[consult] Additional background information

Heather Skanks heather.skanks at verizonbusiness.com
Fri Mar 16 23:29:56 EDT 2007

As for the limit, it seems that certain searches have the limit and others
do not.  For example, ">NET-65-192-0-0-1" to find the subdelegations we
have made from, returns 27,114 results .. all of them, every
single one.  Searching for "n UUnet" returns only 256 truncated results.

Since I'm the person who submitted the request, I'm happy to provide some 
information on how we've been impacted.

There are some very large organizations, some of whom happen to be our 
customers that have >256 resources.  To be more specific >256 netblocks, 
with no way to further narrow down the search.   In evaluating their 
requests for address space, we look at the space they already hold.  When 
the number of resources exceeds 256 we have no way to obtain the 
additional data on our own.  There is no way to page through the results, 
or even know how many results there are.  Most of the time, the customer 
doesn't even know how many netblocks they have.

With regard to how often this happens.. twice this week, and numerous 
times in the past.  I think it's more of an issue for isp's, who often 
have to look at what space an organization has, and for large 
organizations who are trying to figure out what space is theirs.

At some point, I think I was told I could not obtain the info through a 
hostmaster request, because it was not about my company.   However I 
haven't had any problems requesting the information from ARIN recently. 
At the time I submitted the request to the consultation and suggestion 
process, to alter or remove the response limit, I was unaware that the 
full query must still be performed in order to be able to page through 
results.  Having learned that, I became rather resigned to having to 
request the info from ARIN each time I need it.  So, I asked that they 
place a more prominent banner at the top of results page, so that folks 
will be aware at the outset that they are not viewing the full list of 

That said, I would like to see the limit raised or a way found to remove 
it.  It's a little thing, it probably doesn't affect a significant number 
of people, but it would make life a little easier, the day run a little 
smoother.  I won't have to wait a few hours or a day on a response from 
ARIN in order to finish whatever task I am on at the moment.

  Maybe they could put in one of those are-you-a-bot-verification boxes, 
atleast for the website, so the results are obtainable in some way.  As 
for a limit, I don't know what the right number is.  Someone suggested 
looking at the number of records returned, when people submit requests to 
hostmaster.  The one I most recently requested, had 333 netblocks.  500 or 
1,000 seems reasonable.


   Heather Skanks
   security at mci.com

On Wed, 14 Mar 2007, Member Services wrote:

> The introductory post to consult at arin.net on this topic,
> http://lists.arin.net/pipermail/consult/2007-March/000001.html, states
> that the ARIN WHOIS query limit of 256 results has been in place since
> ARIN's inception as a means of curtailing data mining. As noted on the
> WHOIS help page, http://ws.arin.net/whois, queries that return more
> than 256 results will stop displaying data after the 256th result.
> This arbitrary limit was put in place both to control data mining and to
> avoid undue server and bandwidth strain. An example illustrating the
> need for some type of limit is the query of "! n net-*". Without a
> limit, the result will be all 1.5+ million network records. Current
> functionality truncates it after the first 256 records.
> In addition to truncating results, there is a query rate limiter in
> place to prevent excessive querying by a single IP address during a
> prescribed period of time.
> Regarding other RIRs, RIPE WHOIS and AfriNIC WHOIS truncate responses
> at 300 records. LACNIC WHOIS response results are limited by the number
> of bytes, not records. The maximum size for a LACNIC WHOIS result
> response is 65536 bytes. We will post APNIC's information upon receipt.
> ARIN seeks input in order to determine the magnitude of the problem
> caused by the current 256 results limit. For those impacted by the
> limit, what alternative limit do you suggest and why?
> Regards,
> Member Services
> American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN)
> _______________________________________________
> consult mailing list
> consult at arin.net
> http://lists.arin.net/mailman/listinfo/consult

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