[sig-policy] prop-061-v001: 32-bit ASNs for documentation purposes

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  • Subject: [sig-policy] prop-061-v001: 32-bit ASNs for documentation purposes
  • From: Randy Bush <randy at psg dot com>
  • Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 01:48:11 -0700
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      The proposal '32-bit ASNs for documentation purposes' has been sent to
      the Policy SIG for review. It will be presented at the Policy SIG at
      APNIC 26 in Christchurch, New Zealand, 25-29 August 2008.
      
      The proposal's history can be found at:
      
           http://www.apnic.net/policy/proposals/prop-061-v001.html
      
      We invite you to review and comment on the proposal on the mailing list
      before the meeting.
      
      The comment period on the mailing list before an APNIC meeting is an
      important part of the policy development process. We encourage you to
      express your views on the proposal:
      
           - Do you support or oppose this proposal?
      
           - Does this proposal solve a problem you are experiencing? If so,
             tell the community about your situation.
      
           - Do you see any disadvantages in this proposal?
      
           - Is there anything in the proposal that is not clear?
      
           - What changes could be made to this proposal to make it more
             effective?
      
      randy and jian
      
      
      ________________________________________________________________________
      
      prop-061-v001: 32-bit ASNs for documentation purposes
      ________________________________________________________________________
      
      
      
      Author:     Philip Smith
                  pfs at cisco dot com
      
                  Gaurab Raj Upadhaya
                  gaurab at lahai dot com
      
      Version:   1
      
      Date:      14 July 2008
      
      
      
      1.  Introduction
      ----------------
      
      This document discusses the requirement to reserve 32-bit ASNs for the
      sole purpose of assisting the creation of Internet related
      documentation.
      
      
      2.  Summary of current problem
      ------------------------------
      
      For 32-bit ASNs, the AS space above 65535 (or 1.0 in "dot" notation)
      is either reserved for future use or allocated, with no portion of the
      space available for documentation purposes.
      
      Authors often need to include example address space and AS numbers
      when documenting the Internet and the configuration of equipment used
      in the operation of the Internet.
      
      Authors currently use Internet resources from a variety of sources.
      The following examples describe typical example usage of such Internet
      resource:
      
      
           1. Using private address space and/or private AS space
      
              RFC 1918 [1] address space is often used for documentation
              requiring the use of IPv4 address space.  It's not ideal, but
              given that the addresses look like the rest of IPv4 address
              space, and that it is an ISP BCP to filter private addresses
              out of Internet announcements, its use protects against
              cut-and-paste accidents.
      
              The AS range 64512 to 65534 [2] is often used for documentation
              requiring the use of 16-bit AS numbers.  Most ISPs
              automatically filter private ASNs out of the AS path as they
              announce them to the Internet, so the use of private ASNs for
              documentation is not normally a problem.
      
      
           2. Resources reserved for documentation purposes
      
              RFC 3849 [3] describes an IPv6 address block which can be used
              exclusively for documentation purposes.
      
      
           3. Using Internet resources from their employer.
      
              This is easy to do, and this resource is typical of that which
              is routed on the Internet.
      
      
           4. Using Internet resources of a typical network on the Internet.
      
              Quite often the resources of the larger and more commonly known
              ISPs are used in examples.
      
      
           5. Easy to remember address values and ASNs are used.
      
              Typical examples might be 1.1.1.1, 2.2.2.2, AS100, AS2.4 and so
              on.  Quite often these resources are from existing allocations.
      
      
           6. Resources from ranges unassigned/unallocated at the time the
              documentation is written have been used.
      
              For example, ASNs above 48000, or the network 222/8 address
              block have been used.
      
      
      There are two major problems with the last four options above:
      
           - Readers, especially those who are learning about the Internet,
             do tend to cut and paste the configuration examples onto running
             equipment.  Quite often this lab equipment is connected to a
             live production network, causing confusion and disruption to the
             innocent network used in the example.  The Internet today is a
             serious commercial entity with the vast majority of business
             participating in it attributing a serious portion of their
             annual revenue to business done over the net.  Dealing with a
             denial of service attack caused by an innocent cut and paste by
             a student of the industry has in the past caused major revenue
             loss for some organisations this has the potential to reoccur in
             the future.
      
           - Using address and AS space which is unused at the time the
             documentation is written means that at some stage in the near
             future the examples can disrupt real live networks, as has just
             been discussed in the previous point.
      
      
      3.   Situation in other RIRs
      ----------------------------
      
      The RIRs currently have no formal common policy for making a 32-bit
      ASN allocation exclusively for documentation purposes.
      
      
      4.    Details of the proposal
      -----------------------------
      
      It is proposed that:
      
           4.1 APNIC set aside a common block of 32-bit ASNs to be used
      	solely for the purpose of documentation.
      
      
           4.2 The 32-bit ASN block for documentation include four ASNs.
      
      	This is sufficient for a small network topology to include
      	either exclusive 32-bit ASN or a mixture of 16-bit or 32-bit
      	ASNs for purposes of documenting relationships between ASNs.
      
      
      5.   Advantages and disadvantages of the proposal
      -------------------------------------------------
      
      Advantages:
      
          - Authors of documentation and Internet books no longer have to use
            32-bit ASNs which belong to their employer (and risk causing
            disruption to their employers business), or using 32-bit ASNs
            allocated to random organisations around the Internet (and risk
            causing disruption to a multitude of organisations).
      
      Disadvantages:
      
           - Acceptance of this proposal will mean that four 32-bit ASNs will
             be added to the non-routable ASN space of the Internet.  The
             four 32-but ASNs will need to be added to the existing AS_PATH
             filter list used by all ISPs, in the same way that RFC 1918 and
             RFC 3849 address space should never appear on the public
             Internet.
      
           - Acceptance of this proposal could potentially make some people
             believe that this ASN block is effectively private ASN space as
             it is not routable.
      
           - If this proposal is rejected, authors will have to carry on with
             the practice highlighted in the Background section of this
             proposal, with the associated risks to the integrity of the
             commercial Internet.
      
      
      6.   Effect on APNIC members
      ----------------------------
      
      This proposal has no direct effect on APNIC members.
      
      7.   Effect on NIRs
      -------------------
      
      This proposal has no direct effect on NIRs.
      
      
      8.   References
      ---------------
      
      [1] RFC 1918, Address Allocation for Private Internets
             http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc1918.txt
      
      [2] Autonomous System (AS) Numbers,
             http://www.iana.org/assignments/as-numbers
      
      [3] RFC 3849, IPv6 Address Prefix Reserved for Documentation
             http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3849.txt
      
      -30-