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Versions: 00 01 02

Network Working Group                                          V. Fuller
Internet-Draft                                                   E. Lear
Updates: 3330 (if approved)                                     D. Meyer
Intended status: Standards Track                           Cisco Systems
Expires: September 25, 2008                               March 24, 2008


          Reclassifying 240/4 as usable unicast address space
                      draft-fuller-240space-02.txt

Status of this Memo

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on September 25, 2008.

Abstract

   This memo reclassifies the address block 240.0.0.0/4 as usable
   address space.  While the community has not concluded whether the
   block should be considered public or private, given the current
   consumption rate, it is clear that the block should not be left
   unused.  This document also makes several recommendations on ways
   that current implementations of the IP protocol stack will need to be
   modified to make this address space usable.







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1.  Introduction

   Recent estimates [1] indicate that the Internet Assigned Numbers
   Authority (IANA) will exhaust the unallocated pool of 32-bit IPv4
   addresses some time sometime between 2008 and 2010.  As that time
   rapidly approaches, the Internet community must consider what it
   should do with address space currently reserved for future use.
   [RFC3330] states that the address range 240.0.0.0/4 is reserved for
   future use.  There are several possible uses of this block.  One
   would be to reclassify the block as private address space, as defined
   in [RFC1918], so that large private organizations that have outgrown
   the other private blocks have additional room for network expansion.
   Another possibility is for the address space to be made available for
   public Internet use.  A decision on which of these alternatives (if
   either) is chosen requires additional analysis and debate; what is
   clear, though, is that today's IP protocol stack implementations will
   need to be modified to support any use of the currently-reserved
   space as most today return errors when such addresses are used.

   This memo requires implementors to make the changes necessary to
   receive, transmit, and forward packets that contain addresses in this
   block as if they were within any other unicast address block.

   It is envisioned that the utility of this block will grow over time.
   Some devices may never be able to use it as their IP implementations
   have no update mechanism.  This is not to say that the block will
   find no use.  For example, home implementations that make use of
   network address translation [RFC2766] can also make use of this range
   as their public facing address once the resources that people wish to
   access have been updated.  Similarly, an organization building a new,
   private network (one with no need to communicate with other parts of
   the Internet), may benefit from the availability of this address
   space.

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
   document are to be interpreted as described in [RFC2119].


2.  Implementation considerations

   At the present time, most IP implementations consider any IP address
   in the range 240.0.0.0 through 255.255.255.255 to be invalid as the
   source or destination of a datagram.  The check for such "illegal"
   addresses may occur in many places, including at datagram receipt,
   before IP datagram transmission, when an IP address is assigned to a
   network interface, or even by router and firewall configuration
   parsers.  Because 240.0.0.0/4 is henceforth reclassified as usable



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   address space, implementations MUST treat this range as they would
   any other unicast address range.  Implementors should review their
   implementation for these and other restrictions on the use of
   240.0.0.0/4 and remove as appropriate.

   How the check is implemented may vary, but a common method is to
   treat the IP address as a 32-bit quantity in network byte order,
   performing a logical AND operation with the value hexadecimal
   F0000000, and testing to see if the result is hexadecimal F0000000.
   If the test succeeds, the address is rejected.

   Note that the broadcast address, 255.255.255.255, still must be
   treated specially in each case: it is illegal as a source IP address,
   it is illegal as an network interface address, and it matches the
   local system when used as the destination address in a received
   datagram.


3.  Implementation status

   As of the release of the second version of this draft, Apple OSX has
   been confirmed to support the use of 240.0.0.0/4 as unicast address
   space.  Changes have been incorporated into recent versions of Sun
   Solaris and have been submitted for inclusion in the Linux kernel
   tree.  No plans have been announced for modifications to any version
   of Microsoft Windows, in part because of uncertainty over how to
   perform 6-to-4 tunneling in the absence of a definitive statement on
   whether 240.0.0.0/4 is "public" or "private" space.


4.  Security Considerations

   The reclassification of 240.0.0.0/4 as a unicast block presents the
   same security issues as any other unicast block, with the possible
   addition that attackers may attempt to exploit poorly developed
   security software that cannot handle the change.  The authors have
   not explored whether such implementations exist.


5.  IANA Considerations

   Although this memo requires implementations to treat addresses in the
   range 240.0.0.0/4 the same as any other unicast addresses, it does
   not change the "reserved" status of the 240.0.0.0/4 address block.
   The IANA is requested to continue to reserve this block for future
   use, with the understanding that future standards action will define
   how it is to be allocated.




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6.  References

6.1.  Normative References

   [RFC3330]  IANA, "Special-Use IPv4 Addresses", RFC 3330,
              September 2002.

   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", RFC 2119, March 1997.

6.2.  Informative References

   [RFC1918]  Rekhter, Y., Moskowitz, B., Karrenberg, D., de Groot, G.,
              and E. Lear, "Address Allocation for Private Internets",
              RFC 1918, February 1996.

   [RFC2766]  Tsirtsis, G. and P. Srisuresh, "Network Address
              Translation - Protocol Translation", RFC 2766,
              February 2000.

URIs

   [1]  <http://www.potaroo.net/ispcol/2007-07/v4end.html>


Appendix A.  Changes


Authors' Addresses

   Vince Fuller
   Cisco Systems
   Tasman Drive
   San Jose, CA  95134
   USA

   Email: vaf@cisco.com


   Eliot Lear
   Cisco Systems
   Glatt-com, 2nd Floor
   Glattzentrum, Zurich  8301
   Switzerland

   Email: lear@cisco.com





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   David Meyer
   Cisco Systems
   Tasman Drive
   San Jose, CA  95134
   USA

   Email: dmm@cisco.com












































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