A call for the future. Was: Re: Verio Decides what parts of the internet to drop

Kai Schlichting kai at pac-rim.net
Tue Dec 7 01:21:09 UTC 1999

At 04:14 PM 12/6/99 -0800, Austin Schutz wrote:

> >>      In the far term as space becomes scarce we will need to find a solution
> >>to wasted B space, but that is several years out. Perhaps by that time routers
> >>will have so much memory and CPU as to make an extra ~4 million possible routes
> >>negligible.
> >
> >The danger of /17 blocks in B space is limited to 64*256 more routes 
> >(16 k more, maximum).  
>         Yes, you could arbitrarily say /17 is a fair border, and then people
>would complain about their /18s being unreachable. The 4 million number
>reflects 64 * 2^16 theoretical /24 routes - 64 * 256 current theoretical /16
>routes = 4177920 routes. I haven't heard (yet) of people complaining about not
>being able to get /25 to /32 routes globally routable. 
>         Perhaps a somewhat less arbitrary limit corresponding to the smallest
>allocation made by ARIN would be in order. That would currently be 2^(20 - 16)
>  * 64 * 256 - 64 * 256 = 245760 extra routes. Still a pretty highg number, but
>I imagine it would take several years to break up the existing Bs.
>         Austin

And what I'd really like to know: how many millions and billions were spent
by domestic telcos to accomodate and ultimately deflect anti-trust action
heading their way regaring local, 800 (and soon: cellular, at last!)
number portability ? (lets call it xNP)

I mean: there must be an order of magnitude of increased HD space,
RAM and SS7 network bandwidth in use right now due to xNP.
Which means that the telcos probably asked their vendors to provide
such capabilities for their switches - and got what they asked for!

Lets face it: if the US PSTN can accomodate tens of millions of essentially
freely-routed (well, the stubs of the SS7 network are certainly very static,
heh) phone numbers, it must be possible to scale the Internet beyond such
a small pisser: a 1/4 million routes in the BGP table.

Given that more and more end-user organizations realize that it's
impossible to do proper large-scale business on the Internet without
"cheating" allocation policies in gross and wasteful ways in order to
create proper load-balancable (uh, I am sticking my head out here)
multi-homed networks, a change in attitude amoung us implementors and
R&D folks is in urgent need: are we constrained merely by our small minds,
equipment limitations and current software implementations and
protocols, or have we indeed hit a fundamental brickwall with BGP-4,
as some scary early findings of CAIDA seem to suggest ?

As network operators, I think we should prepare for the equivalent
of the US running out of 10-digit phone numbers, a situation that
might make Y2K look like a footnote in global telco history:

- IPv6 is not the answer to our routability problems, but it will vastly
   accelerate the reachability problems we already have. Provider-based
   prefixing will be a breaking dike once it becomes obvious to people
   that geographical or organizational hierarchies cannot be dictated
   over business needs.
- organizations must be relieved from wasteful and expensive renumbering
   processes as much as possible, especially since organizational growth
   will essentially be infinite, either in numbers of organizations,
   or hosts connected per organization.
- there will be exactly one road to Rome: one organization, one route per
   logical location. Read my lips.

There can be no denial that this is where things are going. You may not
like it, but this is where its headed right now, with all the ugly
side effects of IP space waste and cheating on allocations just to
overcome some basic operational problems.

Lets start preparing for this, as we will do this not because it's easy
and apparent, but because hard business-needs are going to drive us this
way in at most a year or two, with overwhelming benefits to endusers of IP
space outweighing all efforts to overcome the current limitations.

All ends and odds on this are open, as far as technology, implementation and
settlement models (if any) is concerned, and I'd welcome someone experienced
with setting up an IETF WG stepping forward. Title for such a WG ?
"Internet Routing and Address Space Use of the Future". If such WG fitting
such an agenda already exists, please kindly point this out to me.

Thank you.

kai at conti.nu             "Just say No" to Spam            Kai Schlichting
Palo Alto, New York, You name it             Sophisticated Technical Peon
Kai's SpamShield <tm> is FREE!                 http://SpamShield.Conti.nu
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