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Versions: 00 01 02 RFC 3172

Internet Architecture Board                            G. Huston, Editor
Internet Draft                                                  May 2001
Document: draft-iab-arpa-02.txt
Category: BCP

           Management Guidelines & Operational Requirements for
               the Internet Infrastructure Domain ("ARPA")

Status of this Memo

     This document is an Internet-Draft and is in full conformance with
     all provisions of Section 10 of RFC2026 [4].

     Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
     Task Force (IETF), its areas, and its working groups. Note that
     other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-
     Drafts. Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of
     six months and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other
     documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use Internet- Drafts
     as reference material or to cite them other than as "work in

     The list of current Internet-Drafts can be accessed at

     The list of Internet-Draft Shadow Directories can be accessed at

     Comments on this draft should be directed to iab@iab.org.


     This memo describes the management and operational requirements for
     the "ARPA" domain. The "ARPA" domain is used to support a class of
     infrastructural identifier spaces, providing a distributed database
     that translates elements of a structured name space derived from a
     protocol family to service names. The efficient and reliable
     operation of this DNS space is essential to the integrity of
     operation of various services within the Internet. The Internet
     Architecture Board has the responsibility, in cooperation with the
     Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, to manage the
     domain name "ARPA". This document describes the principles used by
     the IAB in undertaking this role.

1. Introduction

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     The Domain Name System (DNS) [1] [2] is predominately used to
     translate a structured textual identifier into a protocol-specific
     value. It uses the structure embedded within a hierarchical
     identifier space to create a distributed database, where every node
     within the database corresponds to a node within the name structure.
     The most prevalent role of the DNS is to store a set of name to
     address translations, allowing a domain name to be translated to an
     IP address. The DNS is also used to store a number of other
     translations from hierarchically structured identifier spaces into
     target values of various types.

     The DNS is also capable of supporting a translation in the opposite
     direction, from protocol values to the names of service entities.
     One approach in using the DNS in this fashion has been to transform
     protocol values into a hierarchically structured identifier space,
     and then use these transformed protocol value names as a DNS lookup
     key into the appropriate DNS name hierarchy. A common use of this
     mechanism has been the reverse of the name to address lookup,
     allowing for an IPv4 address to be used to look up a matching domain

     The resolution of protocol objects into service names is used by a
     number of applications to associate services with a particular
     protocol object. The correct and efficient operation of these
     applications is dependent on the correct and efficient operation of
     the associated "ARPA" domain name servers.

2. The "ARPA" domain

     The "ARPA" domain was originally established as part of the initial
     deployment of the DNS, to provide a transition mechanism from the
     Host Tables that were common in the ARPANET, as well as a home for
     the IPv4 reverse mapping domain. During 2000, the abbreviation was
     redesignated to "Address and Routing Parameter Area" in the hope of
     reducing confusion with the earlier network name.

     The Internet Architecture Board (IAB), in cooperation with the
     Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), is
     currently responsible for managing the Top Level Domain (TLD) name
     "ARPA". This arrangement is documented in Appendix A. This domain
     name provides the root of the name hierarchy of the reverse mapping
     of IP addresses to domain names. More generally, this domain name
     undertakes a role as  a limited use domain for Internet
     infrastructure applications, by providing a name root for the
     mapping of particular protocol values to names of service entities.
     This domain name provides a name root for the mapping of protocol
     values into lookup keys to retrieve operationally critical protocol
     infrastructure data records or objects for the Internet.

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     The IAB may add other infrastructure uses to the ARPA domain in the
     future.  Any such additions or changes will be documented in an RFC,
     as per section 2.1 of this document.

     This domain is termed an "infrastructure domain", as its role is to
     support the operating infrastructure of the Internet. In particular,
     the ARPA domain is not to be used in the same manner (e.g. for
     naming hosts) as other generic Top Level Domains are commonly used.

     The operational administration of this domain, in accordance with
     the provisions described in this document, shall be performed by the
     IANA under the terms of the MoU between the IAB and ICANN concerning
     the IANA [3].

2.1 Criteria for "ARPA" Sub-domains

     "ARPA" sub-domains are used for those protocol object sets defined
     as part of the Internet Standards Process [4], and are recommended
     to be managed as infrastructure protocol objects. Normally, the
     recommendation is to be made in the "IANA Considerations" section of
     the Internet Standard protocol specification. The recommendation
     should include the manner in which protocol objects are to be mapped
     into lookup keys, and recommendations to IANA concerning the
     operation of the "ARPA" sub-domain in conjunction with the
     recommendations concerning the operation of the protocol object
     registry itself.

