Name the Chazwazza in IPv6

Hexarthrius parryi paradoxus

In IPv4 we denote each byte of the IP address with the word ”octet”, since it’s eight bits long of course. I.e. in the IP address “” the first octet would be 194, the second 9 etc.

But how are we supposed to handle the various parts of IPv6? An IPv6 address might look like “2a02:0250:0000:0001:0002:0003:0004:0005”, where each address is made up of eight 16-bit segments separated by colons. But what do we call each such segment? Using the word “segment” might cause confusion since it is a word that has another meaning to network people (think “network segments”). Using the IPv4 word “octet” would also be terribly wrong since we’re talking about 16-bit values here, not 8-bit values.

IETF now seem to have realized that there is currently no standardized naming of the eight parts that make up an IPv6 address, and have therefore issued an Internet Draft called “Naming IPv6 address parts”.

The draft mentions some crazy name alternatives, such as “Chazwazza” and “Colonade”. The best proposal in the IETF draft is in my opinion “Chunk”, even though it doesn’t provide any clue about the bit-length.

There are currently two different online polls going on to give input as to what we should name the IPv6 parts. One on the My Etherealmind blog and one on Doodle. I like the Doodle poll better since it introduces a name that I prefer to use, namely “Hextet”.

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Posted by Erik Hjelmvik on Saturday, 05 February 2011 08:05:00 (UTC/GMT)


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