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[AfriNIC-rpd] AS4 / 32bit ASN's

Andrew Alston aa at
Thu Jan 15 20:37:52 UTC 2009

Hi All,

I'd just like to ask a question about AfriNIC's policy of allocating AS4 / 32bit ASN's by default as from the 1st of January.  This came to mind after I spoke to a couple of people today who were planning on applying for ASN's, but were new to the BGP game and didn't actually know the difference between the two.

So, what I want to know is, is AfriNIC currently warning people who apply for 32bit ASN's that at current, there is precious little hardware that supports them, and the chances are, if you get one today, you're gonna be back begging for a 16bit ASN the moment you try and use it?

I mean, lets look at the current situation, and I have to admit this is looking specifically at Cisco kit since its what we use (and a lot of other people I might add!):

No AS4 support as of yet for 7200, 7600, I don't know about GSR or CRS-1 (maybe in IOS-XR?), though the fact is, I'd be curious to know how many of AfriNIC's members are running stuff the size of GSR or CRS anyway

I'm also pretty sure there is no AS4 support in a LOT of the other manufacturers.

Also makes life interesting when you are trying to figure out where your traffic is flowing from/two when you have to go and look at each individual prefix because you cant look at the ASN, because everything is on 23456....

Not saying the policy to default is wrong, I don't object to it, I mean, routers that dont support 32bit ASN's can still see the prefix's originated, but I do think there need to be very clear warnings to anyone who applies for these ASN's at the moment as to what the risks are...

Andrew Alston
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