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ARIN 32 Draft Policy preview and predictions

arin32logoThe joint ARIN 32 & Nanog 59 meeting is coming up next week.  There are a number of substantive public policy items on the scheduled agenda.  If you are unable to come to the meeting please consider the remote participation option to have your opinion heard.

Here is my short commentary on the policy proposals being discussed at the meeting.  In this blog entry, I’ve also attempted to make some predictions on the discussion and outcome…

2013-4 RIR Principles

Policy Summary: This draft policy adds a section to the NRPM which would provide guiding direction for ARIN’s registry functions.  The core of these principles were originally found in RFC 2050, but the new draft 2050bis which was recently published as RFC 7020 removed a majority of these guiding principles.

Issues: The majority of the discussion about this policy has centered on two aspects.  1) Should this type of text be inserted at all into the NRPM or is already overlapping with ARIN’s mission statement and text in the Policy Development Process (PDP)?  2) Does the draft policy accurately reflect today’s guiding principles for the RIRs (specifically ARIN) registry functions?  Important issues that have been raised here center around the issue of “stewardship” & “conservation” and how that aspect should be documented in a IPv4 runout RIR.

Prediction: This policy will reach consensus at this meeting and will be sent to last-call for approval.  I suspect there will perhaps be some minor adjustments to the text to accommodate any issues raised during the policy discussion.

2013-6 Allocation of IPv4 and IPv6 Address Space to Out-of-region Requestors

Policy Summary:   This draft policy inserts text into the NRPM which would restrict future IP allocations and assignments to organizations who have a legal presences and substantially operate their network(s) inside the ARIN service region.

Issues: This policy originated from ARIN staff comment at the ARIN 31 meeting.  ARIN staff reported that they were seeing increasing numbers of requests from organizations where the IP address were likely to be used outside the ARIN service region or be assigned to customers outside the ARIN service region.  Staff comments on this draft policy indicate this proposed text would restrict the disbursement of resources to legal entities operating within the ARIN service region.

The key issue in this draft policy is the statement:

a plurality of new resources requested from ARIN must be justified by technical infrastructure or customers located within the ARIN service region

Staff comments reveal that this policy as currently written would “create a scenario where a network can’t get IPv4/IPv6 addresses from any RIR.”  Legal review also made note of this issue with this comment: “points of policy to avoid … adopting an overly prescriptive guidance or standard that fails to permit multinational business entities to obtain number resources.”  This is certainly not a desired outcome of the draft policy and I believe must be rectified.

While I believe ARIN staff would benefit from the additional clarity in this draft policy, I doubt this issue will be of as substantial importance after IPv4 exhaustion occurs in the ARIN region.

Prediction: I believe this policy will not achieve consensus at this meeting.  I think there will be significant dissent from the meeting participants to move forward with the current text.  I suspect if the “plurality” statement was removed from the policy it would likely achieve consensus or near consensus such that the policy would continue to move forward through the PDP.

2013-7 Merge IPv4 ISP and End-User Requirements

Policy Summary:   This draft policy makes numerous changes to the existing IPv4 policy which attempts to merge the differences between the ISP and End-User allocation & assignment policies.

Issues: The changes made in this draft policy are complex and intertwined.  It is easiest to see the proposed changes in this red-line version.

https://www.arin.net/policy/proposals/ARIN-prop-190%20proposed_text_changes.pdf

While I believe the general plan to attempt cleanup and streamlining of the IPv4 policy are headed in the right direction, I suspect the changes will not necessarily be well understood by the ARIN community and some skepticism will come about that the changes don’t necessarily all move in the right direction.  In general, this policy seems to loosen the requirements on organizations receiving IPv4 addresses, however these two changes are substantially different.

The utilization requirements on an initial end-user assignment changes from 25% immediate, 50% within one year to 80% within three months. This is offset by the lowering of the minimum block size requirement for single-homed networks.

