What is the role of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority ?

19.6.2014 Rezman Mirsom

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority or IANA is a wing of the ICANN, an organization that is responsible for the allocation of IP addresses, autonomous system number, management of DNS, and IP related numbers and symbols. It is the duty of the IANA to allocate unique numbers and names used in IPs and published in the form of Request for Comments (RFC) documents.

RFC documents describe the behaviors, methods, innovations and the research required for the functioning of the Internet and connected systems. Besides, the IANA works in close cooperation with the Internet Engineering Task Force and the RFC editorial and publishing team to fulfill its functions.

It is the job of IANA for administering data into the root nameservers that create the top portion of the DNS tree. This will involve coordinating with the root nameserver operators, top domain operators and the policy making system within ICANN. The IANA also plays an important role in the allocation of IP addresses.

Allocating IP addresses to Regional Internet Registries is one of the functions of the IANA. Each registry further allocates IP addresses for a specific area around the world. These registries have further formed their own number resource organizations for representing their collaborative interests and ensuring that policy statements get coordinated at a global level.

The next task of the IANA revolves around protocol parameters. The body administers several parameters under the IETF protocols. The Uniform Resource Identifier schemes are one of the notable examples of IANA’s tasks. This scheme was initiated under the overview of the Internet Architecture Board and its agreement has been published under RFC 2860.

The IANA also maintains a time zone database for the rules and difference between the time zones of different parts of the world. It allows this information to be used by computers and devices for maintaining accuracy in terms of time zones across the Internet.

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