NANOG/IEPG/ISOC's current role

Curtis Villamizar curtis at
Tue Apr 2 17:38:29 UTC 1996

In message <960401212317.3af6 at SDG.DRA.COM>, Sean Donelan writes:
> What is NANOG's role?
> I was surprised to read in the March 25 issue of NetworkWorld Alecia Cooper
> at Sprint comments that Sprint is just following NANOG's recommendations
> to block addresses to minimize the number of router table entries.  I
> must have missed something, because I don't remember NANOG ever making
> any recommendation, of any sort.
> Is this just a case of bad reporting by Joanie Wexler at NetworkWorld?  A
> bad case of passing the buck by Alecia Cooper at Sprint?  Or something else?
> -- 
> Sean Donelan, Data Research Associates, Inc, St. Louis, MO
>   Affiliation given for identification not representation


NANOG is a place where operational issues are discussed.  They are not
voted apon and so there is not official decrees from NANOG.  I am no
more a spokesperson for NANOG than for Sprint.  Here's my opinion if
you want it.

This is just my impression.  I think Sprint did act on the belief that
there was a general consensus that blocking longer prefixes was
inevitable and therefore supported.  They may also have acted thinking
that their actions were fair since they were blocking only long
prefixes from recent allocations.  In reality, the boundary they
picked for taking action corresponded to the "portable address space"
boundary where small providers had been going if they (maybe unwisely)
wanted to avoid the possibility of renumbering if they later dual
homed or changed providers.  This meant that in practice Sprint was
accepting /24 prefixes from other large providers but blocking /20 and
/21 prefixes from many smaller providers.

This whole problem reflects the struggle over who gets to do the work
needed to make CIDR aggregation suceed.  Some of the large providers
would prefer that all allocations are made according to topology.
Some of those same providers have decided that anyone who moves out of
their CIDR block (or dual homes? - not sure if anyone carries it this
far) must renumber.  Some provide a grace period, but insist on
eventual renumbering.  Given the current state of renumbering
technology, many have chosen not to take an allocation from their
provider (defeating allocation on the basis of topology) but instead
to take an independent allocation from a pool that is not being
systematically allocated at all.  This pool of unallocatable routes
(known within IETF and NANOG as the toxic waste dump or TWD) is
increasingly becoming a problem and is leading to the inevitable
blocking of prefixes in that range.

If the providers were to relax the requirements to renumber when
moving to another provider or when dual homing, the problem of the 
TWD would not be growing at its current rate.  This is purely my
opinion at this point, though I plan to bring this up at NANOG and
CIDRD (I already have by way of the CIDRD mailing list).

I don't think we should be labelling Sprint's actions as
irresponsible.  I think at NANOG and CIDRD we should be looking at
some of the past discussions and the very rough consensus on which
Sprint acted and decide whether that was the best direction to be
headed in.  If consensus has changed dramatically (and I don't know if
it has) and a viable alternative is presented, I suspect Sprint will
be interested in cooperating in the best interest of the Internet, and
at least give any new ideas an objective audience.


ps - So Sean (Donelan) - got any ideas to fix this?  :-)

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