Principles of Internet Host Configuration
RFC 5505

Document Type RFC - Informational (May 2009; No errata)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                           B. Aboba
Request for Comments: 5505                                     D. Thaler
Category: Informational                                     L. Andersson
                                                             S. Cheshire
                                             Internet Architecture Board
                                                                May 2009

               Principles of Internet Host Configuration

Status of This Memo

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

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2009 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents in effect on the date of
   publication of this document (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info).
   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
   and restrictions with respect to this document.

Abstract

   This document describes principles of Internet host configuration.
   It covers issues relating to configuration of Internet-layer
   parameters, as well as parameters affecting higher-layer protocols.

Aboba, et al.                Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 5505       Principles of Internet Host Configuration        May 2009

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................3
      1.1. Terminology ................................................3
      1.2. Internet Host Configuration ................................4
           1.2.1. Internet-Layer Configuration ........................4
           1.2.2. Higher-Layer Configuration ..........................6
   2. Principles ......................................................7
      2.1. Minimize Configuration .....................................7
      2.2. Less Is More ...............................................7
      2.3. Minimize Diversity .........................................8
      2.4. Lower-Layer Independence ...................................9
      2.5. Configuration Is Not Access Control .......................11
   3. Additional Discussion ..........................................12
      3.1. Reliance on General-Purpose Mechanisms ....................12
      3.2. Relationship between IP Configuration and Service
           Discovery .................................................13
           3.2.1. Fate Sharing .......................................14
      3.3. Discovering Names versus Addresses ........................15
      3.4. Dual-Stack Issues .........................................15
      3.5. Relationship between Per-Interface and Per-Host
           Configuration .............................................16
   4. Security Considerations ........................................17
      4.1. Configuration Authentication ..............................18
   5. Informative References .........................................19
   Appendix A. Acknowledgments .......................................24
   Appendix B. IAB Members at the Time of This Writing ...............24

Aboba, et al.                Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 5505       Principles of Internet Host Configuration        May 2009

1.  Introduction

   This document describes principles of Internet host [STD3]
   configuration.  It covers issues relating to configuration of
   Internet-layer parameters, as well as parameters affecting higher-
   layer protocols.

   In recent years, a number of architectural questions have arisen, for
   which we provide guidance to protocol developers:

   o The protocol layers and general approaches that are most
     appropriate for configuration of various parameters.

   o The relationship between parameter configuration and service
     discovery.

   o The relationship between per-interface and per-host configuration.

   o The relationship between network access authentication and host
     configuration.

   o The desirability of supporting self-configuration of parameters or
     avoiding parameter configuration altogether.

   o The role of link-layer protocols and tunneling protocols in
     Internet host configuration.

   The role of the link-layer and tunneling protocols is particularly
   important, since it can affect the properties of a link as seen by
   higher layers (for example, whether privacy extensions [RFC4941] are
   available to applications).

1.1.  Terminology

   link

      A communication facility or medium over which nodes can
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