Category Archives for "Potaroo blog"

Notes from IETF114

IETF114 was held in the last week of July 2022 as a hybrid meeting, with the physical meeting being held in Philadelphia. Here’s my notes on topics that attracted my interest from the week.

Bigger, Faster, Better (and Cheaper!)

There has been much speculation on the evolution of the Internet. Is our future somewhere out there in the blockchains? Is it all locked up in crypto? Or will it all shatter under the pressure of fragmentation? It seems to me that all this effort is being driven by a small number of imperatives: making it bigger, faster and better. Oh, and making it cheaper as well!

Notes from DNS OARC 38

There is still much in the way the DNS behaves that we really don't know, much we would like to do that we can't do already, and much we probably want to do better. DNS-OARC Meetings bring together a collection of people interested in all aspects of the DNS, from its design through to all aspects of its operation, and the presentations and discussions at OARC meetings touch upon the current hot topics in the DNS today.

A look at QUIC Use

QUIC as recently been standardized by the IETF and is now in the initial stages of deployment. Let's take a look at the current state of the use of QUIC in today's Internet.

Content vs Carriage – Who Pays?

The Internet may be many things, but its definitely not free. One way or another the users of the Internet pay for the Internet. But this does not stop various players in the space jostling for relative advantage, claiming others should be paying more while they pay less. This tension is often reflected between carriage providers and content service providers when they try and figure out who should pay whom and how much.

The Path the Resolverless DNS

Telecommunications infrastructure is not isolated from the world of politics, and its not just limited to pronoucments of who can provide 5G networks in various countries. The world of undersea cables is similarly being shaped by these same political tensions, and this is clearly evident in the western Pacific Ocean.

The Path the Resolverless DNS

Using the DNS without directly using recursive resolvers seems like an approach that is totally alien to the DNS as we know it, so it might be useful to ask: How did we get to this point where a resolverless form of DNS name resolution makes some sense? And, to whom does it make sense?

Are we there yet?

This transition to IPv6 has been going on for 20 years now, and if there was any urgency that was instilled in the effort by the prospect of IPv4 address exhaustion then we’ve been living with exhaustion for a decade now. So perhaps it's time to ask the question: How much longer is this transition going to take?

Using LEOs and GEOs

Once you head off the main roads your Internet connectivity options are often pretty limited. However, things are improving, and in Australia you can use an Internet service based on a connection through a geostationary satellite connection or you could sign up for Starlink, a Low Earth Orbit service. Both services offer decent capacity, but there are some some other critical differences going on here. Let's look at these services using a custom test rig to put them through their paces.

Hop by Hop

It is a rare situation when you can create an outcome from two somewhat broken technologies where the outcome is not also broken. I’m referring to a recent effort to try and salvage something from the debacle that is IPv6 packet fragmentation support by taking another piece of operationally broken IPv6, namely Hop-by-Hop (HBH) extension headers, and trying to use that to solve the IPv6 Path Maximum Transfer Unit Discovery (PMTUD) problem.

IETF 113 – IEPG Meeting

The IEPG meets on the Sunday at the start of the IETF week. If there is a theme for the diverse collection of presentations here it is perhaps a focus on operational topics, but the particular selection of subjects in these sessions can be quite diverse.


A compromised private key should not be accepted. An attacker might use a compromised private key to impersonate a site, and this vulnerability needs to be prevented to ensure that users can use services over the network with trust in their integrity and security. The way to stop a compromised key from being accepted is to disseminate the information that the key is no longer trustable, and this is achieved by revoking the public key certificate. But we are having some problems in taking this theory and creating practical implementations of certificate revocation.


The last few decades have not been a story of unqualified success for European technology enterprises. The European industrial giants of the old telephone world have found it to be extraordinarily difficult to translate their former dominant positions in the telco world into the Internet world. To be brutally frank, none of the current generation of major players in the digital environment are European. The concern is that if today’s technology world equates to the previous world of far-flung colonial empires then relative national wealth and prosperity appear to be linked to the ability to master, or preferably dominate, critical aspects of the sector. And in this respect Europe appears to have been left behind.

What’s an “Address”?

Currently, there are discussions in the IETF's Internet Area on the topic of architectural evolution of the Internet and its implications for the changing role of IP addresses, and I'd like to share some of my thoughts on this topic here.

IP Addressing through 2021s

Time for another annual roundup from the world of IP addresses. Let's see what has changed in the past 12 months in addressing the Internet and look at how IP address allocation information can inform us of the changing nature of the network itself.

BGP in 2021 – The BGP Table

At the start of each year, I have been reporting on the behaviour of the inter-domain routing system over the past 12 months, looking in some detail at some metrics from the routing system that can show the essential shape and behaviour of the underlying interconnection fabric of the Internet.
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