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The A+P Approach to the IPv4 Address
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Gabor and Bellovin, Steven M. and Bush, Randy and Cittadini, Luca and
Durand, Alain and Maennel, Olaf and Savolainen, Teemu and Zorz,
version (Dec. 2009): 05
facing the exhaustion of the IANA IPv4 free IP address pool.
Unfortunately, IPv6 is not yet deployed widely enough to fully replace
IPv4, and it is unrealistic to expect that this is going to change
before we run out of IPv4 addresses. Letting hosts seamlessly
communicate in an IPv4-world without assigning a unique globally
routable IPv4 address to each of them is a challenging problem. This
draft discusses the possibility of address sharing by treating some of
the port number bits as part of an extended IPv4 address (Address plus
Port, or A+P). Instead of assigning a single IPv4 address to a
customer device, we propose to extended the address by ``stealing''
bits from the port number in the TCP/UDP header, leaving the
applications a reduced range of ports. This means assigning the same
IPv4 address to multiple clients (e.g., CPE, mobile phones), each with
its assigned port-range. In the face of IPv4 address exhaustion, the
need for addresses is stronger than the need to be able to address
thousands of applications on a single host. If address translation is
needed, the end-user should be in control of the translation
process–not some smart boxes in the core.