North American Network Operators Group

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RE: 240/4

  • From: michael.dillon
  • Date: Thu Oct 18 11:37:19 2007

> Okay, this has descended to a point where we need some fact injection.

You get a D on those facts because you did not review the "literature",
did not attempt reasonable coverage of the problem space, and did not
investigate whether or not there were other versions of the software
that have been patched to support 240/4.

> > We cannot engineer a set of solutions that will work for everybody.
> Therefore, you want to engineer a solution that'll work for 
> mostly nobody?

No, therefore we should not attempt to engineer a solution that will
work for everybody but merely remove the barriers that allow others to
engineer solutions for their situation.

> So, what's your game plan to replace all these broken IPv4 stacks?

Again, we are not the gods of the Internet. It is not our reponsibility
to fix every problem out there, but neither do we have to sit on our
hands when we could enable others to deal with the issue.

> Certainly.  So why would we distract them with an 
> intermediate transition to "IPv4-240+"? 

I believe that people are not that stupid. The only organizations that
go after the 240/4 solution space will have good reasons for doing so.
We do not have a good reason to deny them that possibility.

> Remember, I was not 
> able to find any case that successfully worked; 

Your investigation showed that the software appears to have an extra
line of code here and there which explicitly disallows 240/4 addresses.
This is easy for vendors to fix.

> But we could cop out on releasing 240/4 because it's just too 
> much work for a small benefit to a few sites on the Internet, 
> at a huge cost to the rest of the Internet.  That's not fair.

It is a trivial amount of work for the IETF to release the address space
and for ARIN to add an extra question to their allocation forms "Do you
want 240/4 addresses?". As for fixing code, given the level of code
patching that is already done on a regular basis, removing the 240/4
blockages could also be considered a trivial level of effort. After
that, it is not a public problem any more, and those of us who do not
want or need 240/4 addresses can ignore it.

> I'm fine with that, especially since it appears that 
> implementing "IPv4-240+" will incur even more serious money 
> for every participating network on the Internet, in upgrades, 
> adminitrative time and effort, etc.

There are only two reasons that we would do such an upgrade. First, if
it is bundled up in a patch release with other stuff. And secondly if a
customer requests it. The cost is effectively zero in the first case,
and in the second case it will be covered by revenue.

> > We should do everything we can to remove roadblocks which 
> would cause
> > IPv4 to run out sooner,
> Where practical.  This ... isn't.

What is impractical with asking the IETF to revise an RFC? What is
impractical in asking ARIN to add a question to their forms just as they
have already done for 32-bit AS numbers? What is impractical in asking
vendors to remove the code blocks in their next patch release cycle?

> And this ... would cause some people to delay IPv6.  So it's bad.

IPv6 is not a universal good. The Internet is far more complex with far
more dark corners than you realize. But for the owners of those dark
corners it makes economic sense so why should anyone try and convert
them to the one true Internet architecture?

--Michael Dillon