[ppml] IPv4 address exhaustion policy

Anthony A. Crumb Crumb_Anthony_A at cat.com
Mon Feb 5 10:13:29 EST 2007

ppml-bounces at arin.net wrote on 02/05/2007 02:48:09 AM:

> To
> To
> <ppml at arin.net>
> Some folks in APNIC are proposing an IPv4 exhaustion policy which can be
> read here:
> http://www.apnic.net/docs/policy/discussions/prop-046-v001.txt
> The document contains language that suggests they will attempt to ram
> the same policy through ARIN and other RIRs since they seem to think
> that IPv4 exhaustion must be managed with one global coordinated policy.
> Even a quick read of the policy shows flaws such as the ridiculous
> assumption that if IPv4 addresses are not available, people will use
> IPv6 instead. This may in fact be true in the APNIC region, but I
> suspect that in the ARIN region this will lead to increased use of NAT
> and "borrowed" address ranges such as DOD stuff. 
> One objectional proposal is that IANA should hold "some" /8 blocks in
> reserve, thus bringing the exhaustion event to an earlier date.  Another
> problem is that they suggest delaying policy to deal with recycling
> addresses. Since recycling addresses will mitigate the problem of
> exhaustion, this again attempts to create a crisis earlier than it would
> naturally occur.
> My position is that IANA should do nothing new. When they have given up
> the last available /8, that's it. After that it is up to the RIRs to
> manage their allocations. The only area where IANA might do something
> different is to encourage the DOD to give back their allocations that
> they don't use on the public network. ARIN's main job is to come up with
> a clear and public policy on address recycling similar to that used by
> the telephony network. If you cease to use a telephone number, the
> network operator will hold it unused for a certain period of time, and
> then reissue it to another subscriber. ARIN should have a similar
> recycling policy for IPv4 addresses.

I agree that forcing early exhaustion of IPv4 space seems to be misguided 
and that IANA should continue its existing address allocation policy.

While reclamation of unused or under used allocations might lend some 
relief, I think determining what methodology to employ would be very 
problematic. Simple utilization scans would show only space that is 
deployed in direct Internet facing, unprotected network environments and 
would not show space that is being utilized in tiered DMZ, internal server 
farms, dealer - supplier - client - and military business partner Extranet 
environments. Many organization have deployed public address space in 
these areas to avoid address collisions with business partners,and they do 
not wish to directly expose their server farms to the internet. I am sure 
it is common for a public address allocation to have substantial use 
within an organization while exposing only a small portion of the space to 
the Internet. How would utilization rates of allocated address space be 

Great discussion topic, thanks for sharing

--Tony Crumb

> --Michael Dillon
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