Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Foundations: No Port in a Storm?

The TCP/IP architecture which underpins modern networking can handle up to 65535 ports per IP address and port allocation is co-ordinated by the IANA (Internet Assigned Number Authority) registry.

The Webadmin console for Lotus Foundations Server uses port 8042 and 8043. These ports fall into the range of ports 1024 through 49151 which is IANA’s category of “DCCP Registered ports” and according to IANA those ports SHOULD NOT be used without IANA registration (their emphasis).

Two days ago (16th November 2008) the IANA registry was updated and now shows port 8042 allocated to “FireScope Agent” and port 8043 allocated to ‘FireScope Server’. Firescope has been around for two years and make software products which “…provides a real-time view of the health of IT operations by collecting and processing security, performance and availability data from nearly any server, router, security point solution or other networked device.”

So where does that leave Lotus Foundations Server? Apart from the bleedingly obvious fact that you can’t run Firescope on Foundations, I think Firescope has the Legal High Ground here and IBM/Lotus will eventually need to change the port address for Foundations.

In the end, its no big deal if Lotus has to do that, but after having the product in the market for ten years I do find it amazing that another company has beaten Nitix/IBM/Lotus to the punch and registered those ports for its own use.


Joe Nitix said...

Is it just me, or is IANA no longer relevant? Wikipedia indicates that ICANN took over the contract to handle these things:


Graham Dodge said...

Hi Joe,
According to that Wikipedia article... "On December 24, 1998, USC entered into a transition agreement with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers ICANN, transferring the IANA function to ICANN, effective January 1, 1999, thus making IANA an operating unit of ICANN."

AFAIK the IANA registry is still relevant. It just operates under the ICANN umbrella rather than being a separate entity. It contains historical registrations and is still being updated. Lotus thought it was important for them to register port 1352 as the Notes port with IANA.

As I said in my blog it's probably no big deal in the grand scheme of things. A lot of internet co-ordination is based on voluntary compliance and there's no Mr. Plod the Policeman to spank IBM/Lotus if they don't register their port numbers. It's just unfortunate that over the last ten years Nitix apparently never got around to registering their interest in those port numbers.