IP-level echo/ping

Mon, 8 Feb 88 09:11:22 EST

In <[A.ISI.EDU] 2-Feb-88 21:23:38.CERF>, Vint Cerf writes:

> In the absence of anything else, your proposal seems the only option;
> is there really no thinking in the ISO standards for some kind of
> echo packet capability at the IP level?

Vint, DG brought a proposal for just such a beast to the joint ANSI/IETF
meeting at BB&N last April (or thereabouts), at which it received a cool
(silent) reception. We intend to re-introduce it at an ANSI meeting in
three weeks. We're proposing to put pinging at the IP level, but not IN
the IP (making IP more complicated - read "more prone to break" - so that
you can poke around diagnostically when you suspect that something IS broken
has never impressed me as a great idea). A separate ECHO protocol, which
looks a lot like IP (similar packet format; packets are processed by gateways
[almost] exactly like IP packets), gives you the diagnostic tool without
piggybacking stuff onto IP that doesn't belong there. ECHO can also
contain more elaborate diagnostic functions that you would probably not want
to add to IP source routing, such as having each gateway along the path return
a diagnostic packet to the source (I would have said "NEVER want to add"
rather than "probably not want to add", but have recently talked with two
people who think that adding this capability to source routing would be
really neat.....).

If the ECHO proposal finds favor at the ANSI meeting, I'll distribute it
to the list for comment.

Lyman Chapin lyman@ice9.ceo.dg.com
Data General Corp. [lyman%ice9.ceo.dg.com@relay.cs.net]
(617) 870-6056

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