shim6 @ NANOG (forwarded note from John Payne)

Mark Newton newton at
Thu Mar 2 23:22:24 UTC 2006

On Thu, Mar 02, 2006 at 10:44:01PM +0100, Iljitsch van Beijnum wrote:

 > >And why would those people consider migrating to IPv6?
 > Because they can't get IPv4 addresses or so many other people use  
 > IPv6 (because _they_ can't get IPv4 addresses) that communicating  
 > with them natively is important.
 > But today there are still enough IPv4 addresses (I just checked: we  
 > still have 1444.12 million addresses or 86.08 /8s) so that won't  
 > happen for a few more years.

You've probably seen Geoff Huston's comments about this;  I tend
to agree with him here.

When IPv4 space is exhausted, the sky won't fall;  We'll simply
work out an address space management policy which is different
from the one we have right now.

Right now we can hand them out to anyone who demonstrates a need
for them.  When they run out we'll need to be able to reallocate 
address blocks which have already been handed out from orgs who
perhaps don't need them as much as they thought they did to orgs
which need them more.

Sounds like a marketplace to me.  How much do you think a /24 is
worth?  How many microseconds do you think it'll take for members
of each RIR to debate the policy changes needed to alter their
rules to permit trading of IPv4 resource allocations once IANA
says, "No!" for the first time?

That'll be interesting, because it'll place a cost on not migrating
to IPv6:  If an ISP wishes to grow its business it'll need to have
sufficient resources to buy the address space it needs.  We'll also
have a reasonably good idea of what it'd cost to perform an IPv6 
migration as we gather feedback from orgs who have actually done it.
My guess is that we'll keep using IPv4 until the cost of growing
businesses with the old address space exceeds the cost of migrating
to the new one.

One thing that Geoff hasn't been cynical enough to put forward is
the idea that orgs with lots of valuable, monetized address space
may very well end up lobbying the IAB and RIRs to erect new cost
structures around green-fields IPv6 allocations as well, to make
sure that the profit-providing marketplace survives for as long 
as possible by making the IPv6 migration process as expensive and
inconvenient as possible.  What will happen when the MCI's of the
world discover that the race to $0 for IP transit prices has created
a world in which they make more money by selling their IPv4 addresses
than they make by selling Internet access?  Will we see them coming
out as a strong supporter of restrictive RIR policies and IPv6
technologies which don't work as a way of artificially boosting
the price of IPv6?

It's going to be a fun ride :-)

  - mark

Mark Newton                               Email:  newton at (W)
Network Engineer                          Email:  newton at  (H)
Internode Systems Pty Ltd                 Desk:   +61-8-82282999
"Network Man" - Anagram of "Mark Newton"  Mobile: +61-416-202-223

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