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Re: Changes to PI Policy?

  • From: Peter Gradwell < >
  • Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 17:04:07 +0100

At 15:53 17/04/2003 +0100, Denesh Bhabuta wrote:
erm, want to come up with some ideas rather than making blanket 'management type' statements such as 'fix this and I don't care how'?
Sure... I was just out for most of the day yesterday. I made the blanket statement because it's the user's point of view (and it's my point of view as a user). I want to help the group stay away from making policy in a vacuum.

The PI Task force was set up for exchange of ideas to 'fix' the issue. It would be useful for you to look at the history of this, and look at past documents and the LIR-WG mailing list. Look at the real world constraints - and then tell us what you think is the best way forward.
I accept that the amount of memory you can fit in a router is finite and that the number of routers an ISP can afford is also finite. I also accept that if we make a BGP mesh more complicated then the problem of determine the best route will become computationally impossible to compute.

However, the number of items we want to connect to this network and thus the number of addresses we are going to need is (a) not going to reduce and (b) is not finite.

Having thought about this issue before in some detail (I wrote an application to do a PhD on the subject, but discovered i didn't like the supervisor) I think that actually the issue of enormous routing tables is a very hard issue and it is not sufficently well addressed by the current hardware, software and logic we are employing. I think that finding a good solution should be the subject of some long and well thought out research, perhaps using markets (trade for the best route and forget about the rest), or some type of route caching (so you don't have to know about the whole route).

anyway... what I'm saying is that I don't think we can solve the issue here & now in this WG and I don't think the solution is for RIPE to outlaw PI space because it's inconvenient. I think the solution is to make everything Provider Independent and solve the large scale routeing table problem

However... like I just said, I don't think we can do that today.

So, my first (serious) suggestion is that RIPE (perhaps with ARIN, IETF, APNIC, etc.) sponsor some Chairs in a few Maths & Computer Science departments round the world to reduce the deficiency in the number of academics looking at routing problems. (For example, there is one bloke in the UK, Dr Ian Pratt, who had one research student, richard morttimer, who has now gone onto other things, who know vaguely anything about BGP and/or who are doing anything with it. OTOH, there are loads of brilliant mathematicians and computer scientists all over the place that would quite happily produce some good solutions to the bigger problem.

So, having got the whole blue sky / dreamboat / next-gen stuff out of the way, my second (serious) suggestion is that RIPE applies a "quick fix". I suggest that:

Obviously, if nothing smaller than a /24 will not be routed then there is little point in allocating it. (If some one applies for a /24 PI space because they got turned down on a PA request, we have to wonder why the PA request was denied).

- Do we know what the actual impact on the routing table would be if we permitted smaller allocations from the PI address blocks?

any way. I shall have to continue this long train of thought after the weekend.


peter gradwell. gradwell dot com Ltd.
engineering & hosting services for email, web and usenet

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