Observations on the Management of the Internet Address Space (RFC1744)
Original Publication Date: 1994-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-12
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This memo examines some of the issues associated with the current management practices of the Internet IPv4 address space, and examines the potential outcomes of these practices as the unallocated address pool shrinks in size. This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.
Network Working Group G. Huston Request for Comments: 1744 AARNet Category: Informational December 1994
Observations on the Management of the Internet Address Space
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.
This memo examines some of the issues associated with the current management practices of the Internet IPv4 address space, and examines the potential outcomes of these practices as the unallocated address pool shrinks in size. Possible modifications to the management practices are examined, and potential outcomes considered. Some general conclusions are drawn, and the relevance of these conclusions to the matter of formulation of address management policies for IPv6 are noted.
The area explicitly examined here is the allocatable globally unique IPv4 address space. Explicitly this includes those address groups uniquely assigned from a single comprehensive address pool to specific entities which are then at liberty to assign individual address values within the address group to individual hosts. The address group is handled by the technology as a single network entity.
At present these addresses are allocated to entities on a freely available, first-come, first-served allocation basis, within the scope of a number of administrative grounds which attempt to direct the allocation process to result in rational use of the space, and attempt to achieve a result of a level of equity of availability that is expressed in a sense of multi-national "regions" .
In examining the current management policies in further detail it is useful to note that the IPv4 address space presents a number of attributes in common with other public space resources, and there are parallels in an economic analysis of this resource which include:
Huston [Page 1]
RFC 1744 Management of Internet Address Space December 1994
- the finite nature of the resource
This attribute is a consequence of the underlying technology which has defined addressed entities in terms of a 32 bit address value. The total pool is composed of 2**32 distinct values (not all of which are assignable to end systems).
- the address space has considerable market value
This valuation is a consequence of the availability and extensive deployment of the underlying Internet technology that allows uniquely addressed entities the capability to conduct direct end- to-end transactions with peer entities via the Internet. The parameters of this valuation are also influenced by considerations of efficiency of use of the allocated space, availability of end system based internet technologies, the availability of Internet- based service providers and the resultant Internet market size.
- address space management is a necessary activity
Management processes are requires to ensure unique allocation and fair access to the resource, as well as the activity o...