[ppml] Re: ARIN Policy Proposal 2002-7

Alec H. Peterson ahp at hilander.com
Wed Sep 25 16:42:33 EDT 2002

NOTE: I am responding to some of the issues raised in the policy proposal 
not to a single person (ie, whoever submitted the proposal) but in the 
interest of continuing a dialog on the subject.

> Arin should reduce the current minimum IP allocation requirement to /21
> -/24 if an organization is multihomed and actively using AS number(s).
> Arin may periodically inquire and verify that the multihomed organization
> is actively using AS number(s). ARIN may reclaim its IP's from
> organizations that no longer are multihomed and/or stop using AS
> number(s).
> The following new fee schedule for /21 - /24 should be implemented as
> follows (based on the current fee schedule with a smaller minimum):
> 	$400.00 per year for /23 - /24
> 	$1000.00 per year for /21 - /22

I do not believe the proposed fees would be fair to either ARIN or other 
ARIN members.  I don't think the amount of work that the ARIN staff would 
need to perform for allocations of this size jibes with the proposed fees.

> 1. ARIN's current minimum IP allocation policy has a direct correlation
> with the size of a company. Generally a company that uses a  /20 IP
> allocation has a larger network and customer base, therefore they would be
> considered in the category of large size companies. This policy currently
> discriminates, puts a small business at a disadvantage and promotes and
> helps to monopolize large ISP's and upstream providers.

ARIN's policies were not crafted to discriminate against anybody.  They 
were crafted to help manage the resources that ARIN has responsibility for 
(autonomous system numbers and IP addresses).  Contrary to your point 
below, the issue with routing table size relates to routing table 
processing (CPU cycles), and not memory.

> 2. Currently, many ISP's and upstream providers are in bankruptcy and/or
> have gone out of business; therefore, getting IP's from upstream
> providers is no longer a good solution since small businesses will have
> the disadvantage of returning and re-numbering their IP's.
> 3. Once a small business obtains IP addresses from their upstream
> providers, upstream providers are able to hold that small business
> "hostage" and increase their rate without any consequences, because the
> level of difficulty to move to another upstream provider is great and
> could put the small company out of business.

Renumbering is not always trivial, but at the same time it is not 
impossibly hard either.  Things like DNS and DHCP make the process 
bearable, especially for small amounts of address space.

> 4. The global routing table and its minimum allocation requirement must
> be investigated by several third party technology companies, who are
> non-partial and do not benefit from ARIN's decision in any way. They
> could determine what is the best minimum requirement in order for the
> Internet to run at its optimum and without any routing table problems.

Given this suggestion I don't see why a specific minimum of /24 was 
proposed in this proposal.  However, ARIN is a perfect example of a body 
that does not benefit from ARIN's policies.  ARIN has an advisory council 
that is elected by its membership and whose job it is to consider the 
technical impact of ARIN's policies.  In the interest of disclosure, I 
currently sit on the ARIN AC.

> 5. ARIN's current policy of the minimum requirement of /20 addresses
> promotes IP usage and reduces the ability to conserve IPs, such as
> virtual hosting, for web sites. Companies now have to come up with
> wasteful uses for IPs that they don't really need, just to qualify for the
> current policy minimum.

I don't think I follow this.  Is the assertion that if IP addresses are 
essentially available with no requirements that people will use them more 
wisely?  I believe history has shown that engineers typically do what is 
easiest, and often it is easiest to be wasteful with address space 
reguardless of the available supply.

> 6. ARIN's current policy automatically qualifies a multihome
> organization to obtain an AS number. There isn't any minimum IP
> requirement to obtain AS numbers and AS numbers have the direct effect of
> increasing the global routing table.

AS numbers are merely identifiers on routes, an increase in the number of 
AS numbers allocated does not cause the routing table size to increase.

> 7. Regarding the global routing table issue, memory is very inexpensive
> now, and Cisco is introducing new router models with a larger D-RAM size,
> that are reasonably priced and affordable by small businesses.

This is 100% correct, and 100% irrelevant.  Memory is no longer the 
limiting factor with respect to routing table size (it used to be, back in 
the AGS/7000 days).  Now the issue is the number of CPU cycles it takes for 
a router to generate its own view of the Internet based on the BGP feeds it 

> 8. Theoretically, there are 4 billion IPv4 addresses available.  Out of
> that, only a small fraction of them (Approx. 100 million) are being used
> and approx. 2.3 billion are being allocated. This makes the current
> minimum allocation policy not practical. Large organizations are sitting
> on an exorbitant amount of IP addresses that they are not using and/or not
> capable of ever being used. As an example, there is a company that owns
> approximately 7 million IP addresses and has roughly 153,000 employees
> (employees as of Nov, 1999). What is the justification for receiving
> such large IP space, when a small business is not allocated any IP space?

Poor historical allocation policies should not be justification for making 
the same mistakes all over again.


Alec H. Peterson -- ahp at hilander.com
Chief Technology Officer
Catbird Networks, http://www.catbird.com

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