Functioning of Afnic during lockdown

23 March 2020 - By Stéphane Bortzmeyer


What will become of Afnic during lockdown? Will all the operational services be running?

France, like many other countries, has been in lockdown since Tuesday 17 March as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. Consequently, the number of people working or studying remotely has greatly increased. What are the consequences of this increased Internet activity for an Internet infrastructure operator such as Afnic?

A very large proportion of communication has long been conducted over the Internet. But lockdown increases dependence on the net. So now’s not the time for it to crash! But there’s no reason to worry either, at least not in the short term. Telework has become the rule for the vast majority of Afnic employees, given that the tools and methods have long been ready and already in current use. The services managed by Afnic therefore continue to function as before.

First and foremost, this is the case with DNS. Without a domain name service, the Internet would barely be usable. The servers controlling .fr function as before, and no problems have arisen. The load on the servers has increased slightly, but not significantly. These servers are designed to cope with denial of service attacks and are therefore more robust than is required for normal traffic. Besides, whether people are at home or at the office, they have equal need of DNS. Lastly, DNS is a “light” service, generating relatively little traffic, and the cache of the DNS resolvers (installed on local networks or with Internet access providers) means that few demands are made of the authoritative servers. Even if someone looks at cned.fr ten times in a day, Afnic’s servers will see only one query.

Traffic on the d.nic.fr DNS server in the last month. Except for a few isolated attacks, no significant effect of the lockdown has been observed.

 

This very slight increase in traffic is also seen with the root DNS servers, several of which have public statistics. In short, nothing to worry about in this regard.

Afnic’s other services are also operating as before. The whois server and the RDAP server (used to distribute information on domain names and associated contacts), and the EPP server (which serves to register domain names), are running normally.

However, if you experience any dysfunction in Afnic’s services, the means of contact remain unchanged: email to support@afnic.fr, Telephone +33 1 39 30 83 00 and @AFNIC_op on Twitter for operational news..

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