The Choice: IPv4 Exhaustion or Transition to IPv6

Dave Israel davei at
Thu Jun 28 17:56:36 UTC 2007

Adrian Chadd wrote:
> You don't believe the killer app will be "sorry, no more IP addresses?"

I bet it won't.  There are too many people willing to patch what we have 
rather than toss it out and start over.  As the IP addresses run ever 
lower, ISPs will probably patrol usage even more and reclaim IPs.  Then 
router vendors will probably propose new routing schemes that don't 
require bit boundaries, so allocations can be made outside the powers of 
two, and ISPs will reclaim more and reallocate it.  The routing tables 
will get bigger, but since memory is getting cheaper, we can work around 
that, too.   IPv4 will probably become more and more of a kludge, but 
until somebody actually comes up with something IPv6 can do that cannot 
be backported to IPv4, customers are not going to give a rodent's behind 
about IPv6.  There is a chance that some people will be roped in with 
"IPv6: It's Shiny and the Japanese Are Doing It," but not enough to make 
IPv6 a customer-driven initiative.  IPv6 will most liekly be deployed 
and refined outside of the mass market: cell phones, personal nets, 
educational and research facilities, etc.  Providers might slowly start 
building elaborate proxies to allow IPv4 clients to attach to IPv6 hosts 
(which will be hysterical: now with IPv6, everybody's a NAT client) as 
they convert their individual backbones to v4, or perhaps those proxies, 
like digital TV converter boxes, will live at the endpoints.  But any 
dreams anybody may have of a flag day where IPv4 is turned off and IPv6 
turned on are never going to come true unless the industry decides to do 
it en masse, so that all the customers who will be deeply offended have 
nowhere else to go.

If you want IPv6, you're seriously going to need to think of how it can 
happen slowly and with as much of the pain as possible put upon the 
network engineers, who know what they are working for, and not the end 
users, who don't care how it works as long as their flash games, 
lolcatz, and porn keep working.

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