IPv6: The New Internet Protocol (2nd Edition)

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9780138505059: IPv6: The New Internet Protocol (2nd Edition)

IPv6 is now an approved standard. This book reflects this. The book discusses the transition in going from current IP to IPv6. Special coverage of how you can autoconfigure your network with IPv6. Thorough coverage of IPv6 routing and associated protocols. Coverage of IPv6 security. IPv6 in mobile communications and multimedia communications.

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From the Publisher:

As the Internet evolves, so too must its communication protocols. This book, written by the Chair of the Internet Architecture Board and author of the bestselling ROUTING IN THE INTERNET, is a first look at the next generation Internet Protocol (IP as in TCP/IP) known as IP Version 6. The Internet Protocol is the glue that holds the Internet together and that will make possible new applications, such as multicasting, requiring increased bandwidth.

From the Inside Flap:

1 Introduction
On a Saturday in June 1992, I took a plane from Osaka airport. I was leaving Kobe, where I had taken part in the first congress of the Internet Society. The Internet Activities Board (IAB) met in parallel with that congress. Shortly after the plane took off, I opened my portable computer and started to write the draft of the recommendation that we had just adopted. The choice of 32-bit addresses may have been a good decision in 1978, but the address size was proving too short. The Internet was in great danger of running out of network numbers, routing tables were getting too large, and there was even a risk of running out of addresses altogether. We had to work out a solution, we needed a new version of the Internet protocol, and we needed it quite urgently. During the meeting, we had managed to convince ourselves that this new version could be built out of CLNP, the Connection-Less Network Protocol defined by the ISO as part of the Open System Interconnection architecture. The draft that I was writing was supposed to explain all this: that we wanted to retain the key elements of the Internet architecture, that we would only use CLNP as a strawman, that we would indeed upgrade it to fit our needs, and that we hoped to unite the community behind a single objective—to focus the effort and guarantee the continued growth of the Internet.
1.1 Preparing for a Decision
I wrote the first draft on the plane and posted it to our internal distribution list the next Monday. The IAB discussed it extensively. In less than two weeks, it went through eight successive revisions. We thought that our wording was very careful, and we were prepared to discuss it and try to convince the Internet community. Then, everything accelerated. Some journalists got the news, an announcement was hastily written, and many members of the community felt betrayed. They perceived that we were selling the Internet to the ISO and that headquarters was simply giving the field to an enemy that they had fought for many years and eventually vanquished. The IAB had no right to make such a decision alone. Besides, CLNP was a pale imitation of IP. It had been designed 10 years before, and the market had failed to pick it up for all those years. Why should we try to resurrect it?
The IAB announcement was followed by a tremendous hubbub in the Internet's electronic lists. The IAB draft was formally withdrawn a few weeks later, during the July 1992 meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The incident triggered a serious reorganization of the whole IETF decision process, revising the role of managing bodies such as the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG) or the Internet Architecture Board, the new appellation of the IAB. The cancellation of the IAB decision also opened a period of competition. Several teams tried to develop their own solutions to the Internet's crisis and proposed their own version of the new Internet Protocol (IP). The IESG organized these groups into a specific area, managed by two co-directors, Scott Bradner and Alison Mankin. In addition to the competing design groups, the area included specific working groups trying to produce an explicit requirement document or to assess the risk by getting a better understanding of the Internet's growth. A directorate was named. Its members were various experts from different sectors of the Internet community, including large users as well as vendors and scientists. The directorate was formed to serve as a jury for the evaluation of the different proposals.
The most visible part of the decision process was an estimation of the future size of the Internet. That effort started in fact in 1991, at the initiative of the IAB. We all agreed, as a basic hypothesis, that the Internet should connect all the computers in the world. There are about 200 million of them today, but the number is growing rapidly. Vast portions of the planet are getting richer and more industrialized. There are reasons to believe that at some point in the near future, all Indian schoolboys and all Chinese schoolgirls will use their own laptop computers at school. In fact, when we plan the new Internet, it would be immoral not to consider that all humans will eventually be connected. According to population growth estimates available in 1992, it would mean about 10 billion people by the year 2020. By then, each human is very likely to be served by more than one computer. We already find computers in cars, and we will soon find them in domestic equipment such as refrigerators and washing machines. All these