IP Addressing

IP Addressing / Most Commented

IPv6: Extinction, Evolution or Revolution?

For some years now the general uptake of IPv6 has appeared to be "just around the corner". Yet the Internet industry has so far failed to pick up and run with this message, and it continues to be strongly reluctant to make any substantial widespread commitment to deploy IPv6. Some carriers are now making some initial moves in terms of migrating their internet infrastructure over to a dual protocol network, but for many others it's a case of still watching and waiting for what they think is the optimum time to make a move. So when should we be deploying IPv6 services? At what point will the business case for IPv6 have a positive bottom line? It's a tough question to answer, and while advice of "sometime, probably sooner than later" is certainly not wrong, it's also entirely unhelpful as well! more»

Whither DNS?

The Domain Name System is often though of as an integral part of the Internet. Without it, how can you ever locate anything? Well, quite easily, thank you very much. DNS is used implicitly for many services, such as web browsing. It also includes explicit extensions for a few applications such as e-mail. (I'm talking here about DNS the system, not DNS the technology that can be re-purposed to things like ENUM.) But the most notable thing about DNS is its receding importance... more»

DNSSEC: Once More, With Feeling!

After looking at the state of DNSSEC in some detail a little over a year ago in 2006, I've been intending to come back to DNSSEC to see if anything has changed, for better or worse, in the intervening period... To recap, DNSSEC is an approach to adding some "security" into the DNS. The underlying motivation here is that the DNS represents a rather obvious gaping hole in the overall security picture of the Internet, although it is by no means the only rather significant vulnerability in the entire system. One of the more effective methods of a convert attack in this space is to attack at the level of the DNS by inserting fake responses in place of the actual DNS response. more»

Comments on an IP Address Trading Market

With IPv4 addresses becoming scarcer, there has been talk that a trading market will develop. The idea is that those holding addresses they do not really need will sell them for a profit. More alarming is that there have been a few articles about how the Regional Internet Registries (RIR) are contemplating creating such a market so that they can regulate it, conceding that it will happen anyway and taking the "if you can't be 'em, join 'em" attitude. This is all a bit disturbing. Maybe I'm na├»ve, but it's a little unclear to me how an unsanctioned trading market could really operate without the RIRs at least being aware... more»

Removing Need at RIPE

I recently attended RIPE 66 where Tore Anderson presented his suggested policy change 2013-03, "No Need -- Post-Depletion Reality Adjustment and Cleanup." In his presentation, Tore suggested that this policy proposal was primarily aimed at removing the requirement to complete the form(s) used to document need. There was a significant amount of discussion around bureaucracy, convenience, and "liking" (or not) the process of demonstrating need. Laziness has never been a compelling argument for me and this is no exception. more»

The Internet: Missing the Light

Today's Internet is wonderful for solving hard problems such as connecting to Amazon to buy goods or for using Netflix. Amazon and Netflix, among others, demonstrate what is possible if you put in enough effort. Yet if we are to understand the Internet we need to look beyond those applications to the simplest application such as sending one bit of information from a light switch to a light fixture. more»

The Trouble With 6to4

In the transition from IPv4 to IPv6, the preferred solution for network endpoints is to have both native IPv4 and IPv6 connectivity (also called dual-stack connectivity). If a site cannot get native IPv6 connectivity, however, the IPv4 network endpoints can choose from a number of conversion technologies to connect to the IPv6 Internet. The most commonly used conversion mechanisms are 6to4, Teredo and tunnel-brokers. At recent RIPE meetings there have been claims that 6to4 connectivity is quite often broken. We were interested to find out how broken it really is. 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»

Letting DNS Loose

RFID tags, UPC codes, International characters in email addresses and host names, and a variety of other identifiers could all go into DNS, and folks have occasionally proposed doing just that. Its really just a question of figuring out how to use the DNS -- its ready to carry arbitrary identifiers. And by the way, this isn't a new idea, see RFC 1101 for proof, although even earlier I designed the DNS in the early 1980s to allow it to be so, but it seemed too far fetched to document for a while. ...I was in Geneva for a WSIS meeting of CTOs, and was surprised that the various organizations (ITU, ICANN, ISOC) haven't figured out that they need each other to make this technology work, rather than asserting ownership. more»

The Invisible Hand vs. the Public Interest in IPv4 Address Distribution

In the efforts to promote the public interest over that of monied interests in Internet Governance few issues are clear cut. One issue that has recently been discussed is that of requiring a "needs assessment" when transferring IP addresss blocks from one organisation to another (in the same or different RIR regions) or indeed when requesting IP resources from your friendly RIR. more»

Competition to Regional Internet Registries (RIR) for Post-Allocation Services?

Is it time for a split between allocation and services for Internet number resources as was the case for domain name resources? Back in 1996, Network Solutions had essentially four different government granted monopolies... In 1997, Network Solutions "spun" off the 3rd and 4th monopoly into a non-stock corporation known as American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) which has continued the monopoly for its region after spinning off several other Regional Internet Registers (RIR) which are in themselves monopolies. more»

Map of the Internet: The IPv4 Space of 2006

An intersecting representation of the IP Address space on a plane using a fractal mapping that preserves grouping... Section of the map also shows the blocks sold directly to corporations and governments in the 1990's before the RIRs took over allocation. more»

Thoughts on IPv6 Day

Jeff Pulver proposed an interesting idea called IPv6 Day... In geeks term, we call this a 'flag day'. The last time we have a flag day was 1st Jan 1983 when Internet moved from NCP (Network Control Protocol) to IPv4. So why not do it for IPv6? more»

NAT: Just Say No

Fueled by the lack of public IP addresses, 70% of Fortune 1000 companies have been forced to deploy NATs (Source: Center for Next Generation Internet). NATs are also found in hundreds of thousands of small business and home networks where several hosts must share a single IP address. It has been so successful in slowing the depletion of IPv4 addresses that many have questioned the need for IPv6 in the near future. However, such conclusions ignore the fact that a strategy based on avoiding a crisis can never provide the long-term benefits that solving the underlying problems that precipitated the crisis offers. more»

Borders, In Bankruptcy, Aims To Sell 65,536 IPv4 Addresses at $12/Address

With IPv4 address exhaustion upon us, it appears that the going market rate for IPv4 addresses is now $12/address. Over at the Register, Kevin Murphy reports on a bankruptcy filing from Borders seeking to sell a /16 block of to healthcare software vendor Cerner for a total of $786,432. At $12 per IPv4 address, this sets a new public record given that the previous high was Microsoft's acquisition of a block of Nortel IPv4 addresses... more»