[ppml] NANOG IPv4 Exhaustion BoF

David Conrad drc at virtualized.org
Fri Mar 7 00:51:20 EST 2008


On Mar 5, 2008, at 3:29 PM, Scott Leibrand wrote:
>> What are 'negative impacts'?
> I think you outlined a few of them earlier today, but they would  
> include  the results of a number of different types of speculation  
> (unnecessary volatile prices, scarcity, etc.), hoarding of addresses  
> for various reasons (speculation, attempts to starve out  
> competitors, etc.), and unnecessary deaggregation.

With the exception of the last, all of these consequences are part and  
parcel of the fact that the IPv4 free pool is exhausted.  Put enough  
constraints on transfers and people won't bother.  End result:  
hoarding (for some value of that variable), speculation via a black  
market, etc.  The only thing the policy will have done is decrease  
ARIN's relevance in the post IPv4 free pool exhaustion world since the  
registration database will become less and less useful over time.

As far as I can tell, the whole point of allowing transfers is to get  
allocated-but-unused address space back into play. If people hoard or  
buy it all up as a speculative effort, we're no worse off than we are  
when the IPv4 free pool is emptied, right?

As for unnecessary deaggregation, what is or is not necessary is  
likely a matter of opinion.  I firmly believe ISPs will look after  
themselves as they have done in the past and are doing so today by  
applying filters if they feel their infrastructure is at risk.  In  
this particular respect, we've been here before and some folks still  
have the T-shirts (hopefully they've been washed). I'd be curious to  
understand why past solutions would not apply.

>> I have a couple more fundamental questions:
>> a) What is the overarching goal the transfer policy is trying to  
>> achieve?
> If there were just one goal, this would be easy.  We're trying to  
> ensure the continued availability of IP resources after IPv4 free  
> pool exhaustion, minimizing disruption, minimizing unnecessary  
> deaggregation, preserving some level of fairness, etc...

By this description, it would seem the policy is attempting to put  
ARIN in the position of being an arbiter of quite a few thing things  
it hasn't taken on before, e.g., "fairness" (fair to whom?),  
"availability" (for whom?), "unnecessary deaggregation" (from whose  
perspective), etc.  I might suggest there are many, many mines in that  
particular field and that ARIN is not necessarily in the best position  
to blaze a path there.

>> b) What tools exist (or can be expected to exist given reasonable  
>> time/resources) to enforce that policy?
> The main tool is that, as the recognized authority in registration  
> of IPv4 addresses in North America, recognition as valid of any  
> transfers by ARIN has considerable value to both transferors and  
> transferees.

So it would seem a core criteria in any policy would be to minimize  
effects that would force folks to go elsewhere to have their transfers  
recognized, no?

>> - the 6 month restriction could force folks to go outside the  
>> policy in desperation (e.g., the amount of address space available  
>> via transfers is likely to be hard to predict.  You could be in a  
>> situation where at one point in time, the only option is a small  
>> block even though you know it won't last 6 months.  What option do  
>> you have?)
> You could get PA space from your ISP or another LIR.

I am assuming the folks most interested in getting address space will  
be ISPs so they can continue adding customers.  Is the assumption of  
this policy that the consumers of address space are end users?

> The intent of a the transfer policy is that it would ensure the  
> availability of blocks of all sizes legitimately demanded by  
> transferees.  Therefore, if we do it right, there should always be  
> an appropriately sized block available at some price.
> Rather, we hope to prevent the transfer of large numbers of small  
> blocks when a larger one would do, as we don't want networks to be  
> cobbling together their IP space from multiple sources and then  
> being forced to announce extra routes for all the different blocks.

I fear the restrictions you are imposing will make it essentially  
impossible to "do it right" and will result in folks with address  
space finding other outlets in which to meet the needs of those who  
need address space.  However, perhaps I misjudge the situation.


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