Google’s latest foray into open-source software is a cloud-based top-level-domain registrar platform called Nomulus, bringing a substantial chunk of the company’s gigantic internet infrastructure into the public eye.
What Nomulus does, in essence, is manage the domain names under a top-level domain, or TLD, the largest divisions of the internet’s domain name system (.com, .org, .net, and so on). Nomulus tracks DNS and registry info, so that when domain names change hands, or someone makes a WHOIS inquiry, the system can manage this.
Nomulus, the company said in an official blog post, was first created for Google’s in-house use in 2011, after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers dramatically expanded the roster of TLDs available for use. Google quickly snapped up numerous domains relevant to its trademarks and businesses, and built the system that would be released today as Nomulus to manage them more easily.
Google name-checked TLD operator Donuts in the announcement, saying that the company had contributed code and expertise to Nomulus in the build-up to its public release. Donuts is a registry for domains like .email, .financial and .restaurant, although it is not yet using Nomulus to manage TLDs.
The idea, according to Google, is to push the TLD space toward more open standards and better interoperability, as well as to show off the capabilities of Google Cloud Platform, the framework that underpins Nomulus. (Cloud Platform is already open-source.)