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End: 2001-01


implementation of DNS protocols with full IPv6 and DNSsec support

The Internet Software Consortium (ISC) is a non-profit organization with the aim to produce reference software implementations of essential Internet standards. These implementations are generally of high quality: examples in the area of network production are well known. One of the best known projects of ISC is BIND ("Berkeley Internet Name Daemon"), an implementation of the Internet Domain Name Service protocol. BIND is the standard implementation, is a crucial building block for all Internet traffic, and is widely used.

In 1998, ISC drew up an implementation plan for BIND 9. In addition to a number of extensions and architectural changes to its predecessor, BIND 8, this plan aims to solve scaling problems due to, for instance, database handling completely in memory. BIND 9 will also provide a solid implementation of Secure DNS; the authentication and verification of database records and name servers.

ISC found a number of computer vendors willing to finance this development. However, the project's implementation was threatened by significant delays due to the low speed with which contracts and funding could be effectuated. Also, the fear that licensing restrictions may be placed on the new implementation, limiting its widespread availability, was a reason to fund this project.

The NLnet Foundation provided an initial subsidy of US$ 85,000 to ISC, which permitted the start of the BIND 9 work in August 1998, and also ensured its widespread, availability. At the same time, this has sped up the implementation of a number of DNSSEC security features. In the meantime, the financial support promised by the computer vendors has become available.

According to the original plan, the first scalable version of BIND 9 should have been available in May 1999, and the complete production version, including all security features, in October 1999. However, the development effort has been seriously underestimated. According to the revised project plan, a complete release of BIND 9 will be available around May/June 2000. In July 1999, Stichting NLnet has provided ISC with a guarantee of US$ 500,000 to cover additional development costs which possibly couldn't be recovered from other subsidies or development income, under the condition that the BIND 9 code was published under BSD licensing conditions.

The NLnet Labs, another project initiated by Stichting NLnet, has worked on the evaluation and deployment of secure DNS systems based on the BIND 9 implementation.

Project ISC BIND 9

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