Re: [Int-area] Continuing the addressing discussion: what is an address anyway?

Eliot Lear <> Wed, 26 January 2022 06:24 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Int-area] Continuing the addressing discussion: what is an address anyway?
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[copy architecture-discuss]


This is a pretty good characterization.  In fact, it's exactly where we 
went in the NSRG nearly 20 years ago, just after MO first kicked out 
8+8.  For people's reference, we looked at naming at different levels, 
including at L3, in DNS, URNs (which were relatively new things then), 
HIP, etc.  There were then several efforts in both the IRTF and IETF to 
deal with portability of connectivity in transport.  I think QUIC gets a 
lot of that right.  QUIC – at least at the moment – as some limitations 
for local use (either you have certs or some sort of prearranged 
bidirectional authentication).  I think it's a fair engineering 
assumption that those will be kinked out.

With all of that having been said, I go back to Dirk's note: what 
properties do we need at L3?

  * If QoS is still a thing, then admission control has to be part of
    the story.
  * There is a tussle between endpoint privacy and the endpoint itself
    being a threat.  In the latter case, the endpoint has to be
    identified.  But to whom?

As you describe, a lot of routing has moved up a layer.  Sort of.  But 
not all.  CDNs need to be well aware of topology, and that comes from 
L3, perhaps with additional OOB info.

So... what's missing from L3 at this point that we need, and is it even 
a good question to ask?  I ask that because I have seen recently a 
retrenching AWAY from IPv6.  If that is happening, what makes us think 
that any new L3 beyond IPv6 would ever get adopted?  OR... what is 
missing from IPv6 that would cause people to move?


On 25.01.22 12:38, Geoff Huston wrote:
>> On 25 Jan 2022, at 6:19 pm, Dirk Trossen<>  wrote:
>> All,
>> Thanks for the great discussion, following our side meeting at IETF 112, so far.
>> I wanted to turn the discussion to a key question which not only arose in the side meeting already but also in the discussions since, namely “what is an address anyway?”.
> In this world of NATs it seems that we treat addresses as no more than temporary ephemeral session tokens and we've passed all the heavy lifting of service identification over to the name system. These days you and I could be accessing the same service yet we could b e using entirely different addresses to do so. Or I could be accessing the same service at different times, and again be using different addresses each time. I find it somewhat ironic that we see increasing moves to pull in IP addresses as part of the set of personal information in some regulatory regimes, yet what the larger network sees of end clients is a temporary NAT binding to a public address that may be shared by hundreds if not thousands of others.
> And IPv6’s use of privacy addressing achieves a similar outcome in a different way. And QUIC’s use of the session token inside the encrypted envelope even makes the binding of an address to a single session fluid, as the same QUIC session can be address agile on the client side.
> So perhaps an address these days is just an ephemeral transport token and really has little more in the way of semantic intent.
> Geoff
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