This change seems to go against the idea of making it easier for initial end-user assignments, but this text changes the initial host count for single subnet from 1024 hosts immediately (25% of a /20) to 819 hosts in 3 months (80% of /22).

The timeframe for additional ISP allocations is changed from three months back to one year.

This change has been suggested a number of times, including 2012-4, since the 2009-8 policy put this into place.  In each instance, consensus generally has been toward not to keep changing the IPv4 requirements as IPv4 exhaustion occurs.

Prediction: I believe this policy will not achieve consensus at this meeting due to the large number of changes being proposed.  I suspect the draft policy will continue to be worked on by the AC and that the text will be updated subsequently and be presented at the next Public Policy Consultation (PPC).

 

Google reaches the 2% threshold of IPv6 traffic

An article on CircleID has pointed to Google breaking the 2% threshold for IPv6 traffic over the past week.  While 2% is still small, the rate of increase year over year represents a doubling of IPv6 traffic with the trend-line continuing to show rapid growth.

The article also notes significant IPv6 deployments fromTelefonica del Peru, Deutsche Telekom, Swisscom, Time Warner Cable, and Singapore’s StarHub & M1.

Google - IPv6 Stats - 20130925

Google’s IPv6 Statistics

IPv4 vs IPv6 network “density”

CAIDA has released a new graphic showing the density differences between the IPv4 Internet and the IPv6 Internet.

ascore-2013-jan-ipv4v6-standalone-1200x710

These IPv4 and IPv6 graphs show the relative growth of the two Internet topologies, and in particular the steady continued growth of the IPv6 topology. Although both IPv4 and IPv6 topologies experienced a lot of churn, the net change in number of ASes was 3,290 (10.7%) in our IPv4 graph and 495 (25.7%) in our IPv6 graph.

July 2013 Update

I’ve been taking some vacation in the past month so the posting has been quiet here.  Catching up on news, it does not appear there is a lot of notable news in the IP address arena.  However, here are a few links & notes that I’ve found catching up on the happenings in the past couple of weeks.

 

ARIN 31 Draft Policy preview and predictions

ARIN 31The spring ARIN 31 meeting is fast approaching.    The final meeting agenda has recently been published. There are also opportunities to participate remotely for those who are unable to make the meeting in person.

Here is my short commentary on the policy proposals being discussed at the meeting.  In this blog entry, I’ve also attempted to make some predictions on the discussion and outcome…

2012-2 IPv6 subsequent allocations

Policy Summary: Changes the way utilization is determined for ISPs who return to ARIN for additional IPv6 allocations.

Issues: Since the initial IPv6 policy was implemented, it has been  understood that the IPv6 policy would need to be modified as implementation experience was gained.  Since the idea of hierarchy is important in IPv6 networks, this policy allows a network’s regions which grow at different speeds to retain the hierarchy structure and still allow fast growing regions to obtain the needed additional IPv6 address space.  Since the draft policy’s introduction there was strong consensus that the existing policy needed to change, the challenge has always been the details of policy text.

Prediction: This policy will finally reach consensus at this meeting and will be sent to last-call for approval.

2013-1 Inter-RIR transfers of ASNs

Policy Summary: Allows organizations to request to transfer an autonomous system number (ASN) from one RIR to another.

Issues: ARIN recently adopted policies which both allow the directed transfer of IPv4 between regions and also allowed the directed transfer of ASNs within the ARIN region. This policy extends this trend to allow ASNs to transfer between RIRs.  Some stakeholders in general disagree with the idea of allowing IP resources to trade and will likely oppose this policy.  On the other side are those who will argue that this policy is a logical extension of the existing policy to allow resources to be transferred to where they are needed.

Prediction: This policy will have signification discussion about the need for the policy and the role of inter-RIR relationships, but I suspect the final consensus at the meeting will be to proceed with the implementation of this draft policy.

