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SSIG - Coordinated Internet Resources

Demi Getschko, Nic.br presented the case of Coordinate Internet Resources. Here are some notes I took:


First, the history of the coordination of resources was presented.


In 1990s it was the first time we heard about the depletion of IPv4. In 1993 the Internet starts to be explored for commercial purposes.


What are the resources that need to be centrally coordinated?

Technical definitions and ports: someone has to coordinate otherwise we use the same port for different services, crashing its functioning.

IP numbers (version 4 and 6). The routing is based on IP.

The autonomous systems - the numbers must be unique and a border protocol should be used as a central element.

The names of machines: DNS are the unique identification numbers, allowing us to locate each machine on the network.

What are ports? All the suite of protocols implies data inside the sender and receiving machines creating the ports and a huge table maintained by IANA defines which services are related to what. FTP for example is 20 and 21 for entrance and exit of data. The por 25 is the SMTP port allowing emails to be sent from one machine to another. Should we close it or not? This leads to some discussion.

Another resource that has to be coordinated are the IP numbers. In Version 4, there are 32 bits: FF.FF.FF.FF - this allows for 4 billion combinations. At that time we did not think that up to 4 billion machines would be used. To make things worse, there is a lot of waste. Version 6 has something like FFFF.FFFF.FFFF.FFFF.FFFF.FFFF.FFFF.FFFF - this would in practice be unlimited.

In the early 90s the growth of the network was exponential and started to alarm people working on it. The ROAD - Routing and Adddressing was created by the IETF. With the RFC 4632 from CIDR the waste of address was dealt with. The combination of resources was done on the allocation of the Network 10 for the general commons. This is one of the episodes demonstrating how we optimized the use of resources till today - otherwise resources would be already finished.

IPv6 implementation - people used to predict that today the use of IPv4 would be already less important than IPv6. That is not yet the case and we will still need more time for the increase on the IPv6 curve adoption.

DNS - originally RFC 822. Why do we give names to machines? We would need to have their numbers instead. It was not possible to have a table of billions of machines. Then the DNS became as a standard to translate the names to numbers. It is a hierarchical database, globally distributed and locally managed. The root of this hierarchy is coordinated by root servers.

Only in Brazil, the .br servers are responsible for 3 billion of queries per day. The only recent change to the system is the DNSSEC for increased security.

The initial 7 domains were .edu, .com. .gov .net .org .mil and .int: initially it was not imagined to have international use. This only came later with ccTLDs with Postel, who used the ISO 3166 table to correspond ccTLDs to regions.

Root servers


Ira Magaziner was worried about the situation of root servers, and was assured by Postel that it worked with mutual trust. Then Magaziner decided to assure that nothing would change and put this under the control of the government. Postel then asked all the root servers to shift to B instead of the A server: this was to prove that the community trusts and supports each other. The point was that in case one country would attack the Internet, a new version of the root would be used in a different place. The system thus was self-healing and independent in the mind of Postel, proving his point in 1989.

His law was "Be liberal in what you accept and conservative in what you do"

The classic administration of the Internet was with IAB, IESG (IETF and IRTF), IANA. IANA was the repository of all numbers: IP, ports, DNS...

The Internet works because people respect standards by their own will. It is important that the net is simple neutral and stable. The protocols should be neutral to the packet content.

Although the net is dynamic, the standards are very stable. One of the few cases that affects the network is DNSSEC from 2005: RFC4033.

The classic governance model changed with the IAhC: the scarcity of domain names, the commercial interests built a point where the .com scarcity should have additional options. The IAHC goal was to have competition in the registration. The IAHC brought to the scene two big actors: WIPO and ITU.

This had a short timespan and ICANN started in 1996 with the new form of governance.

RFC591: "in the DNS naming of compyters there is a hierarchy of names. The root of system is unnamed. Therer are a set of what are called TLDs. These are the generic TLDs and the two letter country codes - extremely unlikely that will be changed".

"IANA is not in the business of deciding what is and what is not a country"

"The major concern in selecting a designated manager for a domain is that it be able to carry out the necessary responsibility ad have the ability to do a equitable, just job"

"In case of a dispute between domain name registrarnts as to the rights to a particular name, the authority shall have no role or responsibility"

"The registration of a domain name does not have any trademark status. It is up to the requestor to be sure he is not violating anyone else's trademark"

Demi also brought to the discussion some excerpts of the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace and the point that the bits laws and rules would not be applicable to the realm of ideas and bits.


[this post is still being edited as the presentation happens - if you see this, please click refresh later]


Creative Commons License
This blog post written by Seiiti Arata on #SSIG is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Brazil License.

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