Fw: Where is the edge of the Internet?

Paul Vixie paul at vix.com
Wed Nov 6 17:07:36 UTC 2002

> >    1 - Connection Taxonomy
> >    1.1. The Internet is a "network of networks", where the component
> >    networks are called Autonomous Systems (AS), each having a unique AS
> >    Number (ASN).
> Even if this reflects the original intent of ASNs, it certainly does not fit 
> current reality.

it is (a) accurate to the original definition, and (b) relevant to finding
the "edge".  everything else you added:

> Let's call any set of networks under a unified administrative control
> an Autonomous Routing Domain (ARD).  ARDs should not be confused with
> ASes (an implementation detail).  They are distinct for these reasons:
> 1) Most ARDs do not have an ASN -- they are statically routed "at the edge". 
> 2) Many networks "at the edge" use private ASNs.
> 3) Many ARDs share a provider provided ASN -- RFC 2270. 
> 4) Many ARDs are implemented with multiple ASNs. Internap is probably
>    an extreme example. But even UUNet's global ARD (AS701, 702, 705 ...)
>    reflects an implementation choice (one that Sprint does not seem to
>    follow with 1239, for example).

...is also completely true, and points to a possible need to upgrade the
terminology in general use.  however, for the purpose of finding the edge,
the original (and still officially current) definition of "ASN" will serve.

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