2013-2 3GPP IP Resource Policy

Policy Summary: Allows organizations to use a lower utilization requirement for provisioning their 3GPP networks when requesting additional IP addresses.

Issues: Wireless operators have been using space beyond RFC 1918 (such as 1.0.0.0/8) to solve their addressing needs and now that this is becoming part of the “Internet” they need to move off of that space. With ARIN’s /8 inventory currently at approximately 2.5, I’m skeptical that any policy using global IPv4 unicast space can actually solve this problem.   The policy text of this draft policy is also not complete at this time and if consensus is achieved on the concepts of the policy change this draft policy would have to return for discussion at another ARIN meeting.

Prediction: This policy will be abandoned by the AC following the meeting.

2013-3 Tiny IPv6 Allocations for ISPs

Policy Summary: Allows ISPs to request smaller than normal IPv6 address blocks or return larger IPv6 blocks to reduce their IPv6 holdings.

Issues: This draft policy addresses an issue where ISPs are being moved into a larger ARIN fee category under the new fee schedule and allows them to return address space to move to a smaller IPv6 fee category.  There has been significant discussion on the PPML mailing list about this issue and at this point it seems unclear if this proposal will achieve consensus at the meeting.   The primary argument against this policy is that this policy undermines the best current practices for IPv6 subnetting, the intended hierarchical addressing structure defined by the IETF in the IPv6 RFCs, and generous nature of intended IPv6 assignments to end-users.  Some stakeholders will argue that ARIN’s fees shouldn’t be used as a force to dictate a network’s IPv6 architecture.   Arguments for the policy are that some small ISPs don’t need and never will use the current minimum block size of a /32 or /36 and should be able to get a /48 which meets their network needs.

Prediction: This policy will be sent to last call by the AC following the meeting.  (I suspect it is possible that the /48 option will be removed from the draft policy as part of the discussion)

 

2012 IP Address Statistics

Geoff Huston has published his annual look at IP address allocation and assignment statistics.

Addressing 2012: Another One Bites the Dust   (copy)

Plenty of numbers in the report to take a look at…  Notably, we saw ARIN’s 2012 (45 million) allocation rate increase back to its 2010 rate after falling dramatically in 2011 (23.5 million).  RIPE allocated its last IPv4 blocks under its “regular” allocation scheme in mid-September 2012 and moved into the IPv4 exhaustion phase of allocations.  In the RIPE region, there wasn’t an apparent “run-on-the-bank” increase in the allocation rate as the registry moved into the exhaustion phase.

fig8

Here Geoff’s updated RIR Address Exhaustion Model shows ARIN moving into the exhaustion phase in mid-2014 with LACNIC in late 2014.  AFRINIC’s trend-line currently points to an exhaustion point 9 years from January 2013.

Another interesting statistic found in the report is that the total number of smart phones and tablets purchased during 2012 amounts to almost 779 million units.  If each of those devices used a native IPv4 address that would use up 21% of the total IPv4 address space.

Geoff finishes the report with a somewhat pessimistic outlook for the Internet industry.

We are witnessing an industry that is no longer using technical innovation, openness and diversification as its primary means of propulsion. The widespread use of NATs limit the technical substrate of the Internet to a very restricted model of simple client/server interactions using TCP and UDP. The use of NATs force the interactions into client-initiated transactions, and the model of an open network with considerable flexibility in the way in which communications took place is no longer being sustained. Today’s internet is serviced by a far smaller number of very large players, each of whom appear to be assuming a very strong position within their respective markets. The drivers for such larger players tend towards risk aversion, conservatism and increased levels of control across their scope of operation. The same trends of market aggregation are now appearing in content provision, where a small number of content providers are exerting a dominant position across the entire Internet.

This changing makeup of the Internet industry has quite profound implications in terms of network neutrality, the separation of functions of carriage and service provision, investment profiles and expectations of risk and returns on infrastructure investments, and on the openness of the Internet itself.

