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IPv6 Subnetting - The Paradigm Shift

Almost every conversation I have with folks just learning about IPv6 goes about the same way; once I'm finally able to convince them that IPv6 is not going away and is needed in their network, the questions start. One of the most practical and essential early questions that needs to be asked (but often isn't) is "how do I lay out my IPv6 subnets?" The reason this is such an important question is that it's very easy to get IPv6 subnetting wrong by doing it like you do in IPv4. more

A Question of DNS Protocols

One of the most prominent denial of service attacks in recent months was one that occurred in March 2013 between Cloudflare and Spamhaus... How did the attackers generate such massive volumes of attack traffic? The answer lies in the Domain Name System (DNS). The attackers asked about domain names, and the DNS system answered. Something we all do all of the time of the Internet. So how can a conventional activity of translating a domain name into an IP address be turned into a massive attack? more

Can TCP/IP Survive?

The following article is an excerpt from the recently released Internet Analysis Report 2004 - Protocols and Governance. Full details of the argument for protocol reform can be found at 'Internet Mark 2 Project' website, where a copy of the Executive Summary can be downloaded free of charge. ..."In releasing this section for comment, I would like to point out that the report's conclusions are based on a cumulative examination of various protocols and systems. We are at a point of time where other protocols and systems are equally problematic -- the report points to some significant problems with DNS structure and scalability, and also points out that, to all intents and purposes, the basic email protocol, SMTP, is broken and needs immediate replacement." more

How Did IPv6 Come About, Anyway?

This is a special two-part series article providing a distinct and critical perspective on Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) and the underlying realities of its deployment. The first part gives a closer look at how IPv6 came about and the second part exposes the myths.

In January 1983, the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) experienced a "flag day," and the Network Control Protocol, NCP, was turned off, and TCP/IP was turned on. Although there are, no doubt, some who would like to see a similar flag day where the world turns off its use of IPv4 and switches over to IPv6, such a scenario is a wild-eyed fantasy. Obviously, the Internet is now way too big for coordinated flag days. The transition of IPv6 into a mainstream deployed technology for the global Internet will take some years, and for many there is still a lingering doubt that it will happen at all. more

Could IP Addressing Benefit from the Introduction of Competitive Suppliers?

An article written by Paul Wilson, Director General of Asia Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), and Geoff Huston, Senior Internet Research Scientist at APNIC. "In recent months proposals have been made for the introduction of competition into the system of allocation of IP addresses. In particular, calls have been made for new IP address registries to be established which would compete with the existing Regional Internet address Registries (RIRs). Specific proposals have been made by Houlin Zhao of the ITU-T and by Milton Mueller of the Internet Governance Project, both of which propose that the ITU itself could establish such a registry group, operating as a collection of national registries." ...It would appear that part of the rationale for these proposals lies in the expectation that the introduction of competition would naturally lead to outcomes of "better" or "more efficient" services the address distribution function. This article is a commentary on this expectation, looking at the relationship between a competitive supply framework and the role of address distribution, and offering some perspective on the potential outcomes that may be associated with such a scenario for IP addresses, or indeed for network addresses in general. more

AFNIC and DNS Server Redelegation

As an American, I could go for the ignorant stereotyping of the French. But being the good global citizen I try to be, I'll just see if someone can tell me if I'm missing something here, or if indeed AFNIC has lost its mind. I recently requested for one of my .FR domains to be delegated to new DNS servers. I got everything set up at my new DNS provider. But, AFNIC won't perform the transfer because of the following "fatal" reason... more

Address Policies

When does an experiment in networking technology become a public utility? Does it happen on a single date, or is it a more gradual process of incremental change? And at what point do you change that way in which resources are managed to admit a broader of public interests? And how are such interests to be expressed in the context of the network itself, in terms of the players, their motivation and the level of common interest in one network? While many may be of the view that this has already happened some years ago in the case of the Internet, when you take a global perspective many parts of the globe are only coming to appreciate the significant role of the Internet in the broader context of enablers of national wealth. more

Exposing 9 Myths About IPv6

This is a special two-part series article providing a distinct and critical perspective on Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) and the underlying realities of its deployment. The first part gives a closer look at how IPv6 came about. This part exposes the myths.

