host-identifier with IPv6

Rudy Zijlstra rudy at
Wed Mar 4 08:41:46 UTC 2009

On Wed, 2009-03-04 at 14:05 +1300, Eustace, Glen wrote:
> > To me, the idea of tracking every mac address of every device on a
> > network by walking around with a keyboard or a bar-code scanner and
> > entering them all into a database is the very definition of "pain and
> > suffering." DHCP's whole raison-d'être is to save you, the network
> > administrator, the effort of walking around doing a manual process on
> > each machine.
> > 
> > So why is it that you have chosen this model - what is the value that
> > it adds, and why is it that there is no better solution that involves
> > less work?
> The big difference between an ISP and a corporate/educational institution, as far as I can see, is we have obligations with respect to the users and computers on our networks.
> For a large proportion of the devices on our network, we own them.  They are an asset and hence will be recorded, somewhere.  We have license agreements that apply to computers that we own. We have license agreements that are enforced by source IP address. We have large numbers of communal equipment e.g. laboratories that must provide a consistent known software environment for our students.  Basically we have to manage all the computers rather than an ISP that usually just provides network access.
> We operate some of our student networks in the same way as an ISP, in these I don't really care about a computers identity.  All addressing is dynamic.  All of our management issues, workflow etc pertains to our 'managed' networks.

This is actually also true for ISP who supply voice to their customers
over either DSL or Cable. They need to know which device is at which
customer, in order to provide the correct configuration file. This
configuration file really is specific to the customer (think phone
number). This means the device needs to be identified. Easiest way to do
that is by MAC-address. 

If you take a look at the cablelabs DHCP specification, you will find
that the IPv6 part also contains the device MAC address in the list. 

See CL-SP-CAN-DHCP-REG-I02-080306 which is on the cablelabs website.



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