 

IPv6 Adoption Update

Iljitsch van Beijnum has recently published an update on IPv6 adoption: IPv6 takes one step forward, IPv4 two steps back in 2012.

The second page of his article mentions the economics of IPv6 deployment as reason for the slow deployment of IPv6.

Apparently, the economics of moving to IPv6 before we absolutely, positively had to without delay weren’t there. As with all technology, IPv6 gets better and cheaper over time. And just like with houses, people prefer waiting rather than buying when prices are dropping. To make matters worse, if you’re the only one adopting IPv6, this buys you very little.

And the pain of the shrinking IPv4 supplies versus the pain of having to upgrade equipment and software varies for different groups of Internet users.

All this means that organizations that are experiencing a lack of sufficient IPv4 addresses will have to address that problem in some other way: by having multiple users share a single IPv4 address through Network Address Translation (NAT).

This echos my thoughts on the matter when I wrote about them extensively in 2011.  Use of IPv4 NAT as a substitute for moving to IPv6 was one of the concerns that I and others have raised which could delay or deter IPv6 adoption.

A positive note on IPv6 deployment since 2011:  It does seem that IPv6 has been adopted permanently by a number of the large content providers, so at least one side of the transaction is there.  Further deployment of IPv6, in my opinion, now depends on the large cable and broadband providers.  Only when millions of those subscribers are converted to be IPv6 enabled will we see significant uptake in IPv6 traffic.

Lee Howard of Time Warner noted last year at the IETF 84 that just getting to 1% of current broadband subscribers is a significant effort.  At NANOG 56, Lee also noted that the economics of IPv4 xfers vs. carrier-grade NAT vs. IPv6 aren’t as simple as they might seem.

IPv6 growth and statistics from Akamai

Akamai recently released their latest “State of the Internet” report.  It is probably one of the most positive reports and statistics I have seen regarding IPv6 deployment and use.  Their IPv6 status page today reports almost 72,000 hits per second.

Akamai noted the following regarding IPv6 traffic in their report:
• A 67x increase in the number of unique IPv6 addresses making requests for content
• A 460x increase in the number of requests made for content over  IPv6
• A 9x increase in requests from end users in the United States made against a dual-stack (IPv4 & IPv6) consumer-oriented Web site

A copy of the report is available here (registration required).

IPv6 Launch Day Wrap Up

IPv6 Launch Day was June 6th 2012.  As expected a number of high profile content providers such as Google, Microsoft (Bing), and Yahoo inserted DNS IPv6 records known as quad-A records for their main website into the global DNS.  I just did a quick check on a few of these sites and found their IPv6 record still are live and active.  With the quad-A records in place this allows those with native IPv6 connectivity to reach these sites wholly over IPv6.  This  is a great milestone, but still only a small step along the way to IPv6 adoption.

As I have discussed earlier, in this blog and in my other papers, I believe the main area which needs attention for IPv6 to become the dominate and majority protocol carrying Internet traffic is adoption by broadband providers servicing residential and commercial customers.  Until we see large deployments with tens of thousands if not millions of IPv6 customers by companies such as Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T the road to a viable IPv6 infrastructure remains somewhat uncertain.

Below are a few other articles with good wrap-up information from the IPv6 Launch Day event.

Akamai announces production IPv6 services

Earlier this week Akamai, the world’s largest content distribution network (CDN), which supplies content for thousands of websites announced that they will be launching their IPv6 services in April.  This is another great milestone in IPv6 deployment for the content side of the transaction.  Still missing and moving much slower is the access side of the network, the broadband providers.  While some providers such as Comcast and Time Warner have announced trials and some limited production services ,their roll outs are still very limited.  Until the access networks have millions of IPv6 enabled subscribers, the total amount of IPv6 traffic will be very small.

Big news for IPv6: Akamai to launch service in April

Time Warner Cable Talks About IPv6 Launch