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Why SHIM6 is likely to fail

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Companies seeking to ensure that their Internet connection is resilient often purchase services from multiple providers. This leads them inexorably towards having their IP address range visible in the global routing table, increasing the resource usage of every Internet router at a cost of perhaps $77K/prefix. Since in practice this is essentially “free”, yet impacts the cost and stability of every router in the world, this is a classic “tragedy of the commons”.

There is little prospect of change in the IPv4 world, but there is a chance to fix the problem as IPv6 is rolled out. Unfortunately, SHIM6 , the engineering solution chosen to solve this issue in IPv6, will only be effective if universally adopted, and there are no short-term incentives to prefer SHIM6 over a duplication of the IPv4 arrangements.

Network protocol designers now generally understand that technical elegance is not enough—you need to build in security properties from the outset. However, it is also necessary to consider the economic incentives for deploying your system.

Paper from WEIS 2009 : http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rnc1/shim6.pdf

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory NetOS Group Talklets series.

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