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Network 10 Considered Harmful (Some Practices Shouldn't be Codified) (RFC1627)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000002462D
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-12
Document File: 7 page(s) / 18K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

E. Lear: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Growth in use of Internet technology and in attachments to the Internet have taken us to the point that we now are in danger of running out of unassigned IP network numbers. Initially, numbers were formally assigned only when a network was about to be attached to the Internet. This caused difficulties when initial use of IP substantially preceded the decision and permission to attach to the Internet. In particular, re-numbering was painful. The lesson that we learned was that every IP address ought to be globally unique, independent of its attachment to the Internet. This makes it possible for any two network entities to communicate, no matter where either might be located. This model is the result of a decades-long evolution, through which the community realized how painful it can be to convert a network of computers to use an assigned number after

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Network Working Group E. Lear

Request for Comments: 1627 Silicon Graphics, Inc.

Category: Informational E. Fair

Apple Computer, Inc.

D. Crocker

Silicon Graphics, Inc.

T. Kessler

Sun Microsystems, Inc.

July 1994

Network 10 Considered Harmful

(Some Practices Shouldn't be Codified)

Status of this Memo

This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo

does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of

this memo is unlimited.

SUMMARY

Re-use of Internet addresses for private IP networks is the topic of

the recent RFC 1597 [1]. It reserves a set of IP network numbers,

for (re-)use by any number of organizations, so long as those

networks are not routed outside any single, private IP network. RFC

1597 departs from the basic architectural rule that IP addresses must

be globally unique, and it does so without having had the benefit of

the usual, public review and approval by the IETF or IAB. This

document restates the arguments for maintaining a unique address

space. Concerns for Internet architecture and operations, as well as

IETF procedure, are explored.

INTRODUCTION

Growth in use of Internet technology and in attachments to the

Internet have taken us to the point that we now are in danger of

running out of unassigned IP network numbers. Initially, numbers

were formally assigned only when a network was about to be attached

to the Internet. This caused difficulties when initial use of IP

substantially preceded the decision and permission to attach to the

Internet. In particular, re-numbering was painful. The lesson that

we learned was that every IP address ought to be globally unique,

independent of its attachment to the Internet. This makes it

possible for any two network entities to communicate, no matter where

either might be located. This model is the result of a decades-long

evolution, through which the community realized how painful it can be

to convert a network of computers to use an assigned number after

using random or default addresses found on computers just out of the

box. RFC 1597 abrogates this model without benefit of general IETF

community discussion and consensus, leaving policy and operational

questions unasked and unanswered.

KEEP OUR EYES ON THE PRIZE: AN ARCHITECTURAL GOAL AND VIOLATION

A common -- if not universal -- ideal for the future of IP is for

every system to be globally accessible, given the proper security

mechanisms. Whether such systems comprise ...