Internet-Draft Expanding the IPv6 Lab Use Space January 2022
Horley, et al. Expires 30 July 2022 [Page]
Network Working Group
Intended Status:
E. Horley
T. Coffeen
S. Hogg
N. Buraglio
Energy Sciences Network
C. Cummings
Energy Sciences Network
K. Myers
IP ArchiTechs
R. White
Juniper Networks

Expanding the IPv6 Lab Use Space


To reduce the likelihood of addressing conflicts and confusion between lab deployments and non-lab (i.e., production) deployments, an IPv6 unicast address prefix is reserved for use in lab, proof-of-concept, and validation networks as well as for any similar use case. This document describes the use of the IPv6 address prefix 0200::/7 as a prefix reserved for this purpose (repurposing the deprecated OSI NSAP-mapped prefix).

Status of This Memo

This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Note that other groups may also distribute working documents as Internet-Drafts. The list of current Internet-Drafts is at

Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

This Internet-Draft will expire on 30 July 2022.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

The address architecture for IPv6 ([RFC4291]) does not explicitly define any prefixes allocated exclusively for lab use, nor is such address space allocated in [RFC6890] or in [RFC8200]. While lab deployments could potentially use IPv6 address prefixes typically assigned and configured in non-lab network, the use of such addressing in lab environments may create addressing conflicts and operational confusion. For instance, designing labs utilizing ULA fc00::/7 [RFC4193] is problematic due to the random global ID requirement preventing hierarchical network prefix design possibilities. Further, default address selection behavior [RFC6724] by end nodes may result in a depreferencing of such addresses and prevent lab deployments from accurately modeling their desired non-lab equivalents.

To resolve these problems involved in building large-scale lab networks, and pre-staging, or automating large-scale networks for deployment, this document allocates the IPv6 address prefix 0200::/7 for these purposes.

The goal is to allow organization to share working lab configuration files (with little or no need of modification) to be deployed in a third party lab environment like,

public and private clouds,

virtualization or hosting environments,

and in other networks like Service Providers, Enterprise, Government, IoT, and Energy,

all with the knowledge that the lab GUA address space will perform the same as any GUA but with the added knowledge that filtering will be used to protect accidental leaks to the Internet.

The following criteria is for selecting the lab prefix:

The precedence for the lab prefix should no be lower than the GUA prefix as defined in [RFC6724] (unlike ULA). Reduce the operational impacts to IANA and the RIR's in selecting lab prefix space.

2. New Lab IPv6 Address Prefix

The prefix reserved for lab and testing purposes is 0200::/7.

3. Operational Implications

This space SHOULD NOT be employed for addressing use cases which are already defined in other RFCs, such as addresses set apart for documentation, testing, etc.

Enterprise and large-scale networks have some specific criteria around building and validating prior to deployment. The issues with ULA for infrastructure modeling and labbing at the host level are more impactful in large enterprises. This is due to the increased focus on large-scale hosts, servers, and apps testing. Also, it is likely that both GUA and ULA may co-exist (or are planned) and reconfiguring lab hosts and networks isn't practical or desirable due to inconsistent results for host preference due to [RFC6724] behavior.

Most large enterprises strive to build lab, dev, and QA environments that reflect production as accurately as possible. This is a fairly straightforward way to avoid disparity between production and non-production. Enterprise environments are an area that need increased IPv6 adoption. In an effort to make it easier to model a global enterprise and to avoid the pitfalls of ULA de-preferenced host behavior or squatting on other IPv6 space, a specific IPv6 lab prefix is being assigned.

Because this address prefix has previously been used for the OSI NSAP-mapped prefix set in [RFC4048] and [RFC4548], and deprecated, this address prefix is already limited in its usability. In addition, the address prefix was returned to IANA and is available to be marked for lab or other purposes.

This assignment implies that IPv6 network operators SHOULD add this address prefix to the list of non-routable IPv6 address space, and if packet filters are deployed, then this address prefix SHOULD be added to packet filters. This is not a local-use address prefix so these filters may be used in both local and public contexts.

4. IANA Considerations

IANA is to record the reservation of the IPv6 global unicast address prefix 0200::/7 as a lab-only prefix in the IPv6 address registry. No end party is to be assigned this address.

5. Security Considerations

The addresses assigned for lab and staging use SHOULD be filtered as noted above.

Setting aside address space for lab and staging use, and adding this address space to common filters to prevent destinations in this space from being routed in production networks (including the global Internet) improves security by preventing the leakage of prefixes used for testing into production environments. As such, setting aside this space improves the overall security posture of the Internet.

6. Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the work of Bob Hinden and Stephen Deering, in authoring the protocol standard and the addressing architecture for IPv6.

7. References

7.1. Normative References

Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, , <>.
Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6) Specification", STD 86, RFC 8200, DOI 10.17487/RFC8200, , <>.

7.2. Informative References

Sparks, R., "The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Refer Method", RFC 3515, DOI 10.17487/RFC3515, , <>.
Carpenter, B., "RFC 1888 Is Obsolete", RFC 4048, DOI 10.17487/RFC4048, , <>.
Hinden, R. and B. Haberman, "Unique Local IPv6 Unicast Addresses", RFC 4193, DOI 10.17487/RFC4193, , <>.
Hinden, R. and S. Deering, "IP Version 6 Addressing Architecture", RFC 4291, DOI 10.17487/RFC4291, , <>.
Gray, E., Rutemiller, J., and G. Swallow, "Internet Code Point (ICP) Assignments for NSAP Addresses", RFC 4548, DOI 10.17487/RFC4548, , <>.
Popoviciu, C., Hamza, A., Van de Velde, G., and D. Dugatkin, "IPv6 Benchmarking Methodology for Network Interconnect Devices", RFC 5180, DOI 10.17487/RFC5180, , <>.
Thaler, D., Ed., Draves, R., Matsumoto, A., and T. Chown, "Default Address Selection for Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6)", RFC 6724, DOI 10.17487/RFC6724, , <>.
Cotton, M., Vegoda, L., Bonica, R., Ed., and B. Haberman, "Special-Purpose IP Address Registries", BCP 153, RFC 6890, DOI 10.17487/RFC6890, , <>.

Authors' Addresses

Ed Horley
Tom Coffeen
Scott Hogg
Nick Buraglio
Energy Sciences Network
Chris Cummings
Energy Sciences Network
Kevin Myers
IP ArchiTechs
Russ White
Juniper Networks