A new administrative chapter for Restena


After 22 years heading the Restena’s administration, it is time for Romain Marx, the first Restena’s administrative manager, to retire. The baton is passed to Julien Franck hired a few weeks ago.

In May 2001, only a year after the Restena Foundation was created, Romain Marx joined the ten or so Restena employees as the administrative manager. Twenty-two years later, Romain is now handing over his responsibilities to Julien Franck, recently hired by the foundation counting to date more than twenty employees.

Registering .lu using paper and pen

When Romain joined Restena, his objectives were clear. He had the administrative responsibility for the DNS-LU service – now known as ‘Service .lu’ and the .lu registry and .lu accredited registrar activities. We were in 2001.

The year 2001 marked the end of free .lu domain names, and, for the first time, registration was subject to additional rules. The system put in place at the time had clear restrictions trying to protect the .lu namespace when commercial actors discovered the internet, but it would become more flexible over time. In this context, Romain’s first task was to set up a billing management system for .lu domain names.

In the early 2000s, there were no websites for registering domain names online. Restena was the only registrar and every day we received around 50 requests to register domain names on paper forms.

Romain Marx – Administrative manager of Restena from May 2001 to July 2023

Opening up registrations

Throughout his career at Restena, Romain has accompanied the change of several administrative procedures for .lu domain names, in particular the introduction of external domain name registrars int the registration chain. In this way, he has been helping to set up the 'registry/registrar' model since 2006. Now that it no longer has a monopoly on domain name registration, but still acts as the .lu registry, Restena's role within the Internet community is changing.

Romain was also involved in setting up the first online platform for registering .lu domain names (a platform updated in June 2023). Ten years after his arrival at Restena in 2011, this new domain name registration system has revolutionised the paper-based system that existed until then.

More recently, in 2020, Romain was involved in the development of .lu domain name registration for the latest major change: the opening of .lu domain names with one and two characters.

Supporting Restena development

From 14,000 to 114,000 domain names between 2001 and 2023, Romain has accompanied the rapid expansion of .lu, but this was not his only role. He has also seen Restena evolve, from its many moves to the Kirchberg district of Luxembourg City to its final location on the Belval site, at the Maison du Savoir.

Back in the Kirchberg days, we were always surrounded by boxes. We moved at least five times before arriving at Belval. We were at the CRP Henri Tudor, then in premises allocated by the IST and even in containers. At that time, the server rooms were next to the secretariat.

Romain Marx - Restena’s administrative manager from May 2001 to July 2023

Even if Restena's administrative team has only changed very little since Romain's arrival, the day-to-day operational management has undergone several adaptations, including accounting monitoring, contact with the auditors and internal operations. In recent years, however, the issues of certification - in particular ISO/IEC 27001:2013, to which Restena has been certified since 2022 - and computer security have become increasingly important to the team.

Towards an even more digital environment

For several weeks now, Romain has been working alongside his successor, Julien Franck. Restena's new head of administration and finance is determined to make his contribution to the new chapter starting at the company's administration.

Building on his expertise in administration, accounting and corporate finance, Julien now contributes to Restena's development with an extensive knowledge of financial management that he has acquired and developed during his previous professional experiences, particularly with a registrar and a network/telecom provider in Luxembourg. Proof of the a good collaboration between LU-CIX and Restena, he also retains his mandate as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of LU-CIX management GIE, the operator of the Luxembourg Internet exchange.

Restena has a mature, thoughtful and solid approach. Its stability and excellence guarantee the quality of its services. The foundation represents a particularly serious and humane structure; these are just some of the characteristics that attracted me to this level of career maturity.

Julien Franck - Restena's head of administration and finance since the end of May 2023

Julien's responsibilities at Restena will include the day-to-day management and development of Restena's administration. More broadly, the monitoring and implementation of measures to ensure the Restena's legal compliance - including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the upcoming NIS 2 (Network and Information Security 2) directive - and the extensive implementation of electronic flows within Restena's administrative practices are already part of his future challenges.

Finally, on the international level, Julien has joined the collaboration at CENTR, the European association dedicated to exchange, dialogue and innovation in top-level domain registries at the European level. He is now representing Restena, and .lu, in the Administrative Working Group