Draining the Swamp, A Straw Proposal



  - Depend only on voluntary participation by Internet providers.

I hate to say this but...

I previously worked for a different place than I do now. Part of the
reson I left was the complete "Whats in it for us" attitude there. I
have a feeling that that attitude is becoming far too prevelent on
the internet. Of late there seems to be a much higher quitient of
people running providers who are either slothful, not technically
competent enough to do their job, or both. None of these people will
renumber unless they have to. (I have a feeling renumbering at the
place that I used to work would take at least 2 weeks, given 1 months
notice for a handful of Class C's). No matter what you do, people
like this are going to be affected by your change and are going to
resist it unless they are more or less /forced/ to act. If they get
someone with talent to work there they will /forbid/ him from doing
the right thing if it takes more than 30 minutes of his time or /not/
doing it has a real identifiable cost to them. /These/ are some of
the people who have these small blocks, and these are the people we
have to reclaim some space from. It may be politically bad, but if
we are going to do some space reclamation, lets do it whole bore.

  - Gain for participating providers smaller route tables.

  - Assure that no customer of a provider is unduly harmed by
    the provider's participation.

Can a solution be found that includes all these criteria? Perhaps
not, but here's a "straw" proposal nonetheless.


Participating providers divide a swamp into sections. For
example, four providers could divide 192/8 into 192.0/10,
192.64/10, 192.128/10, and 192.196/10.

Each provider continues to announce its customer /24 routes, but in
addition each announces to the others one of the four /10 routes.
For the /10 route which it announces, each provider accepts and
keeps all the /24 routes it hears. For the other three, it keeps
only the /10 route and filters out any /24 routes it hears.

The resulting routing might be inefficient: provider A might
deliver packets to provider B that are eventually destined for
a customer of provider C. But packets do continue to reach
their ultimate destinations.

Providers get smaller route tables, while customers remain
blissfully unaware (and thus continue to pay for service ;-).

Note that four is not a magic number: any two providers could
bilaterally enter into an agreement of this type and get reduced
route table sizes.

Personal Note:

As an observer on the sidelines of nanog activity, I certainly
lack the experience of the "older, wiser heads" who operate the
major providers' backbone networks. Those with that experience, and
the knowledge accrued therefrom, may well find gaping holes in this
straw proposal. I look forward to their criticism, either in
traffic on the list, in private email, or in person at the upcoming
San Diego meeting.

Sean Shapira sds@jazzie.com +1 206 443 2028
<a href="http://www.jazzie.com/sds/">Sean's Home Page</a>
               Serving the Net since 1990.

Justin Newton | jnewton@hq.mainet.com
Internet Administrator # (703) 506-0505
MAI Network Services |
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