domain policies. With over a decade of experience, Afilias has fully documented and tested policies and procedures, and our highly skilled team members are active participants of the major relevant technology and standards organizations, so ICANN can be assured that SRS performance and compliance are met. Full details regarding the SRS system and network architecture are provided in responses to questions #31 and #32; please consider those answers incorporated here by reference.

SRS servers and software
All applications and databases for this TLD will run in a virtual environment currently hosted by a cluster of servers equipped with the latest Intel Westmere multi-core processors. (It is possible that by the time this application is evaluated and systems deployed, Westmere processors may no longer be the “latest”; the Afilias policy is to use the most advanced, stable technology available at the time of deployment.) The data for the registry will be stored on storage arrays of solid state drives shared over a fast storage area network. The virtual environment allows the infrastructure to easily scale both vertically and horizontally to cater to changing demand. It also facilitates effective utilization of system resources, thus reducing energy consumption and carbon footprint.

The network firewalls, routers and switches support all applications and servers. Hardware traffic shapers are used to enforce an equitable access policy for connections coming from registrars. The registry system accommodates both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. Hardware load balancers accelerate TLS⁄SSL handshaking and distribute load among a pool of application servers.

Each of the servers and network devices are equipped with redundant, hot-swappable components and multiple connections to ancillary systems. Additionally, 24x7 support agreements with a four-hour response time at all our data centers guarantee replacement of failed parts in the shortest time possible.

Examples of current system and network devices used are:
• Servers: Cisco UCS B230 blade servers
• SAN storage arrays: IBM Storwize V7000 with Solid State Drives
• SAN switches: Brocade 5100
• Firewalls: Cisco ASA 5585-X
• Load balancers: F5 Big-IP 6900
• Traffic shapers: Procera PacketLogic PL8720
• Routers: Juniper MX40 3D
• Network switches: Cisco Nexus 7010, Nexus 5548, Nexus 2232

These system components are upgraded and updated as required, and have usage and performance thresholds which trigger upgrade review points. In each data center, there is a minimum of two of each network component, a minimum of 25 servers, and a minimum of two storage arrays.

Technical components of the SRS include the following items, continually checked and upgraded as needed: SRS, WHOIS, web admin tool, DNS, DNS distributor, reporting, invoicing tools, and deferred revenue system (as needed).

All hardware is massively provisioned to ensure stability under all forecast volumes from launch through “normal” operations of average daily and peak capacities. Each and every system application, server, storage and network device is continuously monitored by the Afilias Network Operations Center for performance and availability. The data gathered is used by dynamic predictive analysis tools in real-time to raise alerts for unusual resource demands. Should any volumes exceed established thresholds, a capacity planning review is instituted which address the need for additions well in advance of their actual need.

SRS diagram and interconnectivity description
As with all core registry services, the SRS is run from a global cluster of registry system data centers, located in geographic centers with high Internet bandwidth, power, redundancy and availability. All of the registry systems will be run in a (n+1) setup, with a primary data center and a secondary data center. For detailed site information, please see our responses to questions #32 and #35. Registrars access the SRS in real-time using EPP.

A sample of the Afilias SRS technical and operational capabilities (displayed in Figure 24-a) include:
• Geographically diverse redundant registry systems;
• Load balancing implemented for all registry services (e.g. EPP, WHOIS, web admin) ensuring equal experience for all customers and easy horizontal scalability;
• Disaster Recovery Point objective for the registry is within one minute of the loss of the primary system;
• Detailed and tested contingency plan, in case of primary site failure, and;
• Daily reports, with secure access for confidentiality protection.

As evidenced in Figure 24-a, the SRS contains several components of the registry system. The interconnectivity ensures near-real-time distribution of the data throughout the registry infrastructure, timely backups, and up-to-date billing information.

The WHOIS servers are directly connected to the registry database and provide real-time responses to queries using the most up-to-date information present in the registry.

Committed DNS-related EPP objects in the database are made available to the DNS Distributor via a dedicated set of connections. The DNS Distributor extracts committed DNS-related EPP objects in real time and immediately inserts them into the zone for dissemination.

The Afilias system is architected such that read-only database connections are executed on database replicas and connections to the database master (where write-access is executed) are carefully protected to ensure high availability.

This interconnectivity is monitored, as is the entire registry system, according to the plans detailed in our response to question #42.

Synchronization scheme
Registry databases are synchronized both within the same data center and in the backup data center using a database application called Slony. For further details, please see the responses to questions #33 and #37. Slony replication of transactions from the publisher (master) database to its subscribers (replicas) works continuously to ensure the publisher and its subscribers remain synchronized. When the publisher database completes a transaction the Slony replication system ensures that each replica also processes the transaction. When there are no transactions