Using /126 for IPv6 router links

James Hess mysidia at
Sat Jan 23 17:07:05 CST 2010

On Sat, Jan 23, 2010 at 7:50 AM, Dobbins, Roland <rdobbins at> wrote:
> On Jan 23, 2010, at 7:56 PM, Mikael Abrahamsson wrote:

"We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time:
premature optimization is the root of all evil"   --Donald Knuth

> A couple of points for thought:
> 1.      Yes, the IPv6 address space is unimaginably huge.  Even so, when every molecule in every soda can in the world has its own IPv6 address in years to come, it might not seem so big.

Then obviously, it's giving every molecule in every soda can an IP
address that is the waste that matters. There are several orders of
magnitude between the number of molecules in a soda can (~65000 times
as many) as the number of  additional  IPs  used by giving a
point-to-point link a /64.

When comparing the number of molecules in a soda can TO   2^64.
It's  like in the IPv4 world  comparing a  /30  to a /31.     And
arguing it's  wasteful to give a point-to-point  link  a  /30   since
all  it needs (in theory) is a /31.   Near the beginning of IPv4
(before exhaustion was an issue).   when at the same time  standard
practice  was allocating   /13s    to users who will use at most a /20
 in 10 years.

Optimizing this early creates potential issues and reduces flexibility
going forward.

The designer/operator should not confuse design patterns that use more
IP addresses than the minimum technically possible, for a block of
addresses,  with  design selections that are gross wastes of address
space --  such as  assigning every molecule its own IP.

IPv6 is a very large address space,  so it's  LARGE  optimizations
that matter,  such as not giving every molecule its own IP.      Not
small optimizations that matter, such as using a   /126 for  a
relatively small number of P-t-P links  (in the grand scheme of
things)   versus a  /64.

Anyways,  I would suggest reserving a /64  to each P-t-P link,  and
(If you prefer)  set static neighbor entry for the peer  (in the case
of Ethernet) and configuring a /72  (smaller than what you have
reserved).     For the sole reason of   disabling  IPv6  autoconfig
and neighbor discovery.

Technically everything to the right of the /64  boundary is  reserved
for the HOST portion, and such is the design of IPv6.

This allows for greater scalability than assigning a  longer prefix.
If  that specific connection is ever to be replaced one day with a
link that's _not_  point-to-point,    or  to be expanded,   then  the
designer has greater flexibility: an option that does not  require
re-numbering  the changed link.


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