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10|18|2016 05:42 am EDT

Google publishes their TLD registry software: Nomulus

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registries

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Google announced this morning that they are releasing their TLD registry platform, Nomulus, which is written in Java, under an Apache 2.0 license. The company uses the software to run their own registry for their TLDs. Portfolio TLD applicant Donuts has partnered with Google and contributed to the source code – they will also be running a public test instance of the system, which is geared towards being run on the Google Cloud Platform. So far, Rightside (NASDAQ: NAME) has been operating Donuts’ registry backend.

Also covered by:

Here’s the full press release:

Introducing Nomulus: an Open Source Top-Level Domain Name Registry

Date: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 8:00am PT

Author: Ben McIlwain, Software Engineer

Today, Google is proud to announce the release of Nomulus, a new open source cloud-based registry platform that powers Google’s top level domains (TLDs). We’re excited to make this piece of Internet infrastructure available to everyone.

TLDs are the top level of the Internet Domain Name System (DNS), and they collectively host every domain name on the Internet.  To manage a TLD, you need a domain name registry — a behind-the-scenes system that stores registration details and DNS information for all domain names under that TLD. It handles WHOIS queries and requests to buy, check, transfer, and renew domain names. When you purchase a domain name on a TLD using a domain name registrar, such as Google Domains, the registrar is actually conducting business with that TLD’s registry on your behalf. That’s why you can transfer a domain from one registrar to another and have it remain active and 100% yours the entire time.

The project that became Nomulus began in 2011 when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced the biggest ever expansion of Internet namespace, aimed at improving choice and spurring innovation for Internet users. Google applied to operate a number of new generic TLDs, and built Nomulus to help run them.

We designed Nomulus to be a brand-new registry platform that takes advantage of the scalability and easy operation of Google Cloud Platform. Nomulus runs on Google App Engine and is backed by Google Cloud Datastore, a highly scalable NoSQL database. Nomulus can manage any number of TLDs in a single shared instance and supports the full range of TLD functionality required by ICANN, including the Extensible Provisioning Protocol (EPP), WHOIS, reporting, and trademark protection. It is written in Java and is released under the Apache 2.0 license.

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 like Donuts. With approximately 200 TLDs, Donuts has made early contributions to the Nomulus code base and has spun up an instance which they’ll be sharing soon.

For more information, view Nomulus on GitHub.

06|25|2014 03:11 pm EDT

Is Key Systems running the new Google Registrar?

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registrars

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While the domain and tech industry is abuzz talking about how Google is launching their new own retail registrar in a private beta that is mostly being tested with the help of employees, DNN embarked on the journey to uncover what Google’s technical solution looks liked; and in turn discovered that it appears that the new registrar is built on Key Systems’s RRPProxy – a hosted registrar/reseller solution.

DNN didn’t have to look far – the answer to the mystery is right in the whois – as part of the referral URL as to which whois server is to be queried. We did manage to find a Google related domain that is registered through Google’s registrar –

Domain Name: EXIT.COM
Registrar: GOOGLE INC.
Whois Server:
Referral URL:
Name Server: NS17.ZONEEDIT.COM
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Updated Date: 10-feb-2014
Creation Date: 03-nov-1994
Expiration Date: 02-nov-2022

In the whois results, one line especially jumped out to us:

   Whois Server:

RRP Proxy, is the reseller system of the German company Key Systems, which is also available to be used by other ICANN accredited registrars.

DNN has reached out to Key Systems and Google for comment, but have not yet heard back.

03|31|2014 11:53 pm EDT

The Week in Domains (March 31st – April 6th, 2014)

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Weekly Highlights

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Topic Highlights this week:

  • DomainFest
  • New gTLDs
  • April Fools Day

Industry news:

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Monday, March 31st, 2014


April Fool’s Day Domain Industry Roundup:

07|11|2013 11:44 am EDT

The Internet Architecture Board considers Dotless Domains Harmful

by Frank Michlick in Categories: ICANN / Policy

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The Internet Architecture Board (IAB), which is a committee of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) issued a statement today that it considers Dotless domains, such as the proposed “SEARCH” by Google harmful and will not work together with currently used procedures. As the statement explains:

Unfortunately, dotless domains will not work as intended by TLD operators in the vast majority of cases. As recommended by IETF standards track RFCs, existing deployed systems apply a search list to single-label names prior to attempting to resolve them. As a result, the resolution of dotless domains depends on local configuration such as the search list. For example, in a location where “” is included within the search list, the URL http://printer1/ will generate a query for “”, whereas in a location where “” is in the search list, it will generate a query for “”.