Good as all this is, these attributes alone have not been enough so far to propel IPv6 into broad-scale deployment, and consequently there has been considerable enthusiasm to discover additional reasons to deploy IPv6. Unfortunately, most of these reasons fall into the category of myth, and in looking at IPv6 it is probably a good idea, as well as fair sport, to expose some of these myths as well. more

Court Approves Nortel's Sale of IPv4 Addresses to Microsoft

Yesterday morning (26-April-2011), in US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, Judge Kevin Gross signed an order authorizing Nortel's sale of IPv4 addresses to Microsoft. This is an important moment for the Internet community, as it represents the beginning of a new market-based mechanism for the distribution of scarce IPv4 address resources. As the various Regional Internet Registry (RIR) organizations exhaust their supply, traditional "needs-based" distribution will become impossible. more

Parsing Hype From Hope: Will ENUM Spark Changes In Telecom?

In the beginning there was silence; then, silence begat communication, and communication begat more communication and, ultimately, group communication formed and begat a primordial "network" of communication that gradually and inevitably increased in effectiveness and complexity: there were only signal fires at first but, then, there were cave drawings, carrier pigeons, shouting from hill-tops, smoke from fire, lines of cannon fire, the telegraph, Alexander Graham Bell, and, finally, the network of networks known as the Internet. But, is that it? Is there not something more impressive in its impact upon communication than the Internet? What more might one desire than the dynamic wonders of the Internet, you ask? Well, what about ENUM? "E-What!?" more

ICANN, WSIS and the Making of a Global Civil Society - Part I

This is the first part of a two-part series interview by Geert Lovink with Milton Mueller discussing ICANN, World Summit on the Information Society, and the escalating debates over Internet Governance. Read the second part of this Interview here. Geert Lovink: "Would it make sense to analyse ICANN (and its predecessors) as a test model for some sort of secretive 'world government' that is run by self appointed experts? Could you explain why governments are seen as incapable of running the Internet? This all comes close to a conspiracy theory. I am not at all a fan of such reductionist easy-to-understand explanations. However, the discontent with 'global governance' discourse is widespread and it seems that the International Relations experts have little understanding how the Internet is actually run. Where do you think theorization of Internet governance should start?" more

ENUM: Mapping the E.164 Number Space into the DNS

Many communications networks are constructed for a single form of communication, and are ill suited to being used for any other form. Although the Internet is also a specialized network in terms of supporting digital communications, its relatively unique flexibility lies in its ability to digitally encode a very diverse set of communications formats, and then support their interaction over the Internet. In this way many communications networks can be mapped into an Internet application and in so doing become just another distributed application overlayed on the Internet. From this admittedly Internet-centric perspective, voice is just another Internet application. And for the growing population of Voice over IP (VoIP) users, this is indeed the case... more

Role Of The Government In The Internet Infrastructure Revisited

When thinking about the infrastructure of the Internet, it is important to consider the role of government in this infrastructure.

This is a question that involves two aspects: the role of government, and the role of the computer scientists who are part of the needed government structure or institution. Reviewing the history of the development of the Internet helps to highlight the importance of some role for both government and for computer scientists. more

An Analysis of Microsoft's MARID Patent Applications

The IETF MARID working group has been slogging away all summer trying to produce a draft standard about e-mail sender verification. They started with Meng Wong's SPF and Microsoft's Caller ID for E-mail, which got stirred together into a hybrid called Sender ID. One of the issues hanging over the MARID process has been Microsoft's Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in Caller ID and Sender ID. The IETF has a process described in RFC 3668 that requires contributors to disclose IPR claims related to their contributions. more

When will we run out of IPv4?

A paper by Tony Hain was recently published in the Internet Protocol Journal which sparked a debate on Slashdot. Particularly, Tony's paper suggested that IANA will run out of IP addresses in 5 years or less. However, there is another paper written by Geoff Hutson which projects that we have enough IPv4 address until 2022. The differences got most people confused. So who is right? more