a radical proposal (Re: protocols that don't meet the need...)

Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com
Fri Feb 17 09:48:49 UTC 2006

> > Geo-topological addressing refers to RIRs reserving large
> > blocks of designated addresses for areas served my large
> > cities (over 100,000) population. When end users are located
> > in fringe areas roughly equidistant between two or more such
> > centers, the RIR simply asks the end user (or ISP) which is
> > the center to which they want to connect (communicate).
> > This addressing scheme operates in parallel with the existing
> > provider-oriented IPv6 addressing scheme but uses a different
> > block of IPv6 addresses out of the 7/8ths that are currently
> > reserved. No hardware or software changes are required for this
> > to work, merely some geographical/economical research to determine
> > the relative sizes of the address pool to be reserved for each
> > of the world's 5000 largest cities.
> The routing system doesn't particularly care whether your "geo-topo"
> addressing is imposed by governments, RIRs, or a beneveolent dictator;
> in all cases, the result is Soviet-style central planning to force the
> network topology to conform to your idea of what it "should" be rather
> than following the economic realities of the those who would build the
> network.

Which part of "CHOICE" do you fail to understand? How does
adding another choice get equated to Soviet central planning?
In my opinion, central planning is what we have now. The IETF
has imposed the provider-centric addressing model on us without
asking whether we want that or not.

Since only 1/8th of the IPv6 address space used this
provider-centric model, there is plenty of room to offer
an optional, geo-topological addressing model. Geo-top
addressing is not about imposing a topology. It simply
recognizes that the network largely follows the physical
geography of cities linked by roads, and railways. It
allows everyone to receive the benefit of the "nuclear
survivability" inherent in IP by multihoming in their 
home city.

> Interesting to see an argument for bottom-up design in a post which
> otherwise calls for top-down planning of the network architecture.

That should have been a hint that you totally misunderstood
what I was proposing.

> Methinks we are re-interpreting history here. The IETF didn't create an 
> cartel" for IPv4. What CIDR did, and I think I can speak with some 
> of authority on this subject, was to allow routing state to scale
> in a non-exponential manner by encouraging address assignment to follow
> topology.

This isn't about CIDR. This is about the idea that there is
a hierarchy of addressing with the ISP at the top, and the
end user as a serf of their ISP overlord. That model was
indeed imposed by the IETF, probably because at the time
they were mostly working with benevolent overlords, i.e.
universities. I want to see an alternative hierarchy so
that end users are not tied to one overlord/ISP.

> In the interests of demonstrating why "geo-topo" addressing can't 
> work without radical changes to the business and regulatory models of 
> Internet, consider the simple example of a provider who has connections

Your example proves my point. There is no one right way
that works for all people. Let your provider continue to
use classic IPv6 addresses wherever it works better for 
them. But create geo-topological addresses so that people
who want local multihoming can do so without breaking your
brittle Global Routing Table.

> Both of these requirements defy business sense,

It's easy to make statements like this in theory. But when
customers come, cash in hand, with requirements like the above,
most businesses find a way to negotiate terms. Not all
business actors are greedy and stupid. And innovation is
not likely to come from the dinosaurs who dominate the 
ISP space today. It will come from small upstarts and from
customers themselves demanding simple effective multihoming
without provider lock-in. In other words, small provider
independent geo-topological address blocks that are fully
routeable on the entire Internet, either as detailled
prefixes in their home city, or as a city/regional prefix

> If you really want to combine transport identifier and routing locator 
> a single "address", you give up a lot of flexibility. For routing to 
> addressing must follow topology, so in such a network architecture the 
> "topology independent address" (aka "provider independent address") is 
> an oxymoron.

In geo-topological addressing, the address DOES FOLLOW topology.
Your problem is that you cannot see the forest for the trees.
A provider independent address does not necessarily mean topology

--Michael Dillon

More information about the NANOG mailing list