[ppml] Idea to have ReferralServer as part of ASN whois to specify routing database info

william at elan.net william at elan.net
Tue Sep 2 15:37:49 EDT 2003

I have previously posted this idea on dbwg and I want to repost it here to see
what people think as well I'm not sure if it requires policy change or not.

Basicly I want to explore possibility to have "ReferralServer" output of 
whois to apply specifically to ASNs as way to indicate which RADB server 
ISP uses (i.e. it can specify its own, rr.arin.net, whois.radb.net, 
whois.altdb.net, etc). This idea came in part because currently 
ReferralServer is being displayed as part of ASN whois output for those
ISPs that have rwhois server for their netblocks, but this rwhois server 
has no meaning when applied to ASN and provides no usefull info (this is 
in fact a bug came about because ARIN decided to only implement 
ReferralServer as an attribute of ORG). 

What I'm proposing is to add ReferralServer field to both ASN and Network
objects, but for ASN it would have completely different meaning and would
be referral to routing database server (as such "whois" would be allowed 
protocol there) as well as to have ARIN add information for all ASNs that 
use ARIN's routing server (others can add the info on their own and default
value would be special "blank" which would cause output from ORG object's
ReferralServer field to be suppressed so it would no longer display 
rwhois server and fix the bug).

I would like to know what others think of this idea and if your ISPs would 
use and maintain this field if it were available. Also note that several 
other RIRs (APNIC, RIPE) already display routing information as part of 
their whois display so in fact, this would kind of bring us to the same 
level allowing to link regular ASN whois info with routing database info
but at the same time not requiring routing info to be kept all in the same 
place (so kind of like rwhois as opposed to central arin whois & swips).

My original post to with some technical details is here:
(it also explains how this would bring full rwhois display flexibility to
networks allowing for same org to use different rwhois servers for different
networks, which became impossibly when ARIN only added ReferralServer for 
ORG table, despite previous agreement that it would be in both ORG and NET)

William Leibzon
Elan Networks
william at elan.net

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