Draft Interim-NREN Network Information Services Architecture

April 16, 1991

The NSF recognizes that a well designed system that provides the functionality described in this document is preferable to an item by item response and encourages responses that provide these functions in other formats.

1.  Internet Registration Services:  The following list of registration services is based upon the services currently provided by SRI. Responses will be considered that provide Internet registration functions in other formats.

A. Network Number Assignment
B. Autonomous System Numbers Assignment
C. Internet Domain Name Registration
D. Service Port Assignment Registration
E. Internet Gateway Registration
F. Internet User Registration

2.  Directory Services: The actual mechanism and format for providing these services has not been specified and might range from centrally providing primary and secondary databases with pointers to other databases to a totally distributed environment in which the provider is responsible for maintaining standards and setting policies.  Mechanisms that charge users for these services, as well as those that do not, will be considered.

A. Internet White Pages
B. Internet Yellow Pages
C. Database of RFC's and Draft RFC's.
D. Database of or pointers to resources available on the Internet.
E. Database of institutions on the Internet and characteristics of the connection.
F. Databases maintained for other groups.
G. Databases of or pointers to contributed materials.

3.  Information Services:  The general philosophy is that information services should be distributed as much as possible.  The function of the central NIC is to coordinate, support, and augment as necessary, other information service providers.

A. Reference Desk: Provide a single point of contact for all telephonic, electronic, and postal queries.
                1. Answer general questions about the Internet.
                2. Distribute general information about the Internet.
                3. Route questions to the appropriate information source. ("NIC of first resort")
                4. Management control and reports: Record and track all queries and prepare summary reports.
                5. Develop and maintain escalation procedures for queries and problems that can not be immediately answered or referred elsewhere.  ("NIC of last resort")
B. General Information Services
                1. Training and Outreach Services: Responses that charge beneficiaries for some of the costs associated with providing these services are encouraged.  The general philosophy is that development costs be funded by the government, but that the incremental cost of delivery be funded by charges to participants.
                a. Develop and deliver courses, seminars, and conferences.  These may include:
                        i.  Topical conferences on topics such as SNMP.
                        ii.  Training on  how to run a NIC ("Internet New-NIC College")
                        iii. Training on how to use resources available on the Internet.
                        iv. Training on how to provide end-user support.
                            b. Provide instructors for strategic end-user courses.
                            c. Make presentations to strategic affinity groups interested in establishing logical networks.
                            d. Develop workshops/seminars/presentations for potential Internet users and institutions.  Make these materials available to other networks. Present these materials to selected groups.
                            e. Support the networking requirements of research and education conferences as requested.
                2.  Documentation Services:  Responses that charge beneficiaries for some of the costs associated with providing these services are encouraged.  The general philosophy is that development costs be funded by the government, but that the incremental cost of duplicating and distributing the documents be funded by charges to the beneficiaries.
                            a.  Develop customizable end-user training materials. Make these materials available on a variety of media.
                            b.  Develop "How To" templates covering the use of the Internet.
                            c.  Develop/sponsor/collect documents describing  resources available on the Internet.
                            d.  Develop and sponsor a historical archive of Internet development.
                            e.  Publish a monthly newsletter for general readers or run a wire service of materials for use by other newsletters.
                            f.  Publish a monthly Internet Report for readers of the current "Internet Monthly Report."
                            g.  Submit regular reports covering NIC operation and management to the sponsoring agencies.
                            h.  Develop promotional and marketing materials. 
                            i.  Develop self-evaluation guidelines for mid-level NIC's.
                3. Coordination Services.
                            a.  Sponsor and chair a NIC Liaison Council and a NOC Liaison Council to coordinate the activities of NIC's and NOC's on the network.
                            b.  Develop and implement procedures to provide rudimentary end-to-end connectivity services.
                            c.  Work with the appropriate agencies to encourage international cooperation and coordination of network services.
                            d.  Represent the NIC to appropriate administrative bodies.
                            e.  Work with the appropriate groups to develop and distribute materials dealing with network security.
                            f.  Work with the appropriate groups to integrate K-12 into the network.
                            g.  Distribute and maintain a written procedures and policies manual