Merit/NSFNET Internet Engineering Report

Mark Knopper mak
Sat Nov 6 13:25:50 UTC 1993

Hi. I just sent this report to Ann Cooper for the
Internet Monthly Report. Thought it would be of general

Merit/NSFNET Internet Engineering Report
October 1993 
Mark Knopper 

This report contains a summary of recent activities of Merit's Internet
Engineering Group. These include development of capabilities in the
Policy Routing Database system to represent, generate NSFNET/ANS
backbone configuration files, and test new software, for deployment of
the CIDR and BGP-4 routing architecture. Additionally, Merit staff have
made progress on implementation of a "CIDR Aggregate Registry",
described in RFC 1482, for registration of aggregated routing
information between providers.  

In early October, Merit hosted a meeting of the Regional-Techs group,
which discussed a number of topics related to coordination among
providers for CIDR deployment and registration of routing information.
The Shared Whois Project (SWIP) is an ongoing joint project between
InterNIC, RIPE NCC and Merit.

Policy Routing Database Changes and CIDR Deployment

In preparation for deployment of the GateD routing daemon on the ANS
backbone, supporting the BGP-4 protocol for CIDR, changes were
completed in the Merit/NSFNET PRDB in order to support inbound
acceptance and outbound announcement of route aggregates.  The PRDB can
now generate GateD configuration files for the ANSNET backbone.  These
files can include configuration for the new BGP-4 features.  Merit
engineers are cooperating with the ANS backbone engineering staff in
testing GateD operation on the T3 research network, and in the initial
deployment of the new version of GateD on the Washington DC to Geneva,
Switzerland circuit.

The initial production deployment of the PRDB changes for CIDR will
include a change in the notation of network numbers to the classless
format ("x.x.x/len"). This change will be visible to all external users
of whois or the PRDB reports. The whois server commands will start
using the new notation, and,, and
will be replaced with their new versions (currently produced as
ans_core.cidr, country.cidr, and net-comp.cidr).  Prefix lengths of 8,
16, or 24 will be put into the PRDB for all existing nets with classes
A, B and C respectively.

The Network Announcement Change Request (NACR) templates, both e-mail
and interactive client interfaces, will be changed to accept aggregated
announcements. Once GateD is deployed, BGP-4 will be supported
initially without announcing or accepting aggregated routes, however.
After BGP-4 appears to be stable, controlled experiments with
aggregation will be done in cooperation with regional and midlevel

Still to be implemented in the database is the "proxy aggregation" as
described in RFC 1482. In this case the backbone can be configured to
aggregate on behalf of the regional network in response to the
announcement of one or a set of network numbers comprising the total
aggregate. This feature will be supported by the time NACR support for
aggregation is made available.

CIDR Aggregate Registry

Changes to the Aggregate Registry function described in RFC 1482 were
made at the October Regional-Techs meeting. The original proposed
functionality was split into a Aggregate Registry (one entry per
aggregate, with source AS) and a possible separate Routed Net registry
giving AS topology with aggregate announcements. Initially these
registries will list only network prefixes which are not class
A/B/C nets, but the longer term goal is to allow all nets regardless
of class to be returned by the same server. The Aggregate Registry
project will be implemented first as it is a relatively straightforward
project, with the Routed Net Registry project being implemented next.

It is expected that these registries will be of assistance in the
global BGP-4 tunnel testbed led by Andrew Partan and Peter Lothberg.

Regional-Techs Meeting

A meeting of the Regional-Techs group was held in Ann Arbor on
October 4-5. The focus of the meeting was to discuss CIDR Deployment,
routing registration, and NSFNET transition issues with respect
to coordination among network providers. The group decided that
it will be important to broaden its scope to include any interested
network providers rather than restrict the discussion to NSFNET-attached
regionals and midlevels. It was decided that for the foreseeable
future, Merit will continue to host the group, but meetings may
be held at different locations with other network provider sponsors.
A suggestion for a new name for the group was North American Network
Operators Group, though a name was not finalized and is open to 

A summary of the meeting is available for anonymous ftp:

SWIP Project

The Shared Whois Project is a joint project between Merit,
RIPE NCC and InterNIC to synchronize data among
the Internet numbering and routing registries, and implement
various databases and implement automatic update procedures.
It is a goal of the three organizations to synchronize data
by April, 1994 and begin to use the update procedures at that
time. A working document can be found in

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