[sig-policy] prop-065: Format for delegation and recording of4-byte AS n

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  • Subject: [sig-policy] prop-065: Format for delegation and recording of4-byte AS numbers
  • From: "zhangjian" <zhangjian at cnnic dot cn>
  • Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 16:07:48 +0800
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    • Dear SIG members


      The proposal 'Format for delegation and recording of 4-byte AS numbers'

      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:




      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



      Randy and Jian




      prop-065-v001: Format for delegation and recording of 4-byte AS numbers ________________________________________________________________________



      Authors:   James Spenceley

                  james at vocus dot com dot au


      Version:   1


      Date:      22 July 2008



      1.  Introduction



      This proposal recommends that APNIC changes its procedures to standardise on delegating 4-byte AS numbers in the ASPLAIN format rather than the current ASDOT format.


      This proposal extends to the data recorded in APNIC Whois Database records, with the proposal recommending that whois returns the same record for queries made in either format.



      2.  Summary of current problem




      2.1 Definitions




              Defines the 4-byte AS Number as a basic 32 bit integer, it is the

              current format used to represent 2-byte AS numbers. For example:


                 Original 2-byte AS pool:    0 - 65535

                 New 4-byte AS pool:         0 - 4294967295




              Defines the 4-byte AS number as:




              For example:


                 1.4541 would be used to represent the 32 bit integer 70077



      2.2 Current format used by RIRs and IANA


           The RIRs and IANA currently use the ASDOT format to refer to 4-byte

           AS numbers. However, there appears to be no reason that ASDOT has

           become the default format used by these organizations.


           ASDOT was first documented in the Internet Draft, "Canonical Textual

           Representation of Four-octet AS Numbers" [1]. Version 5 of the

           Internet Draft expired 4 June 2008 [2]. And there is no mention of

           the ASDOT format in RFC 4893 [3].


           ASDOT is widely regarding as being incompatible with a number of

           operational systems and router configurations. Specifically, the '.'

           within the AS number is incompatible with IRR and RPSL. It also has

           the potential to break many regular expressions in existing router



           Due to these issues, the operator community is hesitant to adopt



           It is likely, however, that the format used by RIRs, has, or

           certainly will, lead to routing vendors implementing the RIR format

           as standard.


           If there is widespread adoption of ASDOT, it should be by considered

           choice rather than as a result of the RIRs using this format when

           informing networks of the AS number they have been delegated.


           APNIC members have never been consulted as to the format they would

           prefer for representation of 4-byte AS numbers. This proposal seeks

           to raise consensus from the membership for representation of 4-byte

           AS numbers in the ASPLAIN format by APNIC.



      2.3 APNIC Whois Database


           Currently APNIC records 4-byte AS numbers only in ASDOT format which

           leads to whois only reporting results for queries entered in this

           format. An operator wishing to find whois information for an ASPLAIN

           number must manually convert to ASDOT before querying the whois.

           This conversion is open to operator error.


      2.4 Format currently used by APNIC


           APNIC currently refers to 4-byte AS numbers in the following



               Website:     ASDOT

               Assignment:  ASDOT

               Whois:       ASDOT



      3.  Situation in other RIRs



      This proposal may be submitted in the other regions in the near future.


      The practice of referring to and recording 4-byte AS numbers in other RIRs is as follows:


           Website:         AfriNIC:   Neither

                            ARIN:      ASDOT & ASPLAIN

                            LACNIC:    Neither

                            RIPE NCC:  ASDOT & ASPLAIN



           Assignment:      AfriNIC:   ASDOT

                            ARIN:      ASDOT

                            LACNIC:    ASDOT

                            RIPE NCC:  ASDOT



           Whois:           AfriNIC:   ASDOT

                            ARIN:      ASDOT

                            LACNIC:    ASDOT

                            RIPE NCC:  ASDOT



      4.  Details of the proposal



      4.1 It is proposed that APNIC adopt ASPLAIN as the default format for

           documenting 4-byte AS numbers.



      4.2 To maintain a level of compatibility with the ASDOT format currently

           in use, this proposal recommends that the APNIC Whois Database be

           modified to return the same record for queries submitted in either

           ASDOT or ASPLAIN format.



      4.3 Upon endorsement by the APNIC Executive Council, APNIC would

           document delegations of all 4-byte AS numbers in ASPLAIN format and

           migrate existing whois data.



      5.  Advantages and disadvantages of the proposal



      5.1 Advantages


           - 4-byte AS numbers will be delegate and recorded in the same method

             that has been used for 2-byte delegations.


           - 4-byte AS numbers will be delegated and recorded in a format that

             is the  most backward compatible with current systems and



           - ASPLAIN format is most backwards compatable with current IRR and

             RPSL and the absences of the '." means it is compatable with the

             the majority of regular expressions in use.


             This sets the default standard for delegation and reference to 4-

             byte AS numbers in most backwards compatible format.


             Quote:      "Avoiding needless change means stuff keeps working"

                                                       Paul Jakma - Ripe 55


           - Less change is required by operators, which makes it more likely

             to be widely adopted.


           - 4-byte AS numbers will be delegate and recorded in the format

             used in RFC 4893.


           - There will be a documented standard for delegation of 4-byte AS



           - Accurate whois information will be returned regardless of whether

             the input is in ASPLAIN or ASDOT format.



      5.2 Disadvantages


           - While 4-byte AS numbers have a lower numeric value, their

             representation is more easily remembered in the ASDOT format. For

             example, "AS2.4" rather than "131076". However, this advantage is

             negated as the numeric values of 4-byte AS number grow larger.


           - If the ASDOT format is adopted in future to refer and configure

             4-byte AS numbers, then data will need to be modified again.



      6.  Effect on APNIC members



      The proposal impacts all APNIC members.



      7.  Effect on NIRs



      The proposal has no direct impact on NIRs. NIRs may choose to record delegations and report whois information in the format of their choice.



      8.  References



      [1] Canonical Textual Representation of Four-octet AS Numbers http://tools.ietf.org/id/draft-michaelson-4byte-as-representation-00.txt



      [2] RFC 4893 - BGP Support for Four-octet AS Number Space




      [3] Canonical Textual Representation of Four-octet AS Numbers http://tools.ietf.org/id/draft-michaelson-4byte-as-representation-05.txt



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