[ppml] Principles for IPv6 PI allocations to end sites

Tom Vest tvest at pch.net
Thu Feb 9 00:21:49 EST 2006

On Feb 8, 2006, at 8:28 PM, Daniel Golding wrote:

> On 2/8/06 5:00 PM, "Thomas Narten" <narten at us.ibm.com> wrote:
>> One possible metric for fairness is that since PI allocations each
>> have a cost associated with them (in terms of route slots in the  
>> DFZ),
>> we should attempt to maximimize the benefit of each such slot. Thus,
>> one reason I favor PI space for "large end sites" is that large  
>> can be
>> an indication of the numbers of networks/devices/users covered by a
>> prefix. The more users/machines/networks covered by a prefix, the
>> greater the "benefit" to the community in terms of carrying that
>> prefix in the DFZ. Hence, I tend to lean towards giving PI space only
>> to the largest end sites, i.e., those that will provide benefit to  
>> the
>> largest communities.
> [snip]
> This is a common trap. The assumption that more IP addresses means  
> a need
> for PI space is shaky. Many large enterprises have tens of  
> thousands of
> users behind a few NAT gateways - that won't change in v6. Also, many
> content providers may only need a few visible IP addresses, but may  
> generate
> massive amount of traffic. The numbers game is easy to fall into.

Hi Dan,

No doubt you are correct, many enterprises have lots of unobservable  
applications and users, and many of them generate lots of traffic.   
The publicly visible IP don't reflect these unobservables accurately.

But can't you say the same thing about traffic? Is it any safer to  
assume that traffic provides any more accurate a metric of value, or  
even costs, than public Internet production? Given the everyday  
management of traffic volumes/directions to serve business needs, I  
would think that the numbers game would be even more dubious with  
respect to traffic.

> Its important not to fall into this sort of thinking. Becoming  
> multihomed
> costs money. That's a barrier. Paying for IP address space and an  
> AS are
> also barriers. Value on the Internet is largely tied to economics.  
> If we
> need higher barriers to PI address space, they should be economic,  
> rather
> than any sort of arbitrary value judgments by "wise men".

I agree with you that ARIN should care about economics, and that  
allocations should reflect some economic realities.  But given this,  
I still think that publicly verifiable activities should be given  
greater weight. If IP address will still be objects of public trust  
in the future (not universally accepted I think), then ARIN will  
continue to have an obligation to assure that their use adds value,  
for some meaning of "assure". If we are apprehensive about public  
policies and "wise men," why should we have any confidence at all in  
private policies and the unverifiable claims of "self-interested men"?

I also agree that the idea of value attaches more easily to running  
an AS, which  bundles lots of value-suggestive things together in one  
package. I guess the market has already internalized this view anyway  
(cf. the new MCI-VZ peering requirements). However, this conclusion  
just shifts the burden of ARIN's stewardship responsibilities from IP  
addresses to ASNs. Should requirements for AS allocations be more  
robust, or evaluations more rigorous? Regardless, how does this shift  
in attention help to solve the problem of *PI* space?


>> Thomas
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> -- 
> Daniel Golding
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