Re: [Int-area] New draft: The IETF Will Continue Maintaining IPv4 (draft-schoen-intarea-ietf-maintaining-ipv4)

Brian E Carpenter <> Tue, 15 March 2022 20:05 UTC

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To: Seth David Schoen <>, IETF intarea WG <>
Cc: Dave Taht <>, John Gilmore <>
References: <> <>
From: Brian E Carpenter <>
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Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2022 09:04:53 +1300
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Subject: Re: [Int-area] New draft: The IETF Will Continue Maintaining IPv4 (draft-schoen-intarea-ietf-maintaining-ipv4)
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> Please let us know if you have any questions after reading the
> draft.

I have no questions.

IMHO the draft is unnecessary and potentially harmful. It's a
matter of common sense that the IETF will fix things that *need*
fixing, even if they are specific to IPv4. It's a matter of fact
that IPv4 will continue to coexist with IPv6 until nobody uses
IPv4 any more. But it would be a mistake to apply scarce IETF
resources for anything but serious fixes, and this draft opens
the door to that. Consider for example the phrase "ongoing
standardization" near the end of section 7. That is exactly
what we do not need.

FWIW I do not consider the minor wastage of IPv4 addresses that
the same authors are concerned about to be serious enough to need
fixing. We shouldn't be fixing problems that IPv6 already fixes,
and shortage of addresses is certainly in that category.

When there is an issue that is serious enough to justify IETF
effort, and specific to IPv4, the intarea WG charter already
allows for it. That's why this draft seems unnecessary to me.

    Brian Carpenter

On 16-Mar-22 07:59, Seth David Schoen wrote:
> Hi intarea,
> When we presented our reserved address space drafts at the previous IETF
> meeting, we noticed that the most common concern was not so much about
> the substance of our proposals as about the question of whether intarea
> and the IETF should be working on IPv4 fixes at all.
> This question has been discussed on and off over the past few years. It
> was, in a way, the subject of an entire now-concluded working group in
> its own right (sunset4).  We thought we should go to the heart of the
> matter and propose to confirm that the IETF intends to keep maintaining
> IPv4.
> As our draft notes, this is the opposite of a proposed consensus item
> from sunset4 which stated that the IETF would stop working on IPv4.  That
> notion raised many concerns for community members, and we now hope to
> see whether a consensus to continue maintaining IPv4 can be found.
> Our draft emphasizes that IPv4 is the most-used network layer protocol
> in the world, that it's expected to be widely used for the foreseeable
> future, that the IETF is the historic home of IPv4 standardization, and that
> there continue to be coordination tasks for IPv4 implementations which
> the IETF is best-suited to host.  Those include not only our own proposals
> about address space, but also numerous work items on various IPv4 topics
> that have arisen and become RFCs over the past decade.
> Our draft does not question or alter the community's consensus in favor
> of IPv6 adoption, but states that neglecting IPv4 is not a part of the
> IETF's transition plan.
> You can find it at
> We invite discussion leading up to our presentation and Q&A at the
> intarea session (13:30 UTC) on Tuesday, March 22, during IETF113 in
> Vienna.  Please let us know if you have any questions after reading the
> draft.
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