Re: a proposed modification to ARP

Steve Deering (
14 Jul 1988 17:50-PDT

[This message seems not have made it out to the tcp-ip list, so this
 is a retransmission. Sorry if anyone gets a duplicate. -- Steve]

        From Thomas Narten:
        Is broadcast traffic associated with ARP responsible for so much
        traffic that it must be stamped out? ...

ARP has often been responsible for broadcast storms, which some people
would like to stamp out. Moving it to from broadcast to multicast
would reduce the number of potential victims of a storm (especially
if using an address hashing scheme, as I proposed).

Even when ARP is behaving itself, there is a pollution argument against
using broadcast: no single (well-behaved) broadcast application causes a
significant burden on uninterested hosts, but as the number of broadcast
applications continues to grow, and the number of hosts running those
applications on a single (possibly bridged-)LAN continues to grow,
the cumulative burden becomes serious. To control it, you have to try to
stop as many offenders as possible.

It seems to me that the cost of cleaning up this pollution is almost
negligible, unlike the cost of cleaning up coal-burning factories or
semiconductor fabrication facilities or cars. Just replace one

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