guideline for name-based web hosting justification

Alec H. Peterson ahp at
Tue Sep 12 15:07:19 EDT 2000

Mury wrote:
> Ummm, it's what you are using one of our IPs for to promote.  It's on one
> of your multiple web servers.  If it's not important to you any more,
> perhaps you should do some cleaning up and return some IPs.

Probably, although those machines are actually Johns Hopkins property, so I
should probably get in touch with the folks back at the CNDS lab.

> You know I agree with you on most of what you are getting at, but I need
> to keep most of that log file anyway.  Customers sometimes need to see
> where there traffic is coming from and what pages they are hitting, so if
> I need to log all that information it should go to the same file, so I
> don't double the amount of writes I need for each request.

It's a matter of which one takes more time, writing two logs, or writing one
big one and having to parse it for utilization data.  I honestly don't know
which is better...

> Hey, we try to do the right thing.  I think this is where part of the
> problem lies.  There seems to be this impression that ISPs are guilty
> before proven innocent, and not just during the long process of trying to
> get new IP space.  We are not greedy, whiny, little pricks.

No, you aren't.  And ARIN is not made up of a bunch of vindictive
narrow-minded pencil pushers who are trying to concerve IP addresses like
they're the last few molecules of oxygen in a sealed chamber.

We're all working towards the same end; making the 'net function as well as
possible.  Having multiple sides to the discussion only helps the situation.

> Instead of putting the clamps on the ISPs why not focus on:
> 1) Reclaiming unused IP space to hold us out a little longer

That's already being done, but there's a big problem.  ARIN doesn't have
authority over the major offenders (legacy /8s and /16s).  The AC has had
long, involved discussions about how is best to do this, and we're working
on it.  For example, our first goal is to re-claim address space of
companies that have gone out of business.  If you have some ideas on how we
can do this we'd _love_ to hear them.

> 2) Push a plan to get better client server technology out there, and once
> it is out there get people using it.  As an rotten example, but feeling
> one is needed, what if the top 10 most popular sites had a message pop up
> that informed people if they were using an old browser and encouraged them
> to upgrade.


I mean, it's an idea, but I see where you're going...

The idea is to get our members to try and help with this task as well...

> I'm not bitching just to bitch.  I'm looking out for my ecommerce
> customers.  90% of my revenue comes from businesses.  If I don't watch out
> for their bottom line, they sure the hell aren't going to look out for
> mine.  If I switch them to a name-based system, before the world is ready
> for it and they lose hits do to software incompatibilites, or don't notice
> that their traffic died, or they can't see how effective a commercial was
> by using real-time accounting stats, or one of my customers gets DOSed and
> I can't control the traffic at my core routers or at my upstream so I have
> to take everyone down because they all share an IP, they are going to host
> with someone who cheats the system and gets them an IP.

Those are legitimate gripes.

Can we come up with reasonable solutions to them?

> Obviously.  And all I can do is let the group (ARIN) know that I for one
> have a problem with it.  And from judging by the number of responses sent
> only to me last night, I'm not the only one.  I'm not sure why most of
> these people have not responded to the group.  Maybe they don't want to be
> labeled as a trouble maker and have even a tougher time getting IPs from
> ARIN next time.

No, you aren't the only one, but at the same time, there were a huge number
of people at the last ARIN meeting who were in support of this policy,
however most of them have been silent through most of this (perhaps because
they feel they already made their feelings known at the last meeting).

And as far as being labled a trouble-maker, I know plenty of people who have
been far more vocal about ARIN policy than you and have had no problem
getting address space.  Please don't spread the mis-conception that ARIN is
anything other than an objective organization.  It isn't true and it makes
everyone's life much more difficult in getting support for the organization.

> Maybe the some of the hosting world just isn't ready for this new policy.

This may be true, but the longer we wait the more address space that's going
to get used up, and the less we'll have to play with in the future...

