After several discussions, we came up with this solution that we think
works well to support standard services for roaming users:
Support a .local. root domain in your DNS servers. Examples of DNS
hostnames would be mail.local., ntp.local., news.local., etc. When a
roamer dials up he generally uses the DNS servers assigned by the NAS;
these addresses would be authoritative on a provider-by-provider
basis. If all networks supported this schema all users could simply
have these addresses coded into their client software and would
connect to the proper machines as they differ on various networks.
iPass is currently building an Internet-Draft specifying the details
of this approach. What do you think?
That doesn't work; too many of those things must be hard-coded numbers
(specifically, the DNS servers).
What has to be hard-coded besides the DNS servers? Once you have a
DNS server assigned (which is typically done by the NAS anyway) the
rest is simple.
In our experience, well over 90% of roaming users (which excludes UNIX
and Mac users) use dynamically-assigned DNS servers. Clearly this
approach won't work for those clients that don't support the LCP
extensions, but we consider this "Best Current Practice." Those
clients that can't use dynamic DNS server assignment will have to use
the home ISP's services.
We consider it important to make sure as many NASes and PPP clients as
possible support dynamic DNS. About the only major obstacle to that
is OT/PPP (MacOS) and, to a lesser degree, UNIX.
.LOCAL along with defined addresses, declared as "non-routable" (ie: local
only) *DOES* do the trick.
Routability and IP address definitions are secondary to the problem
we're discussing here--the ability for roamers to use local services
provided by the POP provider. Let DNS do the work for you. I don't
see the need to force IP assignments on the Internet community.
Michael S. Fischer <otterley@iPass.COM>
>\ Sr. Systems/Network Administrator, iPass Inc. _O_
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