[arin-ppml] Against 2013-4

William Herrin bill at herrin.us
Mon Jun 3 20:20:45 EDT 2013

On Mon, Jun 3, 2013 at 7:11 PM, David Farmer <farmer at umn.edu> wrote:
> Eventually, yes that was the case, and was definitely the case by the time
> RFC 1366 was published, However it was still technically possible to get a
> class A even then, look at Section 4.1.

Hi David,

Regardless of what might have been possible under conditions now past,
what actually did happen is that the first IPv4 /8's were preemptively
assigned without any kind of needs analysis at all. For smaller
requests (for shrinking versions of smaller) the practice of assigning
addresses without substantive consideration of "need" continued until
1997. That's what -actually- happened.

> Finally, as was pointed out earlier, operational need was required for all
> assignments.  It was noted that even for a class C you had to estimate how
> many hosts were going to be connected, initially, and at one, two and five
> years.  As a thought experiment, what do you think John Postel would have
> said, if you answered that question with zero(0), especially for the one,
> two and five year parts of the question.  Do you think it might have been
> "come back later"?

As a thought experiment, I think all the forms I've been able to track
down post-dated Jon's (not John's) involvement in the registration
process. If you happen to have copies of any written communications
between him and a registrant from the days of his involvement, I'd
love to read them.

At a guess, I'd say Jon's response was never "come back later." I'd
guess something more along the lines of, "Are you sure you what you
want to do really takes that many addresses?"  I never met the man, so
I can't say that with any confidence.

> Therefore, I believe operational need is a principle that MUST be included.

I respectfully disagree. Needs assessment is a tool for conservation.
It's a coarse tool at that... consistently either too permissive or
too restrictive. And we use it badly, demanding predictions that
depend on unknowable variables, shortening prediction periods to the
detriment routing scalability and too frequently failing to check on
how the predictions panned out.

"Operational need" is a just a tool that supports conservation for the
sake of sustainability. If a better tool proves itself, we shouldn't
hesitate to jettison operational need.

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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