2.2.1 Background of the RIPE Database

From the very first RIPE Meeting in 1989, the need for some sort of registry had been identified. In the early years of RIPE, this consisted of documenting the use of IPv4 address space in the RIPE region on a voluntary basis. The actual address space was not distributed by RIPE.

From August 1992, the newly established RIPE NCC started distributing address space in its service region. Allocations made by the RIPE NCC have always been documented in the registry by the RIPE NCC and the Local Internet Registries (LIRs).
The RIPE NCC address registry was set up to serve two purposes:

  1. A comprehensive public record of the address space for which the RIPE NCC has administrative responsibility. This concerns both address space allocated by the RIPE NCC and address space allocated by others and transferred to the administrative responsibility of the RIPE NCC.
  2. A comprehensive public recording of the current holders of the address space. With the exhaustion of IPv4 address space, there will be no more unallocated IPv4 address space. However, the need for an accurate registry will remain.

Transparency and accountability about the administration of Internet number resources has always been very important. Publication of the registry is an essential element of this transparency and accountability.
The registry plays an important part in the operational coordination between Internet operators.
The Internet Routing Registry (IRR) was established in 1995. Its purpose is to ensure stability and consistency of the Internet-wide routing by sharing information between network operators.

Originally, the RIPE Database was used by many Domain Name Registries as their ccTLD authoritative registry database. For some of the larger ccTLD registries, the RIPE Database was not their authoritative database but held a lot of duplicated information from the Domain Registries. In some cases, it just held a top-level forward domain object and used a “refer:” attribute to re-direct any queries to their authoritative whois service. Because this was a mixed up and incomplete system, it was decided at RIPE 57 in October 2008 to remove all forward domain information from the RIPE Database. This was completed in January 2011.

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