Aside from the Google proposal for its application for ‘SEARCH’, apparently this practice currently is already used by some existing Top Level Domains according to the statement.

With this background the IAB issues the following recommendations:

  1. The IAB strongly recommends against considering, implementing, or deploying dotless domains.
  2. The IAB believes that dotless domains are inherently harmful to Internet security.
  3. Applications and platforms that apply a suffix search list to a single-label name are in conformance with IETF standards track RFCs. Furthermore, applications and platforms that do not query DNS for a TLD are in conformance with IETF standards track recommendations intended to minimize security vulnerabilities and reduce load on the root servers.

[Hat tip to Michele Neylon of Blacknight, IAB Statement]

06|13|2012 01:12 pm EDT

36 Fortune 100 Companies that applied for new gTLDs

by Adam Strong in Categories: new gTLDs

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When the idea of new gTLDs were introduced, it seemed logical that big brand owners would be the first to adopt.  The cost to own one’s own “dotBrand” is somewhat restrictive because of the application price of $185,000 in addition to the costs to run the new TLD.  Among the Fortune 100 though, one would assume the costs would be seen as minimal in comparison to the advantages of protecting a brand or expanding services and offerings.

From the list of the 1930 applicants released today, DNN has compiled a list of 36 Fortune 100 companies that have applied for new TLDs.  Of those, 20 companies are applying for more than one new gTLD and 16 of them are merely applying for their brand name in a new extension.

Amazon, Google and Microsoft are applying for the most new TLDs from this list, which would make sense based on their respective brand and product positions on the internet.  All of these companies can be considered pioneers of a new way of using brands on the internet.

Several of these corporations are being assisted by legal or brand management agencies such as Fairwinds, CSC and MarkMonitor. This information came from the ICANN filings and we have also noted in the list below.

Click continue to see the list


05|01|2012 02:26 am EDT

DNN’s most popular articles in April 2012

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Miscellaneous, Up to the Minute

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04|21|2012 01:30 pm EDT

This Week In Domains (week 17/2012)

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Weekly Highlights

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Want to know what happened in the 17th week of 2012 week in the world of domain names? As reported…

Here at DNN

By other domain industry blogs

Press releases and the like

and elsewhere


What do you think were the top stories in the domaining world this week? Let us know in the comments.



04|16|2012 11:15 am EDT

Google settles Dispute over after 8 years

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Legal Issues

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This Domain Registered by MarkMonitor:

8 years after the introduction of  Google’s Gmail email offering, it appears it has settled a dispute over the use of the brand in Germany as shown by a transfer filing with the German patent office. When Google introduced the service worldwide in 2004, they encountered problems with the name in Germany, England and Switzerland, which forced Google to operate under the name GoogleMail instead. While the case in Switzerland was settled in 2009 and in the UK in 2010, the  negotiations in Germany continued until the trademark was transferred last Wednesday. The domain changed ownership on the same day and is now also owned by Google with the domain now displaying a Mark Monitor holding page.

The German brand for “G-mail… und die Post geht richtig ab” (gmail – and off the mail goes, based on a German idiom), which was registered in 2000 was owned by entrepreneur Daniel Giersch who enforced his rights in 2005. His email service is now available under the domain and name “”. While the price for the settlement is not known, Giersch turned down an offer of 250.000 Euro from Google for the mark and domain in 2006.

Google also had trouble obtaining the domain, but was able to settle with the owner of the domain in 2007.

