[ppml] Directory Services - section 3.4.3

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Tue Jun 14 15:09:50 EDT 2005

--On Tuesday, June 14, 2005 10:53 AM +0100 Person who prefers not to be
attributed wrote:

>> >     >            - Via CDROM to users who complete the bulk data form.
>> This isn't vast overspecification. It's better described as a minimum 
>> level of service delivery.
> When you put a statement like that in policy then you
> are implying that CD-ROM is the only acceptable media.
> What happens if the data won't fit on one CD-ROM. Will
> ARIN staff sit there swapping in CD-Rs, and then do
> it all over again to verify that they are all readable?
> If we simple say
No, it's not.  That would be true if there weren't a subsequent statement
that OTHER MEDIA can be made available at ARIN's discretion.
However, such a statement is present in the proposed policy, thus trumping
any such implication.

> -Via recordable media to users who have signed the bulk data AUP
> Then we are not overspecifying the details. ARIN is still
> free to offer the data on a DVD-R with 5 copies of the data
> in different formats for $100 or on CD-R with your choice
> of a single data format for $2,000 dollars. The extra fee
> covers the time spent sitting and swapping disks. People can
> ask ARIN to buy a USB 2.0 or Firewire drive, load the 5 formats
> of the database and mail it to them. Or people can drive up
> to the ARIN offices with a PC containing a DLT drive and
> 100baseT network card to do a high-speed SMB transfer of the 
> data onto tape.
Right... Then, users are free to expect any random form of media they
choose.  The policy as written makes it very clear that ARIN will publish
the data on CDROM and MAY publish it on other media upon request if ARIN
feels such request is not overly burdensome.  The policy as written
is better than your proposal, no matter how  many times you repeat your

> These are all details which are not specified in the policy
> and which are not possible if the policy mentions CDROM. That
> is why that phrase is OVERSPECIFICATION.
That simply isn't true.  Under the proposed policy, all of those things
are possible, but, the policy makes it clear that they are at ARINs

>> Staff
>> could probably figure out on their own if a CD-ROM made sense, but
>> there's no harm in saying "else...CD-ROM".
> Yes, there is harm in saying "else...CD-ROM". By doing that we
> usurp the ability of ARIN staff to use their own judgement. 
> We are micromanaging. Do you like your boss to tell you in 
> detail how to do your daily tasks? Policy is like instructions
> from the boss and good policy should not overspecify in the same
> way that good managers should not micromanage.
In my opinion, this simply isn't an accurate interpretation of the policy
as worded.  The policy as worded guarantees that at a minimum, CD-ROM
will be available.  CDROM is currently the most common form of mass-storage
media.  As to the data not fitting, let's look at that realistically.

The ARIN region now consists essentially of the united States and Canada.
To the best of my knowledge, everything else has been shifted either to
LACNIC or AFRINIC.  Let's overestimate a bit and say that the ARIN region
contains 1/2 of all IP allocations.  ARIN does not allocate or assign
smaller than a /22 (other than a statistically meaningless handfull of
exchange point allocations and the swamp).  More than 3/4ths of ARIN
allocations are /20 or larger.  There are roughly 16 million /24s, which
translates to roughly 8 million /24s in the ARIN region.  1/4 of that is
2 million /24s which translate to approximately 0.5 million /22s.  The
remaining 6 million /24s translate into  0.375 million /20s, so, a gross
overestimation of the maximum size of the database is rougly 0.875 million

I believe the average whois record is approximately 512 bytes, so, we
have 875,000 records at 512 bytes is 448,000,000 bytes which is
roughly 428 Megabytes.  A CDROM is 700 Megabytes.  You can fit almost
two copies of the worst case database on a CDROM.

The argument of what happens when the database exceeds a CDROM is specious.


If it wasn't crypto-signed, it probably didn't come from me.
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