computers could be connected to the Internet. A computer in your car could send messages to the service station, warning that the brakes should be repaired. Your pacemaker could send an alarm message to your cardiologist when some bizarre spikes are noticed. We could even find microscopic computers in every light bulb so that we could switch off the light by sending a message over the Internet. A figure of a hundred computers per human is not entirely unrealistic, leading to a thousand billion computers in the Internet in 2020. But, some have observed that such a target was a bit narrow, that we wanted safety margins. Eventually, the official objectives for IPng (Internet Protocol, new generation) were set to one quadrillion computers (10 to the power 15) connected through one trillion networks (10 to the power 12). A precise survey of the Internet growth quickly taught us that there was no real risk of running out of addresses in the next few years, even if 32-bit addresses only allow us to number four billion computers. We get estimates of the number of allocated addresses every month. If we plot them on a log scale and try to prolongate the curve, we see that it crosses the theoretical maximum of four billion somewhere between 2005 and 2015. This should give us ample time to develop the new protocol that we were at the time calling IPng (Internet Protocol, new generation). But we should take into account the limited efficiency of address allocation procedures. I proposed to estimate this efficiency through the H ratio:
The H ratio is defined as the division of the base 10 logarithm of the number of addressed points in the network by the size of the address, expressed in bits. If allocation were perfect, one bit would number two hosts, 10 bits would number 1024 hosts, and so on. The ratio would be equal to the logarithm of 2 in base 10, which is about 0.30103. In practice, the allocation is never perfect. Each layer of hierarchy contributes to some degree to the inefficiency. The logarithmic nature of the ratio tries to capture this multiplicative effect. Practical observation shows that H varies between 0.22 and 0.26 in large networks, reflecting the degree of efficiency that can be achieved in practice today.
If the H ratio may vary between 0.22 and 0.26, 32-bit addresses can number between 11 and 200 million hosts. We should keep this in mind. The current Internet protocol is adequate for connecting all the computers of the world today, but it will have almost no margin left at that future stage. Predicting a date of 2005 or 2015 simply means that we do not expect a rush into the Internet in the next few years. We may well be wrong. In fact, I hope that we are wrong—that there will indeed be a rush to connect to the Internet.
The other lesson that we can draw from the H ratio is that if we want to connect one quadrillion computers to the new Internet, addresses should be at least 68 bits wide for a ratio of 0.22 and only 57 bits wide for a ratio of 0.26. We used these figures when we made our final selection.
1.2 Two Years of Competition
When the IAB met in Kobe, there were only three candidate proposals for the new IP. The proposal to use CLNP was known as TUBA (TCP and UDP over Bigger Addresses). The main difference between IP and CLNP was CLNP's 20-octet Network Service Access Point addresses (NSAP). This would certainly suffice for numbering one trillion networks. The main argument for this proposal was its installed base. CLNP and its companion protocols, such as IS-IS for routing, were already specified and deployed. A side effect was convergency between the OSI and Internet suites. TCP, UDP, and the ISO transport would all run over CLNP; the protocol wars would be over. The main counter-arguments were that this deployment was very limited and that CLNP is a very old and inefficient protocol. It is in fact, a copy of IP, the result of an early attempt to get IP standardized within the ISO. During this standardization process, many IP features were corrected, or rather changed, in a way that did not please the Internet community. A slower but more robust checksum algorithm was selected. The alignment of protocol fields on a 32-bit word boundary was lost, as well as some of the key services provided by ICMP. In the end, this proposal failed because its proponents tried to remain rigidly compatible with the original CLNP specification. They did not change CLNP to incorporate any of the recent improvements to IP, such as multicast, mobility, or resource reservation. They did not want to lose the “installed base” argument, even if that base was in fact quite slim.
In June 1992, Robert Ullman's proposal, called IP version 7, was already available. This proposal evolved between 1992 and 1994. The name was changed to TP/IX in 1993. The new name reflected the desire to change the Transport Control Protocol, TCP, at the same time as the Internet Protocol. It included hooks for speeding up the processing of packets, as well as a new routing protocol called RAP. The proposal failed however to gain momentum and remained quite marginal in the IETF. It evolved in 1994 into a new proposal called CATNIP, which attempted to define a common packet format that would be compatible with IP and CLNP, as well as with Novell's IPX. The proposal had some interesting aspects, but the IPng directorate felt that it was not sufficiently complete at the time of its decision, July 1994. The third alternative available in June 1992 was called IP in IP. It proposed to run two layers of the Internet protocol, one for a worldwide backbone and another in limited areas. By January 1993, this proposal