     The IESG consideration of a document which proposes the use of an
     "ARPA" sub-domain shall include consideration of the "IANA
     Considerations" section. This consideration may result in a
     recommendation to the IAB to request the IANA to add the
     corresponding protocol object sub-domain domain to the "ARPA"
     domain, in accordance with RFC 2860 [3], with administration of the
     sub-domain undertaken in accordance with the provisions described in
     this document.

2.2 "ARPA" Name Server Requirements

     As this domain is part of the operationally critically
     infrastructure of the Internet, the stability, integrity and
     efficiency of the operation of this domain is a matter of importance
     for all Internet users.

     The "ARPA" domain is positioned as a top level domain in order to
     avoid potential operational instabilities caused by multiple DNS
     lookups spanning several operational domains that would be required
     to locate the servers of each of the parent names of a more deeply
     nested infrastructure name. The maximal lookup set for "ARPA" is a

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     lookup of the name servers for the "ARPA" domain from a root server,
     and the query agent is then provided with a list of authoritative
     "ARPA" name servers.

     The efficient and correct operation of the "ARPA" domain is
     considered to be sufficiently critical that the operational
     requirements for the root servers apply to the operational
     requirements of the "ARPA" servers. All operational requirements
     noted in RFC 2870 [5] as they apply to the operational requirements
     of the root servers shall apply to the operation of the "ARPA"
     servers. Any revision to RFC2870 in relation to the operation of the
     root servers shall also apply to the operation of the "ARPA"

     The servers that are authoritative for the root zone (or the "."
     zone)  also currently serve as authoritative for the "ARPA" zone. As
     noted in RFC 2870 [5], this arrangement is likely to change in the

3. Delegation of "ARPA" Sub-Domains

     The ARPA domain is used for the sub-domains "in-addr.ARPA" [1],
     "ip6.ARPA" [7] and "e164.ARPA" [8]. While the decision as to which
     protocol elements are loaded into the ARPA domain, and the
     hierarchical structure of such protocol elements, remains within the
     role of the IAB, the role of managing the sub-domain may be
     delegated by the IAB to an appropriate protocol management entity.

     The IAB shall only recommend the creation of "ARPA" sub-domains
     corresponding to protocol entities in the case that the delegation,
     and the hierarchical name structure is described by an IETF
     Standards Track document [4], and this inclusion within the "ARPA"
     domain is explicitly recommended in the "IANA Considerations"
     section of that document.

     If the appropriate protocol management entity is willing and able to
     operate a set of name servers that are in conformance with the
     requirements described in this document, the IAB MAY request the
     IANA to delegate the sub-domain to that entity.  If the delegated
     entity is not in a position to operate a set of name servers in
     conformance with these requirements, the IAB shall designate a
     server operator to undertake this function, and shall instruct the
     server operator to undertake further sub-delegation of protocol
     elements in accordance with the instructions of the delegated

4. Current Status of "ARPA"

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     Currently, the "ARPA" zone is located on the same set of servers as
     the root servers, and the zone is managed in accordance with these
     specifications. The IAB is working with ICANN, IANA, and the
     regional registries to move "ARPA" and "in-addr.ARPA" records from
     the root servers in accord with the RFC 2870 recommendation for
     exclusive use of those servers [5].

     The IPv4 reverse address domain, "in-addr.ARPA" is delegated to the
     IANA. The "in-addr.ARPA" zone is currently located on the same set
     of servers as the root servers. Sub-delegations within this
     hierarchy are undertaken in accordance with the IANA's address
     allocation practices.

     The "ip6.ARPA" IPv6 reverse address domain uses a method of
     delegation that is the same as is used for "in-addr.ARPA", where the
     "ip6.ARPA" domain is delegated to the IANA, and names within this
     zone further delegated to the regional IP registries in accordance
     with the delegation of IPv6 address space to those registries [6]

     As part of the ENUM activity in using E.164 numbering on the
     Internet, the process to undertake sub-delegations of the
     "e164.ARPA" domain are as per the overall liaison arrangements
     documented in RFC 3026 [8], and are described in section 4 of RFC
     2916 [9]. RFC 2916 notes that the provision that names within this
     DNS zone are to be delegated to parties according to ITU
     recommendation E.164 [10].

