30 June 2018

This AUsome! blog addresses the technical portion of the .au Registry Transformation Project.

Today, we announce the successful transition and the beginning of a new era for .au.

First, a big thanks to: Registrars for their patience, their great feedback, and participation in our test programs (dress rehearsals); Cameron Boardman and Bruce Tonkin at auDA for their partnership and unwavering support of the new .au registry platform; the Australian government (Department of Communications and the Arts, Australian Signals Directorate, Australian Cyber Security Centre, CERT-AU) for their attentiveness to the security and stability of the transformational upgrade to the .au ccTLD; and, of course, the talented professionals on the Afilias team, whose dedication and attention to detail underpinned the successful implementation of the largest registry transition in Internet history.

The new system for .au went live on Sunday, July 1, 2018, ahead of schedule and as planned. The transition involved moving the records of over 3.1M domains from the legacy system to the new system within just a few hours. First, the legacy provider closed the registry to new transactions on Saturday morning. Then the full registry dataset was extracted, encrypted, and sent to auDA, who sent it to Afilias Australia. Afilias verified the integrity of the data, transformed it into standards-based formats, loaded it into our new, dedicated Australian systems, and conducted a comprehensive set of tests to ensure a clean system. The new registry opened for registrars early on the morning of July 1.

A critical element of the transition was making sure all .au websites, email, etc, kept working throughout the transition. This was enabled by a careful plan worked out by auDA and Afilias Australia months ago. Afilias ‘phased in’ its DNS nameserver network, running in parallel with the legacy network for weeks, until taking over entirely on Sunday. Today, .au runs for the first time on DNS nodes in every state in Australia, plus hundreds of DNS nodes in one of the world’s most massively provisioned and secure networks. This will improve the speed of delivery of every .au website and email.

Australia is now home to the biggest project of its kind in the history of the internet! No one else has transitioned 3+ million domain names from one registry to another. The former record was the transition of 2.7 million .org names in 2003, also performed by Afilias. Afilias’ experience with .org and 25 other TLD transitions provided the experience, skills and knowledge needed to undertake the .au transition project, conducted without incident in less than six months time.

Today is the beginning of a new era for .au, an era of growth and vitality supported by modern, high-capacity, secure, and resilient infrastructure. We look forward to serving the Aussie internet community and building the .au namespace for years to come

Have a question or want to suggest a topic for us to cover? Email us at transformationblog@afilias.com.au.

More information on Afilias plc is located at www.afilias.info.