had evolved into a new proposal called IP Address Encapsulation, IPAE, that was then adopted as the transition strategy for Simple IP, or SIP, which Steve Deering had proposed in November 1992. SIP was essentially a proposal to increase the IP address size to 64 bits and to clean up several of the details of IP that appeared obsolete. It used encapsulations rather than options and made packet fragmentation optional. SIP immediately gathered the adherence of several vendors and experimenters. In September 1993, it merged with another proposal called Pip. With Pip, Paul Francis proposed a very innovative routing strategy based on lists of routing directives. This allowed a very efficient implementation of policy routing and also eased the implementation of mobility. The result of the merging of SIP and Pip was called Simple IP Plus, SIPP. It tried to retain the coding efficiency of SIP and the routing flexibility of Pip. The IPng directorate reviewed all these proposals in June 1994 and published its recommendation in July 1994. It suggested using SIPP as the basis for the new IP, but changed some key features of its design. In particular, they were unhappy with the lists of 64-bit addresses used by SIPP. The new IP would have 128-bit addresses. It will be version 6 of the Internet protocol, following version 4 that is currently in use. The number 5 could not be used because it had been allocated to ST, an experimental “stream” protocol designed to carry real-time services in parallel with IP. The new protocol will be called IPv6.
1.3 The New Specifications
A first version of this book was written in the fall of 1995 and published in December of that year. At that time, the working groups had worked for more than a year to finalize the specifications of IPv6, and I thought that the available drafts were almost definitive. It turns out that I was not entirely right. Some key elements changed between the writing of the first edition and the publication of the final specifications, notably the format of the source routing header. The specifications of the basic protocol were published in January 1996, the transition strategy in April, and the neighbor discovery and address configuration procedures in August. This second edition is based on this first set of publications, that have now reached the “proposed standard” stage in the IETF standardization process, with two exceptions: the routing protocols and the key negotiation procedures for authentication and encryption that are still being worked on by the IETF. The book is organized into eight chapters, including this introduction and a provisional conclusion.
Chapter 2 will present the protocol itself, as well as the new version of the ICMP, Internet Control Message Protocol. It will explain how Steve Deering and the members of the working group exploited the opportunity to design a new protocol. We avoided most of the second design syndrome effect, kept the proliferation of options and niceties to a minimum, and in fact produced a new Internet Protocol that should be simpler to program and more efficient than the previous version.
In Chapter 3, we will analyze the evolution of addressing and routing, presenting the various address formats and the supports for multicast, and provider addressing.
The three following chapters will be devoted to the new capabilities of IPv6: autoconfiguration, security, and the support of real-time communication. All these functionalities could only be partially integrated in IPv4. They will be mandatory in all implementations of IPv6. Chapter 7 will describe the deployment strategy, explaining the transition of the Internet from IPv4 to IPv6.
1.4 Points of Controversy
In theory, the adoption of IPv6 was a miracle of consensus building. The debates were fair and everybody was supposed to smile after the decision. The members of the SIPP working group tried to play by the rules. They held a party shortly after the decision, but there was no mention of a victory. Officially, it was the “we can't call that winning” party.
In fact, the consensus was quite large. Many members of the TUBA working group joined the IPv6 effort and took part in the final discussions of the specifications. Ross Callon, the very person who forged the TUBA acronym, co-chaired the IPv6 working group with Steve Deering. But, a large consensus is not equivalent to unanimity. Many IETF members still believe that their pet ideas have not been taken into account. Many decisions were only adopted after long discussion, and some points are still being debated. I have tried to present these at the end of each chapter in a separate section, “Points of Controversy.”
1.5 Further Reading
Each chapter ends with a list of references for further reading. Many of these references are Requests for Comments (RFCs). The RFC series is the electronic publication of reference of the IETF. RFCs are freely available from a number of repositories around the Internet. Some of the references have yet to be published. Provisional versions can be found in the Internet Draft repositories of the IETF. The IETF decision itself is documented in RFC 1719. Scott Bradner and Alison Mankin, the chairs of the IPng area of the IETF, have been careful to also publish most of the discussion papers as RFCs. The TUBA proposal is documented in RFC 1347, 1526, and 1561; Pip in RFCs 1621 and 1622; TP/IX in RFC 147;, CATNIP in RFC 1707; and SIPP in RFC 1710. Contributions to the debate may be found in RFCs 1667 to 1683, 1686 to 1688, 1705, and 1715. Scott and Allison edited a book, IPng Internet Protocol Next G...

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