[ppml] geo addressing

Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com
Mon Nov 21 05:05:59 EST 2005

> We have been working on geo addressing for IPv6 since 1995. That's over
> 10 years.
> http://arneill-py.sacramento.ca.us/ipv6mh/metro-addr-slides-jul95.pdf
> Look who wrote it, too.

I am not a hero worshipper so the author of these
slides does not impress me. However, I was aware of
this work and it is the source of my ideas on 
geotopological addressing. On the other hand, what
I am proposing is rather different.

I do not propose this as THE model for IPv6 addressing.
I do not propose any changes to the IPv6 protocol 
including the interpretation of bits in the header.
I do not propose any changes to routing protocols.
I do not propose any political involvement by either
countries or the Internet Society or by some new

I'm simply extrapolating the known and tested ability
of IPv4 network operators to aggregate more specifics
at the edge of their network. We know that it is feasible
for a network operator to listen to two adjacent /24
announcements from his "downstreams" and announce a
single aggregated /23 to his "upstreams".

If we could allocate addresses to more closely correspond
to network topology, then we could do more aggregation and
the global routing table would see less routes. The network
topology of today now roughly matches the topology of
transportation systems and economic flows. In other words
the nodes in the network are cities or metropolitan areas.

Geotopological addressing is a change to the way that IPv6
addresses are administered and allocated. There is no
requirement for any changes other than RIR policies and
practices. Of course, to gain the optimum benefit, network
operators must interconnect more widely in metro areas and
adjust peering policies to cover the cold potato routing
that will happen. But these things are outside the remit
of ARIN and other RIRs. Like BGP filtering, we can only
hope that sane engineering practices will prevail and that
network operators will adapt to RIR activities. In the past
when the minimum size of an allocation was changed we did
observe that network operators changed their BGP filters
to match. Therefore I don't want to mandate what ISPs do.

> Since then, lots of people including myself have worked on it, with

> Out of these people, many were bright, hard-working, politically
> well-connected in the IPv6 IETF and other communities, and had large
> vendor resources behind them.
> You're flogging a dead horse.

Leonardo da Vinci, a brilliant and well-connected engineer,
made plans for a flying machine. Many years later after many
other people flogged that dead horse, a pair of dumb bicycle
mechanics named Orville and Wylbur managed to build such a
machine. Dead horse, indeed!

> Trouble is: it does not fly for two reasons:
> 1. Politics: any geo addressing scheme involves tons of political
> horseshit.

This is a political mailing list. RIR policy is inherently a
political activity. If you aren't interested then you can feel
free to ignore us and we will continue without you.

> 2. Uncertainty: place yourself in the position of a network
> administrator of a growing company; why risk going to geo addresses not
> knowing if the aggregation mechanism will fit your needs? Way too risky.

The aggregation mechanism is simple and well-known already.
By "network administrator" I assume you mean the technical people
who are on the buying committee making decisions about buying a
particular Internet access service. As far as I am concerned
it is up to the network operator to convince these people.

--Michael Dillon

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