EIP: The Extended Internet Protocol (RFC1385)
Original Publication Date: 1992-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
The Internet faces two serious scaling problems: address exhaustion and routing explosion [1-2]. The Internet will run out of Class B numbers soon and the 32-bit IP address space will be exhausted altogether in a few years time. The total number of IP networks will also grow to a point where routing algorithms will not be able to perform routing based a flat network number.
Network Working Group Z. Wang
Request for Comments: 1385 University College London
EIP: The Extended Internet Protocol
A Framework for Maintaining Backward Compatibility
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does
not specify an Internet standard. Distribution of this memo is
The Extended Internet Protocol (EIP) provides a framework for solving
the problem of address space exhaustion with a new addressing and
routing scheme, yet maintaining maximum backward compatibility with
current IP. EIP can substantially reduce the amount of modifications
needed to the current Internet systems and greatly ease the
difficulties of transition. This is an "idea" paper and discussion is
strongly encouraged on Big-Internet@munnari.oz.au.
The Internet faces two serious scaling problems: address exhaustion
and routing explosion [1-2]. The Internet will run out of Class B
numbers soon and the 32-bit IP address space will be exhausted
altogether in a few years time. The total number of IP networks will
also grow to a point where routing algorithms will not be able to
perform routing based a flat network number.
A number of short-term solutions have been proposed recently which
attempt to make more efficient use of the the remaining address space
and to ease the immediate difficulties [3-5]. However, it is
important that a long term solution be developed and deployed before
the 32-bit address space runs out.
An obvious approach to this problem is to replace the current IP with
a new internet protocol that has no backward compatibility with the
current IP. A number of proposals have been put forward: Pip,
Nimrod , TUBA  and SIP . However, as IP is really the
cornerstone of the current Internet, replacing it with a new "IP"
requires fundamental changes to many aspects of the Internet system
(e.g., routing, routers, hosts, ARP, RARP, ICMP, TCP, UDP, DNS, FTP).
Migrating to a new "IP" in effect creates a new "Internet". The
development and deployment of such a new "Internet" would take a very
large amount of time and effort. In particular, in order to maintain
interoperability between the old and new systems during the
transition period, almost all upgraded systems have to run both the
new and old versions in parallel and also have to determine which
version to use depending on whether the other side is upgraded or
Let us now have a look at the detailed changes that will be required
to replace the current IP with a completely new "IP" and to maintain
the interoperability between the new and the old systems.
1) Border Routers: Border routers have to be upgraded and to provide
address translation service for IP packets across the boundaries...