Network 10 Considered Harmful (Some Practices Shouldn't be Codified) (RFC1627)
Original Publication Date: 1994-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-12
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
E. Lear: AUTHOR [+3]
This document restates the arguments for maintaining a unique address space. Concerns for Internet architecture and operations, as well as IETF procedure, are explored. This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.
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.
Re-use of Internet addresses for private IP networks is the topic of the recent RFC 1597 . 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.
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
Lear, Fair, Crocker & Kessler [Page 1]
RFC 1627 Network 10 Considered Harmful July 1994
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 toasters, light switches, utility power poles, field medical equipment, or the classic examples of "computers", our current model of assignment is to ensure that they can interoperate.
In order for such a model to work there must exist a globally unique addressing system. A common complaint throughout the community is that the existing security in host software does not allow for every (or even many) hosts in a corporate environment to have direct IP acce...