[via Computerworld | (German) | SZ (German), thanks to Christoph Kilz]

02|22|2012 03:36 pm EDT

Google Kills Hosted AdSense for Domains on Undeveloped Sites

by Adam Strong in Categories: PPC industry

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Google sent out a message today to publishers using Adsense for Domains.  After nearly 4 years of running the program, the company has decided to discontinue their hosted Adsense for Domains on undeveloped domain names.  The company is recommending migrating your domain names to a parking company.

Domainers relished the release of the Adsense for Domains program as a possible way to “cut out the middle man” and bypass the parking companies, but most domainers who spoke with DNN have found that the program provided no additional benefits.

One part of the announcement that seems puzzling, Google claims that the “benefits to our partner network” don’t make sense to continue, yet Google recommends switching to parking domains through a parking company that uses a Google feed.  Google is in essence including the middle-man in this scenario. The parking companies may be adding the benefit of aggregation, optimization and fraud screening that Google does not handle, but it would seem that this skill-set is in Google’s “wheelhouse” . After 4 years they could have easily handled these tasks if not great improved upon the optimization and screening already being done by smaller players.

See the full message from Google after the jump.


07|21|2011 02:09 pm EDT

Google Buys Illegal Domain Name on Domain Aftermarket

by Bill Hartzer in Categories: Registries

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This post has been syndicated (and slightly edited to reflect updates) from a post by SEO expert Bill Hartzer.

Google, in an effort to protect their interests in their new Google+ Plus social network, has recently acquired the International Domain Name (IDN), also known as The problem here is that ( is an illegal domain name–the domain name violates IDNA2008, as published by the IETF.

The use of the + character in the .com TLD is not allowed, and violates IDNA2008. Under current Verisign .com rules, it appears that the domain name cannot be renewed, and according to Mozilla, IDNs are not allowed on the .com TLD.

I realize that Google would want to protect their brand and protect their new Google+ Plus social network by purchasing the domain name. But from what I can tell, this was a mistake–especially because the is not allowed in the .com TLD.

It doesn’t look to me like Google “did their homework” when they purchased that domain name.

What has been disallowed in IDNA2008 (IDN in application, a standard for handling IDNs in apps) is most symbol domains. IDNA2003 (the previous version of IDNA, still running in most applications as of right now, including browsers) allowed symbols.

See here to compare how the domain is handled:

In IDNA2003 it worked fine, in UTS46 (a transition standard between IDNA2003 and IDNA2008) it still worked fine, but in IDNA2008, it won’t resolve. At this point, when does come up for renewal, we do not know whether or not the domain will be allowed by Verisign.

I have obtained a copy of the email from Verisign to Registrars regarding the deletion of certain domain names that are not allowed under IDNA2008. Below is the email:

As you may know, the IETF/IESG has adopted RFC 5891, which applies to Internationalized Domain Names in Application (“IDNA”). Compliance with this new RFC is necessary to ensure the security and stability of registry operations. RFC 5891 affects allowable second level strings in IDN domain names. As such, and in compliance with RFC 5891, Verisign implemented filters to block registration of disallowed strings, and updated our Software Development Kit in early Q1 2011. In addition, Verisign will insure compliance with RFC 5891 by deleting existing domain names and child hosts from the .com and .net databases.

You are hereby given 120 calendar days notice that Verisign will delete the attached registered names from the .com and/or .net databases. The attached names will be deleted on the 121st calendar day after the date of this notice, as measured by United States Eastern Time.

As a courtesy, Verisign will issue a credit to your account with Verisign for any deleted domain names pursuant to this notice, which will be calculated as follows: for each deleted domain name, Verisign will determine the remaining registration period as of the date of this notice and round it up to the nearest year.

Pursuant to Section 2.11 of the .com and .net Registry-Registrar Agreements, registrars are required to comply with (and include in their registrant agreements) an obligation for the registrant to comply with, operational standards, policies, procedures and practices of the registry as established from time to time. As such, you are directed to provide immediate notice (and in no event later than ten (10) calendar days after the date of the instant notice) of these actions to the affected registrants.

[Hat tips to Drewbert and JS Lascary]