This document has been updated to cover both static IP address and dynamic IP ranges.

Requests for assignment

Administration of static IP addresses and dynamic IP ranges within assigned subnets is handled via Information Systems & Technology's (IST) Maintain system.

Subnet registration

The following information about each IP subnet in the campus computer network is recorded in the Domain Name System (DNS) data.

   name.net   IN A      129.97.subnetnumber.0
              IN HINFO  "parent_subnetname router_name" "protocol_type"
              IN TXT    "ORGUNIT unit,subunit,group"
              IN TXT    "ADMIN uwuserid"
              IN TXT    "CONTACT uwuserid"
              IN TXT    "LOCATION list of buildings"
              IN TXT    "DATE yyyy-mm-dd"

There are various ways to derive the name that has been assigned to a subnet number by using a DNS query utility. For example, for subnet 129.97.128.0/24, a query for 129.97.128.0 will tell you that this is "uw.net.uwaterloo.ca". A query to display all of the DNS entry for that name will display the information shown above.

The purpose of the TXT records is described below.

Dynamic IP ranges

Dynamic IP ranges are added to subnets by the hostmaster, to provide dynamic IP addresses. Dynamic IP addresses are primarily intended for mobile devices, temporary equipment, occasional use devices, or for hosts which do not need a static IP address.

Dynamic IP ranges may be configured to allow any host, or only registered hosts:

  • any - provides a dynamic IP address to any host which requests one
  • registered - provides a dynamic IP address to a host only if the host has a static IP assignment on another subnet.

Dynamic IP ranges which permit any hosts may not be used to provide network service in public areas unless additional mechanisms are used to provide security and accountability (e.g. captive portal authentication, 802.1x authentication).

For network service in private areas (e.g. offices, meeting rooms), dynamic ranges may be configured to allow any hosts, with the use of additional security mechanisms being optional.

Static IP device registration

Static IP addresses are primarily intended for fixed equipment (e.g. servers, workstations, printers), that require regular and ongoing network access.

Information about each device in the campus network with a static IP address is recorded in DNS, as follows:

   hostname   IN A      129.97.subnetnumber.hostnumber
              IN HINFO  "manufacturer model"  "operating_system_name"
              IN TXT    "ORGUNIT unit,subunit,group"
              IN TXT    "ADMIN identifier"
              IN TXT    "CONTACT identifier"
              IN TXT    "LOCATION bldg,room[,etc]"
              IN TXT    "DATE yyyy-mm-dd"

A TXT record for ORGUNIT, ADMIN, or CONTACT is only needed if the information for the device is different from the information for the subnet in which the device is contained.

If information about a host changes (e.g. moved to another location, contact changes), the records in DNS must be corrected within 24 hours.

If a host is permanently removed from service, the DNS entry must be deleted within 30 days.

Hosts which have been inactive for 6 months are subject to removal from DNS at the discretion of the ADMIN for the subnet.

Example: a campus server

   
   watserv1   IN A      129.97.128.116
              IN HINFO  "Sun Sparc20"  "Solaris"
              IN TXT    "LOCATION MC,1061"
              IN TXT    "DATE 2001-08-15"

Example: an individual's workstation

   moa        IN A      129.97.109.14
              IN HINFO  "Apple Macintosh"  "MacOS"
              IN TXT    "CONTACT ns-owner"
              IN TXT    "LOCATION MC,1065"
              IN TXT    "DATE 2007-03-07"

TXT record definitions

  • ORGUNIT TXT records identify the community of university users serviced. The top level is the "unit" designation. For subnets that comprise the campus backbone network services, that is CAMPUS. The other "unit" designations are AHS, ARTS, ENG, ENVST, MATH, SCI (the Faculties), IST, LIB (the Library), RESNET (the ResNet environment), ADMIN (all other non-Faculty units), and OTHER (for entities such as the federated/affiliated institutions). EXAMPLES. A subnet dedicated to the Groundwater research group in the Earth Sciences department in the Science faculty would be recorded as "Sci,EarthSci,Groundwater". A subnet containing only computing systems that serve the Registrar's Office would be recorded as "admin,Registrar".
  • ADMIN TXT records identify the UWdir "UWuserid" of the person who exercises policy-level authority, in accordance with established UW directives, on behalf of ORGUNIT for all matters pertaining to the registered device (or, for a subnet, for all of the devices within the subnet).
  • CONTACT TXT records identify the UWuserid of the person designated by the ADMIN as having the authority and responsibility to take immediate action to eliminate a network-impact problem being caused, whether by the device itself or by one of its users. In order to provide a course of action when the CONTACT cannot be located, CONTACT and ADMIN may not be the same person.
  • LOCATION TXT records: for a device, this is the building-code value and room number where the device is installed; for a subnet, is the set of buildings (or floors in one building) where devices within the subnet may be located.
  • DATE TXT records are the yyyy-mm-dd specification for the date on which this entry was last updated.

Instead of a UWuserid value, the ADMIN or CONTACT may be specified as a generic UW email address. For example, the email address for a list of people who provide the intended function.