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Interview with Jaromír Talíř, Co-Chair of CENTR's Technical Working Group

2016-12-12 News

Jaromír Talíř is the technical architect for core services at CZ.NIC and has recently been appointed Co-Chair of the CENTR Technical Working Group. In this interview, he shares his views on upcoming challenges and projects for the ccTLD technical community.

1) Could you tell us a bit more about your background?

I started my career as a software developer for a small ISP. After a few years my classmate Ondřej Filip asked me to help him to build up the new CZ.NIC and I've been trying to do so for 10 years now. My first position was to lead the development of the new registry software that we later named FRED, made it open source and offered it for other registries.

After 4 years, we made a few organizational changes. Two teams were merged into one: registry developers and sysadmins. Until that time, sysadmins were managed by Ondrej Sury, who at the same time, started to build a new R&D Department. I took over the responsibility of the merged team.

During the next 6 years, my responsibilities mainly consisted of the management of a team growing from 7 people up to more than 20 and the appropriately growing infrastructure of services that CZ.NIC operates. One of the biggest projects from this period of time was building the identity platform called mojeID on top of our registry software to support validation of registry contact data and to help to promote eID technologies in our country. In 2016, we have made yet another organizational change when we hired a new manager to run the department; I moved to the position of technical architect for core services. In this position, I can focus on searching for technical solutions including, for example, searching within the CENTR community.

2) What is your view of the CENTR Technical Working Group?

The position of the CENTR Technical WG has definitely changed during the past years with setting up the R&D WG in 2010 and the Security WG in 2012. Many topics that were previously discussed within the Technical WG have naturally moved to these more focused platforms. Despite this, I believe that there are still a lot of topics that can be considered by the Technical WG as their natural home. For me, the two main groups of topics are registry software and DNS infrastructure. Looking into IETF REGEXT WG workload, I see that registry interfaces like EPP and WHOIS are far from being considered static. And it's not just about interfaces: we have other supporting HW and SW used to run our services. We have also seen the first experiences with transfers from physical HW to the cloud and personally, I'd like to hear more about this. Inside the DNS infrastructure group of topics, the progress is even more evident. Keeping track of IETF DNSOP standards and their implementation status could probably consume whole FTE but as a Technical WG, we should not stay behind. In general, all topics regarding various aspects of running and securing an anycasted DNS network with different approaches like in-house or outsourced are perfectly suited for our WG.

3) Are there any areas you’d like to focus on in your role as Co-Chair of the CENTR Technical WG?

I really look forward to meeting other WG chairs during the upcoming Chairs and Co-Chairs’ meeting, since I want to learn from their experience before deciding on what will be the best area to focus on. Technical WG chairs that I had a chance to see on the stage in the past were doing an excellent job and I'll definitely be happy to carry on with what they have already built.

Right now, I can only think about a few areas that I'd like to explore a little bit more, maybe to find some topics to focus on. These areas are cross-WG cooperation (to think about projects that different WGs can work on together), cross-country cooperation (to think about projects that ccTLDs can work on together) and cross-continental cooperation (to think about projects that CENTR can work on together with LACTLD, APTLD and AfTLD) and, of course, I mean cooperation on technical projects.

4) From your technical point of view, what do you think will be the main challenges in the coming years for ccTLDs?

I guess it will not be a surprise when I say that the biggest challenge for ccTLDs is to keep resisting to all kinds of different attacks, and most specially, to DDoS attacks. As we see on a daily basis, attackers possess bigger and bigger power and registries cannot ignore this situation. The majority of topics discussed recently, including for example advanced DNS traffic analysis, measurement of quality of anycast deployments, etc., is somehow related to mitigation of potential threats in the form of DDoS attacks. I believe that even though many ccTLD registries started to compete with each other on the field of providing back-end services for new gTLDs, they will still be able to cooperate on this kind of issues that are common to every registry.