I started a collaborating with ICANN in 2017, exploring several DNS related issues. One of the promising ideas was the analysis of DNS traces to measure a set of “health indicators” for the DNS. This became a contribution to ICANN’s ITHI Project. ITHI stands for Identifiers Technology Health Indicators, and I worked with Alain Durand at ICANN to refine these indicators.

The work involved developing software to analyse the DNS traces and other input and produce the required metrics. This software is published as the ITHI Tools project on Github. It can run on Windows and on a variety of Linux systems. It is used by various DNS operators to collect data that is then processed on our staging server. The metrics were specifically designed to avoid privacy issues when collecting data, by computing statistical aggregates at capture sites and only sending these aggregates to our server.

The goal is to end up with a fully automated capture chain, with metrics updated and published every month on the ITHI web site.

The work started in 2017, and we have over time added a number of seperate metrics to track various aspects of the DNS systems, including recent development tracking concentration of DNS servers and deployment of Open DNS Resolvers.