Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Moving to IPv4 address market trading - critical role for R&E networks?

[There are several excellent articles in this month’s issue of The Internet Protocol Journal. Of particular note is the article by Niall Murphy of Google and David Wilson of HEAnet (Irish R&E network) on the issues and challenges of moving to a white market for the trading of IPv4 address space. There is growing recognition that may not be enough time or market momentum to move to IPv6. Some also argue that the new common bearer service is HTTP and that URI endpoints and routing instead of IPv6 addresses provides a lot more flexibility in terms of network architecture. Companies like SolaceSystems already build URI/XML routers. As such, at least as an interim strategy, the RIRs may need to institute some sort of market trading of IPv4 addresses. This will have major significance for university and research institutes as they hold the largest number of unallocated and unused address blocks in the world. As the article points out without a carefully planned market trading system, fragmentation of the routing tables could grow significantly. R&E networks could play a critical role working with RIRs in ensuring route aggregation without violating PI address space. And as R&E networks expand into peering and transit services they might be able to offer aggregation of routes to a larger community outside of academia. All this points to a future where R&E networks may have to play a critical national coordination role for both academia and the global Internet community, especially as we see demands for community networks and the science community to deliver citizen science services. For example R&E networks could assign address sub blocks from a local university to a local community that is committed to building an open infrastructure network or transit exchange. This would maintain route aggregation and yet allow for use of unallocated address space –BSA]

Other excellent must read articles in this months issue are Resource Certification by Geoff Huston and Host Identity Protocol: Identifier/Locator Split by Andrei Gurtov and Miika Komu