Network Working Group                                         R. Skelton
Request for Comments: 1673                                          EPRI
Category: Informational                                      August 1994

           Electric Power Research Institute Comments on IPng

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.


   This document was submitted to the IETF IPng area in response to RFC
   1550.  Publication of this document does not imply acceptance by the
   IPng area of any ideas expressed within.  Comments should be
   submitted to the mailing list.

Executive Summary

   The question of the future of the Internet protocol (IP) is an issue
   of national if not international concern. It is critical to the
   building of a National Information Infrastructure, comparable to the
   adoption of basic standards for the industrial era such as railways,
   highways and electricity.

   The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is a non-profit
   organization, with 700 voluntary utility members, managing a
   technical research and development program for the electric utility
   industry to improve power production, distribution and use. The
   electric power industry is a major user of computing and
   communications and is fully committed to open systems.

   While the industry is today a heavy user of the Internet Protocol
   Suite (IPS) it is following a long term strategy based on
   international standards developed by ISO and CCITT and national
   standards developed by the IEEE, ANSI and other standards bodies that
   employ formal review and voting procedures.

   This strategy is based on a survey of needs in all aspects of the
   electrical power supply enterprise.  It concluded that these needs
   are met more effectively by the current suite of OSI protocols and
   international standards under development. Therefore, EPRI developed
   the Utility Communications Architecture (UCA) specification for
   communications and the Database Access Integrated Services
   specification for data exchange both based on the OSI model and

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RFC 1673                 EPRI Comments on IPng               August 1994

   international standards.

   These specifications have been incorporated into the Industry
   Government Open Systems Specification (IGOSS).  They are receiving
   favorable response and application by the industry and its suppliers
   as well as the support of the natural gas and waterworks industries.

   The issues facing the Internet community concerning growth and the
   address and routing limitations of IP in particular, provide an ideal
   opportunity for creating the  national uniform information transport
   superhighway. This is critical to the NII Agenda and the only
   proposal that will achieve this goal is one that is acceptable from
   both private and public sector viewpoints with both a national and an
   international perspective.

   EPRI also believes it is critically important that new requirements
   need to be achieved by convergence of efforts to develop additional
   standards.  Security, directory services, network management, and the
   ability to support real-time applications are four examples of where
   new convergent standards efforts are required.

   Just as society could not in the past accept multiple standards for
   the gauge of the nation's railways,  we can no longer accept multiple
   standards for information transport.

Engineering Considerations

   1. Mandatory Requirement.

      Inter networking must evolve to provide an industrial strength
      computing and communications environment for multiple uses of
      globally connected network resources.  Specifically the underlying
      transport must provide high integrity support for upper layer
      industrial OSI applications including but not limited to MMS  and
      TP. Use of interface layers such as RFC 1006 is not acceptable
      except as a transition strategy.

   2. Basic Requirements.

      - Scaleability
        The addressing scheme must have essentially an unlimited address
        space to encompass an arbitrarily large number of information
        objects.  Specifically it must solve the fundamental limitations
        of 32 bit formats, a format for 20 octets and above is considered

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RFC 1673                 EPRI Comments on IPng               August 1994

      - Routing table economy
        Network addressing must achieve significant economy in routing
        database size with very large networks.

      - Support for the existing Internet
        The existing internetworking paradigm and existing OSI and IPS
        applications are to be supported.

   3. Key Engineering Considerations - A pragmatic solution.

      - Available now
        The solution must be available now using mature, internationally
        agreed standards and off-the-shelf implementations for hosts and
        routers.  The solution must leverage existing investments in
        standards development, deployment and experience while at the
        same time provide for all basic requirements.

      - Ease of Transition
        Any solution must provide an evolutionary transition path using
        an OSI.

      - IP dual network layer strategy.
        This must be achievable without modifications to existing
        inter-domain routing protocols while providing the ability to
        support proprietary protocols such as IPX and Appletalk.  The
        scheme must provide the ability to encompass other addressing
        schemes such as X.121 and E.164.  Existing SNMP and CMIP MIBs
        must be applicable and available.  Internet domain names need
        to be retained.

      - Routing effectiveness
        This key objective requires features such as route aggregation,
        service selection, and low frequency host advertisements; host
        routing intelligence should not be required.

      - Flexible Efficient Administration
        Operational needs will need to be met in an economic and
        flexible manner.  Addressing allocations can be either
        geographically based or based on carrier ID or both and will be
        administered by policy not network topology.  Simplified and
        robust configurability is required which includes the ability to
        identify resources e.g., multi-homed hosts and applications,
        instead of interfaces.

      - Mobility
        Dynamic addressing is required where hosts have the ability to
        learn their own network address with the minimum of human

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RFC 1673                 EPRI Comments on IPng               August 1994

Security Considerations

   Security isses are not discussed in this memo.

Author's Address

   Ron Skelton
   Member of Technical Staff
   Advanced IT Group
   Electric Power Research Institute
   Palo Alto CA 94303


Skelton                                                         [Page 4]