> If eliminate multiple IPs I'm unsure how to:
> 1) Address the HTTP/1.0 issues in an acceptable clean fashion

See other discussions; the issue of legacy browsers IMO is a red herring. 
It exists, but it's really small.

> 2) Do real time web accounting.  Remember we buy bandwidth by the Mbit, so
> we need to sell it by the Mbit

Doing bandwidth (as opposed to bytes transfered per period of time) billing
is tough, although it sounds like more and more vendors are starting to sell
equipment that handles this.

> 3) Provide controls against DOS attacks.  No we don't host porn sites

But those are the money-makers! :-)

Seriously, I understand the DOS issue all too well, and it does need to be
addressed.  Not sure how to at this point, except to say that this policy is
really targeted towards the bottom-of-the-line web hosting accounts.  If you
have a customer who has a lot of traffic, pays you a lot of money and can't
afford to be off the air then it makes perfect sense to have him on a
dedicated IP (I think at least).

> 4) Provide secure server certificates

That qualifies as an exception.

> 5) Provide database support from server to server.  I'm not a programmer
> any more so I don't know how big an issue it is, but my programmer told me
> it would be a mess

Not sure exactly what you're trying to do with server to server DB support
(more to the point why it would be a problem).

> Miscommunication.  I didn't mean to imply that you called me a greedy,
> whiny bastard.  I was trying to emphasize the point that ISPs, at least
> mine, are trying to conserve IP space.  ARIN's policy implies that ISPs
> are not doing enough to conserve the space.  And like I said before there
> seems to be this mis-conception that ISPs are fighting change and IP
> conservation.  Hell, our business depends on more people getting
> access.  We of all people should be, and I beleive most are, promoting IP
> conservation.

Just because I don't water my lawn doesn't give me a right to suck up all of
the water from the local well with some other application (like starting a
car wash, for example).

Perhaps that's a bad analogy, but my point is that ARIN recognizes ISPs have
made great strides in conserving IP space.  However, as more and more
companies and users hook up to the 'net every month, we need to do as much
as we can.

> Actually I think the policy would make a wonderful "Guideline".  It
> shouldn't affect IP allocation, but it should be encouraged at this time.

That's actually been proposed on another list, although I'm really not sure
if that would affect what people do.  Anybody else have thoughts?

> As someone pointed out.  Apparently HTTP/1.0 can support name based
> hosting.  I was unaware of this.
> And if that truely is the case, I would like to see some numbers.  I would
> have guessed ARIN would know this before instituting a policy.  Perhaps
> they would like to share.

The numbers we got came from our members.  I believe Gene had some extensive

> That's what I'm trying to do!  Or is this not the right place to
> participate?

Well that's the tough part.  Most of the member opinion polls take place at
the in-person meetings.  We do need to try and find a better way to get the
pulse of the membership, I think.

However, it needs to be stated that officially the Board is the only group
that institutes new policy.  To this date they have only done that with
policies that the membership or AC have recommended.

> Ah! Now we are getting somewhere.  Where to draw the line though?  That
> extra 5% business for a company whether they are doing $10,000 or a
> million or more is still pretty important, especially now with everyone's
> margins so low while the fight for market share appears to be paramount.

True enough.

> Almost all my account are $50/month.  Is this considered cheap?  Do you
> have to be a IBM selling $2500 accounts to gain the exception?  Or, are
> the $19.95 joints where the cutoff would be drawn?  Just curious.

That's a very good question, I'm not sure what the answer is.

> Alec, I understand your and ARIN's points.  However if a "policy" is going
> to be created and enforced I think we some of these issues need to be
> better addressed and defined so legit ISPs don't have to wait over a
> month to get new IP space and go through a process of defending web
> hosting IP space.

Which is why we really need more participation.  Fortunately this policy
change has brought more of it forward, but as I said above we need a better
way to tally opinions in a fair manner...


Alec H. Peterson - ahp at
Staff Scientist
CenterGate Research Group -
"Technology so advanced, even _we_ don't understand it!"

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