Google has built an open source cloud-based registry system to run its new gTLDs on and has made the system open to anyone that wants to use it.
Called Nomulus the project began in 2011 when ICANN announced it was calling for applications for new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs). Google applied to operate a number of new generic TLDs and has been successful with 200 applications, the most expensive was .app, won at auction for $25 million, but also includes others such as .google. And hence what became Nomulus was born.
One of the early collaborators was Donuts, the largest of the new gTLD registries by gTLD numbers with 195 delegated and over 1.8 million registrations, the largest being .guru with 60,500 registrations.
“As the world’s largest operator of new TLDs, Donuts must continually explore compelling technologies and ensure our back-end operations are cost-efficient and flexible,” Donuts co-founder and CEO Paul Stahura said. “Collaborating with Google on this groundbreaking project is an opportunity to do exactly that.”
“Google has a phenomenal record of stability, an almost peerless engineering team, endless computing resources and global scale. These are additional potential benefits for us and others who may contribute to or utilize the system,” Stahura said. “We have been happy to evaluate and contribute to this open source project over the past 20 months because this platform provides Donuts with an alternative back-end with significant benefits,” Stahura said.
Google’s Nomulus isn’t the first free open source registry software. CoCCA (Council of Country Code Administrators) has offered a free open source registry option for many years now, as has the Free Registry for ENUM and Domains (FRED) from CZ.NIC. There are 53 country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs), or around one in five, that use CoCCA’s software such as .cx (Christmas Island) as well as seven gTLD registries.
But Nomulus is a brand-new registry platform that takes advantage of the scalability and easy operation of Google Cloud Platform. It 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.