5. Infrastructure domains elsewhere in the DNS tree

     Any infrastructure domains that are located elsewhere in the DNS
     tree than as sub-domains of "ARPA", for historical or other reasons,
     SHOULD adhere to all of the requirements established in this
     document for sub-domains of "ARPA", and consideration should be
     given to migrating them into "ARPA" as and when appropriate.

6. Security Considerations

     The security considerations as documented in RFC2870 [5], and any
     successors to that document shall apply to the operation of the
     "ARPA" servers.

     The security considerations specific to the E.164 subdomain are
     documented in Section 5 of RFC 2916 [9].

     Any new subdomain delegation MUST adequately document any security
     considerations specific to the information stored therein.

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7. IANA Considerations

     As noted in section 3 of this document, the IAB MAY request the IANA
     to delegate the sub-domains of "ARPA" in accordance with the "IANA
     Considerations" section of an IETF Standards Track document. This
     request falls under the scope of section 4 of the MoU between the
     IETF and ICANN concerning the IANA [3].


     This document is a document of the IAB, and the editor acknowledges
     the contributions of the members of the IAB in the preparation of
     the document.


     [1] Mockapetris, P., "Domain names - concepts and facilities",
         STD13, RFC 1034, November 1987.

     [2] Mockapetris, P., "Domain names - implementation and
         specification", STD 13, RFC 1035, November 1987.

     [3] Carpenter,B., Baker, F., Roberts, M., "Memorandum of
         Understanding Concerning the Technical Work of the Internet
         Assigned Numbers Authority", RFC 2860, June 2000.

     [4] Bradner, S., "The Internet Standards Process -- Revision 3",
         BCP9, RFC2026, October 1996.

     [5] Bush, R., Karrenberg, D., Kosters, M., Plzak, R., "Root Name
         Server Operational Requirements", BCP 40, RFC 2870, June 2000.

     [6] Crawford, M., Huitema, C., "DNS Extensions to Support IPv6
         Address Aggregation and Renumbering", RFC 2874, July 2000.

     [7] Bush, R., "Delegation of IP6.ARPA", work in progress, internet-
         draft document draft-ymbk-ip6-arpa-delegation-02.txt, March

     [8] Blane, P., "Liaison to IETF/ISOC on ENUM", RFC 3026, January

     [9] Falstrom, P., "E.164 number and DNS", RFC 2916, September 2000.

     [10] ITU-T Recommendation E.164/I.331 (05/97): The International
     Public Telecommunication Numbering Plan. 1997.

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     Internet Architecture Board
     Geoff Huston, Editor


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Appendix A

April 28, 2000

Mr. Louis Touton
Vice-President, Secretary, and General Counsel
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 330
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

Re:   Purchase Order No. 40SBNT067020:
       Administration of the ARPA Top Level Domain

Dear Mr. Touton:

As noted in your organization's quotation of February 2, 2000, the ARPA
Top Level Domain (TLD) exists in the root zone of the domain name system
as a limited use domain currently consisting of one record, in-
addr.ARPA.  On April 14, 2000, the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency (DARPA), formerly known as the Advanced Research Projects Agency
(ARPA), officially signaled its disassociation with the ARPA domain and
its understanding the domain would be used by the Internet Corporation
for Assigned Names (ICANN) and Numbers and the Internet Architecture
Board (IAB) for additional Internet infrastructure uses.

In keeping with the DARPA understanding, we believe that the ARPA domain
should be made available for this specific, limited purpose.  The
Department of Commerce considers this an Internet Assigned Numbers
Authority (IANA) function and has requested that the WHOIS entry for the
ARPA domain reflect IANA as the registrant.

Purchase Order No. 40SBNT067020 provides that "[ICANN] will perform
other IANA functions as needed upon request of DOC." As such, the
Department of Commerce requests that, as part of the IANA functions,
ICANN undertake administration of the ARPA TLD in cooperation with the
Internet technical community under the guidance of the IAB, as a limited
use domain for Internet infrastructure applications, including the
migration of Internet infrastructure applications that currently reside
in the .int TLD.  Further, as indicated by DARPA, the ARPA TLD string
should be given a different expansion such as "Address and Routing
Parameter Area" to avoid any implication that DARPA has operational
responsibility for the domain.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

                                       Karen Rose
                                       Purchase Order Technical Representative

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