WG Action: Conclusion of IP Version 6 (ipv6)

Jeroen Massar jeroen at unfix.org
Fri Sep 28 07:45:20 UTC 2007

Steven M. Bellovin wrote:
> IPv6 isn't what I wanted it to be.  During the IPng directorate,
> several of us (including me and at least one of the chairs) pushed very
> hard for id/locator split.  We lost.  That was 1994; it's over and done
> with.  But it took 13 years from then to a (mostly) complete set of
> specs and universal implementation, at least in all systems shipping
> today.

The good thing about the current state of IPv6 is though that
applications have the following:
 - 128bits source address
 - 128bits destination address

and in many cases they are now also AF independent due to getaddrinfo(),
though there will always be some dependent code in their unfortunately.

Why is the above good? Well, the application doesn't further really care
about how the packets are sent from source to destination. As such those
bits are now identifiers already. The OS can change them and do whatever
it wants with them, eg it could change them to something which is
available only on the link, tell the other end to do the same when it
receives them to make them identical when sent from the source application.

This should provide for a pretty good outcome in a couple of years where
next the second biggest "problem" of the current Internet will be solved
(the first being 32bits not being enough to address all hosts): too many
DFZ routes.

That will require a id/locator split, or IMHO better mentioned using
those 128bits as both ID's and locators. It will need a signaling
protocol for mentioning when something is an ID and when something is a
locator and how to get back to an ID, but that magic should not be too
hard to do and can be done both in the endhost and in middle boxes.

As such, IPv6 has already solved the currently biggest problem: there is
enough address space. Applications are mostly ready for this and so are
Operating Systems. Now the web should follow, and while the IPv6 DFZ
grows (it is still <900 routes) we will have enough time to create the
ID/LOC system that ISP operators and Enterprise operators will accept.
Especially that 'acceptance' is a big problem it seems and that is mosly
a political issue, not a technical one.

Btw, ram at iab.org if you want to join in on those discussions.


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