With Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers(ICANN) expanding the generic domain pool to include some fun new options, Google has today open sourced its cloud-based domain registry platform. It is a powerful and scalable Java-based software that Google uses to manage its top-level domains including .google, .soy, .how and others.

To add to your knowledge, top-level domains(or TLDs) of the Internet Domain Name System is the one that is at the highest level and collectively hosts every domain name connected to it. Now, you need a registry system that works behind-the-scenes to manage the TLD and store registration details as well as DNS information.

This project, which has been christened Nomulus, was started by Mountain View in 2012 when ICANN took a first step beyond known scope of the domain namespace. It was during this time it introduced generic TLDs like .blog, .xyz, .io and others. It was sometime during this time that Google jumped the gun and applied to operate a number of new generic TLDs that were announced during the expansion of the namespace.

One can easily describe Nomulus as a software platform that handles all critical functions necessary to fulfill its technical obligations in running the top-level domain it has been assigned. It is responsible for tracking domain name ownership, handling registrations, renewals, availability checks, and WHOIS requests.

The registry platform is completely scalable as it takes advantage of easy operation of Google’s Cloud Platform. It runs on its App Engine where the backend database is handled by Google Cloud Datastore. It is also robust enough to manage any number of TLDs in a single instance and still support all functionality required by ICANN.

Commenting on the decision to open-source the platform, Ben McIlwain, Software Engineer at Google says,

We hope that by providing access to our implementation of core registry functions and up-and-coming services like Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP), we can demonstrate advanced features of Google Cloud Platform and encourage interoperability and open standards in the domain name industry for registry operators.

Google also adds that registry operator Donuts, which owns about 200 TLDs, has already contributed to the project’s codebase and will be releasing their instance in the coming weeks. It’s contributions include technical specifications for the Domains Protected Marks List (DPML), Early Access Period (EAP) and tiered pricing alongwith other set of features as well.

To know more about the features and capabilities of the Nomulus registry management platform, visit the GitHub page right here.

1 comment
    1. yes, you’re right in saying that .io is a country code TLD but Google acknowledges it as a generic TLD for ad targeting purposes.

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