The stupidity of trying to "fix" DHCPv6

Iljitsch van Beijnum iljitsch at
Sun Jun 12 11:01:39 UTC 2011

On 11 jun 2011, at 17:05, Owen DeLong wrote:

>> Your doctor doesn't just give you the medicine you ask for either.

> You are not talking about a doctor/patient scenario here where the doctor is an expert and the people asking for this have no
> medical training. Here, we are talking about requirements coming from network engineers that are every bit as skilled as you
> are in the field and every bit as capable of making informed decisions about the correct solution for their environment.

It's true that the patient also knows some stuff here.

There's a lot of bitching here on the NANOG list about how operators get no respect at the IETF. But that's a two-way street. There's also tons of people in operations who have no appreciation to what the IETF brings to the table.

Operators tend to see issues in isolation, or at the very least only see the connections that are relevant to their environment. The IETF has to take into consideration all possible environments. Sometimes things that seem a clear win in a constrained environment could be a disaster if they were used all over the internet.

You know what they say: a doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient.

> Yes, I'm well familiar with your level of arrogance.

Yes, I know I stick out like a sore thumb in these humble parts.

>> BTW, I first went to the IETF 10 years ago and didn't encounter such an attitude (although many others I didn't like).

> Good for you. Did you try proposing anything that was contrary to the current religion at the time or did you join
> the ivory tower biggots in supporting solutions that work better in theory than in operational reality and embrace
> their bold new failure to address major concerns (such as scalable routing) while focusing on irrelevant minutiae
> such as 8+8 vs. GSE?

Judge for yourself:

Let me wrap up this discussion with the following:

IPv6 address configuration is a house of cards. Touch it and it all comes crashing down. DHCPv6 has a number of significant flaws, and the interaction between DHCPv6 and router advertisements only barely makes sense. All of this makes it seem like a good idea to tweak stuff to make it better, but in reality that's a mistake: it just means more opportunities for things to fail. What we need is to rethink the host configuration problem from the ground up, starting at the host and what it should do when it sees its interface come up.

One model that seems attractive here is the on the iPhone uses, where you can modify the IP configuration on a per-wifi network basis. If we can apply this kind of logic to wired networks, too, then suddenly we're no longer limited to having one monolithic set of client side behavior that must always be followed, but we can be much more flexible.

More information about the NANOG mailing list