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IAB's proposals in response to the work of the ROAD group

  • To: Reseaux IP Europeens < >
  • From: Daniel Karrenberg < >
  • Date: Thu, 02 Jul 92 10:00:03 +0200
  • Cc: "Lyman Chapin" < >


Below you find a summary of the IAB (now called Internet *Architecture*
Board after moving under the wings of the Internet Society) proposals in
response to the ROAD group work which we discussed at the last RIPE
meeting.  Personally I think that this is a very sound proposal and that
RIPE should endorse it.  Discussion welcome. 


------- Forwarded Message

Date:     Wed, 1 Jul 92 19:55:36 EDT
From:     "Lyman Chapin" lyman@localhost
Subject:  IAB proposals for CIDR and IPv7

         A summary of the IAB's proposals in response
                to the work of the ROAD group.

During its meeting in Kobe, Japan on June 18 and 19, the IAB
reviewed the draft report of the ROAD group concerning the
problems of "running out of IP network numbers" and "Internet
routing table size explosion", and a companion report from
the IESG of "IESG Deliberations on Routing and Addressing".

The IAB's analysis of the many possibilities suggested by these
two reports led it to the following conclusions, which are docu-
mented in an internet-draft entitled "IP Version 7":

1)  The ROAD group's work, compiled over a period of four months,
    makes it very clear that the problems of too few IP addresses
    and too many Internet routes are real and immediate, and represent
    a clear and present danger to the future successful growth of the
    worldwide Internet.  The IAB was therefore unable to agree with the
    IESG recommendation to pursue an additional six-month program of
    further analysis before deciding on a plan for dealing with the
    ROAD problems.  The detailed design, engineering, and deployment
    work must begin now, and it is therefore imperative that the
    efforts of the Internet community be focussed on a common goal.

2)  The IETF should aggresively pursue the work to engineer CIDR
    ("classless inter-domain routing", described in RFC 1338),
    including the extensions to the inter-AD routing protocols to
    support variable-length masks/prefixes, and the associated
    address administration paradigm.

3)  Since CIDR postpones, but does not prevent, the eventual
    exhaustion of the 32-bit IP address space, the IETF should
    also aggressively pursue a detailed technical and organizational
    plan for using CLNP (the OSI internetwork protocol defined by the
    ISO 8473 standard, which uses 160-bit addresses) as the basis for
    a new version of IP (which we have dubbed "IP version 7"), succeeding
    over time the current version of IP (version 4) in the Internet.  An
    initial description of how CLNP could be used for this purpose within
    the current TCP/IP architecture and with the existing Internet
    applications is described in RFC 1347.

4)  CLNP has larger addresses than IP, but like IP it lacks features
    that are expected to be necessary to support future Internet appli-
    cations and services.  The IAB therefore also encourages the
    pursuit of research in areas such as policy-based routing, route
    preallocation and cacheing, and deterministic end-to-end QOS mainten-
    ance (for real-time and other delay-variance sensitive traffic).

It is important to understand that (3) above does NOT mean "adopting
OSI" or "migrating to OSI" or "converting the Internet to use GOSIP
protocols".  The IAB recommends only that a new version of IP (IPv7),
with much wider addresses and a more extensible header, be based on the
existing CLNP.  IPv7 is intended to be deployed within the current Internet
TCP/IP architecture, not as part of an "OSI stack".

There are, of course, many issues that must be resolved before CIDR and
IPv7 can actually be deployed in the operational Internet.  No one should
imagine that there is not still a great deal of work to be done, notwith-
standing the efforts that have already been expended by several of the
IETF working groups and by the members of the ROAD group over the past

In recommending that the ROAD problems be addressed by a combination of
CIDR, IPv7, and further research, the IAB has deliberately chosen NOT to
recommend any of the possible alternatives, so as to present a single
focal point for the community consisting of what we believe to be the
best technical solutions to the problems.  This should not be construed
as a blanket "condemnation" of the alternative proposals that have been
floated in various parts of the IETF.  However, we believe that the normal
IETF process of "let a thousand [proposals] bloom", in which the "right
choice" emerges gradually and naturally from a dialectic of deployment and
experimentation, would in this case expose the community to too great a
risk that the Internet will drown in its own explosive success before
the process had run its course.  The IAB does not take this step lightly,
nor without regard for the Internet traditions that are unavoidably
offended by it.  We look forward to a lively discussion of these
conclusions during the upcoming IETF meeting in Boston.

- Lyman Chapin
  IAB chair

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