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[rpd] Lame delegation in AFRINIC WHOIS database

Amreesh Phokeer amreesh at
Wed Oct 26 07:24:50 UTC 2016

Dear Community,

AFRINIC carried out an experiment on the WHOIS database and checked for lame delagations on our domain objects. Domain objects are used to register reverse delegation from our members to whom resources have been allocated or assigned.  A domain object consists of two main parts: the reverse zone and a set of name servers. 

A name server is considered 'lame' if it is found to be either:
	- not responsive
	- not serving the intended zone
	- not authoritative

At the time of the experiment, AFRINIC had 29894 '' domain objects with 72341 NS records and 196 '' domain objects with 550 NS records.
We studied each <domain, NS> tuple. 

In total, it was found that 45.5% of <domain, NS> records to be lame for IPv4 zones and 32% for IPv6 zones. The cause of lameness is due to unresponsive DNS servers (23.5%), name servers not serving the intended zone (75.5%) and non-authoritative NS (1%) for both v4 and v6.

Lame delegations can negatively impact Internet performance for example through delayed DNS lookups or simply failed responses. It is therefore important to provide a clean reverse delegation database to improve the robustness of the DNS.

Other RIRs have set stringent operational checks, that remind operators to fix their lame name servers, failing which, reverse delegations are simply removed. LACNIC has a lame delegation policy [1].

Questions to the community:
1. Should AFRINIC implement operational checks that are run periodically and members are informed about the status of their domain objects. After X reminders, if domain object still contain lame NS records, domain object are removed.

2. Should the AFRINIC community enforce lame delegation removal through a policy.

More details of the study can be found here [2].


[1] <>
[2] <>

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