Today is ‘Reveal Day’ in the land of new Top Level Domains (TLDs), a day in which the world will get an awesome amount of insight into how different the Internet will look in the near future.
With almost two thousand applications for new TLDs like .web, .rip and .google , the Internet is about to change fundamentally, right? Well, no, not at all. All these new TLDs are irrelevant (at least from a certain perspective).
Moving Away From A Generic Internet
It is certainly true that the 1400 potential new TLDs will change the way billions around the Earth will use and commercially interact with the Internet. Just as the past five years have seen the Internet vernacular come to include country code TLDs like .ly, .co and .es, the next five will likely see us incorporating ‘.brands’ such as .youtube and ‘.cities’ like .nyc into our common parlance.
These new ‘strings’ will change the way we conceive of the DNS, taking us from a more ‘generic’ Internet where all brands were followed by a generic suffix like ‘.com’, ‘.co’ or ‘.ly’ to a fully branded Internet where we buy shoes from at ‘nike.zappos’ and books from ‘ShadesOfGray.amazon’ and taking us to a more local Internet (from starbucks.co.uk to starbucks.london).
In addition, the new strings will bring with them changing commercial relationships. Instead of the current ‘general store’ shopping experience of a GoDaddy, over the next five years, you will be able purchase a domain name from a company that specializes in a single or just a few domains. The reason? Nobody else will sell them as they are too specialized, the registry wants to have control more over distribution or they’re from a brand that essentially gives them away (think graychynoweth.twitter).
The Real Changes
However, while new TLDs will materially change the way we interact with the Internet, this change pales in comparison from a technical and operational perspective to recent developments such as DNSSEC and IPv6. The way Dyn has helped our customers run DNS at the top level (like co.uk and .se), the second level (Twitter or Etsy) and the third level (VMWare, D-Link and Telus) will not fundamentally change at all as a result of new TLDs. The same goes for other DNS companies.
Tomorrow, just like yesterday, the DNS will map names (hostnames) to numbers (IPv4 and IPv6 addresses) as the Internet’s ‘phone book’. Tomorrow, just like yesterday, the DNS will rely on authoritative and recursive nameservers to facilitate the Internet’s operation. Tomorrow, just like yesterday, the thirteen root servers and the distributed architecture of the DNS will all hang together through the cooperation and best efforts of those that work to make the Internet function. This is why, from where we sit, while EVERYTHING will change, NOTHING will change at all.
Now even though we see a duality in the importance of new TLDs to the Internet, Dyn is incredibly excited to operate in this changing environment and support new TLDs. Just like we love gathering with competitors to promote the DNS and welcomed Google to the DNS operation game, we are incredibly excited to be a part of the DNS as it evolves in this way.
And how could we not be? The introduction of so many new TLDs makes our DNS services and the Internet more important than ever to connecting the world and supporting global commerce. It makes the DNS more challenging and exciting to operate than every before, expanding the number of people and businesses that will find our services valuable to pay for.
Gray Chynoweth is Chief Operating Officer for Dyn, the world leader in Internet Performance Solutions that delivers traffic management, message management, and performance assurance. Follow on Twitter: @GrayChy and @Dyn.