The Address plus Port (A+P) Approach to the IPv4 Address Shortage (RFC6346)
Original Publication Date: 2011-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2011-Dec-01
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
R. Bush: AUTHOR [+2]
This document describes a technique to deal with the imminent IPv4 address space exhaustion. Many large Internet Service Providers (ISPs) face the problem that their networks' customer edges are so large that it will soon not be possible to provide each customer with a unique public IPv4 address. Therefore, although undesirable, address sharing, in the same molds as NAT, is inevitable.
Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) R. Bush, Ed. Request for Comments: 6346 Internet Initiative Japan Category: Experimental August 2011 ISSN: 2070-1721
The Address plus Port (A+P) Approach to the IPv4 Address Shortage
We are facing the exhaustion of the IANA IPv4 free IP address pool. Unfortunately, IPv6 is not yet deployed widely enough to fully replace IPv4, and it is unrealistic to expect that this is going to change before the depletion of IPv4 addresses. Letting hosts seamlessly communicate in an IPv4 world without assigning a unique globally routable IPv4 address to each of them is a challenging problem.
This document proposes an IPv4 address sharing scheme, treating some of the port number bits as part of an extended IPv4 address (Address plus Port, or A+P). Instead of assigning a single IPv4 address to a single customer device, we propose to extend the address field by using bits from the port number range in the TCP/UDP header as additional endpoint identifiers, thus leaving a reduced range of ports available to applications. This means assigning the same IPv4 address to multiple clients (e.g., Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), mobile phones), each with its assigned port range. In the face of IPv4 address exhaustion, the need for addresses is stronger than the need to be able to address thousands of applications on a single host. If address translation is needed, the end-user should be in control of the translation process -- not some smart boxes in the core.
Bush Experimental [Page 1]
RFC 6346 A+P Addressing Extension August 2011
Status of This Memo
This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is published for examination, experimental implementation, and evaluation.
This document defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet community. This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). It represents the consensus of the IETF community. It has received public review and has been approved for publication by the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Not all documents approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 5741.
Information about the current status of this document, any errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc6346.
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