What is DNS-OARC?

DNS-OARC is an Operations, Analysis, and Research Center focused on the global Domain Name System. DNS-OARC brings together researchers, operators, and vendors to provide continued analysis of the DNS security, performance, to coordinate response to crisis situations, and generally to help make DNS safer and better.

How was DNS-OARC created?

DNS-OARC was created in 2003 by Internet Systems Consortium (ISC), a not-for-profit corporation based in Redwood City, California, and the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) based at the University of California San Diego. The National Science Foundation (NSF) provided initial sponsorship through a research grant (SCI-0427144).

What type of organization is DNS-OARC?

In 2008 DNS-OARC became its own not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation (OARC, Inc.) supported by fees from its members. The corporations board of directors, also known as the Policy Council, consists of individuals elected by and from the membership. Membership in the DNS-OARC is available to organizations involved in the operation of the global DNS who agree to the confidentiality provisions in the participation agreement. ISC continues to provide administrative services to DNS-OARC.

What does DNS-OARC provide that isn't already available?

There is no trusted, neutral forum available to support information sharing and analysis about the global DNS, particularly during incidents that affect the overall operation of the DNS. DNS-OARC provides a well provisioned, highly secure infrastructure that allows participants to interact and share information with each other. Researchers affiliated with DNS-OARC develop and disseminate data collection and analysis methods, services and tools useful for detection, remediation, and attribution of malicious or otherwise misbehaving agents affecting the DNS. Members are also able to take advantage of other facilities at DNS-OARC, such as computers specially provisioned for the analysis of large traces and log files, a distributed monitoring infrastructure, and a laboratory testbed.

Will DNS-OARC act as "spokesperson" for the global DNS in times of crisis?

No. DNS-OARC, does not speak for the root operators, the TLDs, or the DNS community as a whole. DNS-OARC is primarily an information-sharing environment enabling operators, vendors, and users of the global DNS to work together, learn from each other, and benefit from the research and testing provided by its member organizations.

What does membership cost?

Membership cost is based on the number of "Points of Contact." Points of Contact are simply individuals within your organization that will participate in DNS-OARC. We currently offer five levels of membership and one non-voting Participant level called Supporter. Please see this page for additional details.