IPv6 Confusion

Mark Smith nanog at 85d5b20a518b8f6864949bd940457dc124746ddc.nosense.org
Tue Feb 17 20:54:39 UTC 2009

On Tue, 17 Feb 2009 12:24:26 -0800
Paul Ferguson <fergdawgster at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> On Tue, Feb 17, 2009 at 12:20 PM, David Conrad <drc at virtualized.org> wrote:
> > On Feb 17, 2009, at 11:28 AM, Tony Hain wrote:
> >>
> >> Approach IPv6 as a new and different protocol.
> >
> > Unfortunately, I gather this isn't what end users or network operators
> > want or expect.  I suspect if we want to make real inroads towards IPv6
> > deployment, we'll need to spend a bit more time making IPv6 look, taste,
> > and feel like IPv4 and less time berating folks for "IPv4-think" (not
> > that you do this, but others here do).  For example, getting over the
> > stateless
> > autoconfig religion (which was never fully thought out -- how does a
> > autoconfig'd device get a DNS name associated with their address in a
> > DNSSEC-signed world again?) and letting network operators use DHCP with
> > IPv6 the way they do with IPv4.
> >
> > Or, we simply continue down the path of more NATv4.
> >
> Isn't that the basis for the "Principle of Least Astonishment"? ;-)
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_least_astonishment

Alternatively, you can say, "if we're going to put effort into making 
these one or two changes (e.g. making IPv4 addresses bigger), is
there an opportunity to make other improvements." Change always has a
cost, so I think maximising the benefits from that cost, by considering
additional changes at the same time, is of value.

Some might say this is "second system syndrome." I think that only
qualifies if you aren't ruthless in deciding which additional changes
you make verses their additional costs vs benefits.

The Internet's success isn't really attributable to IPv4, much like a
road's success isn't really attributable to whether it is made of
bitumen or concrete. The Internet's success is attributable to whom
and to what it has and does provide connectivity to. IPv4 has been a
good material to build the Internet from over the last 20 to 30 years,
but there are limitations with it, and some other improvements,
such as node autoconfiguration, proven useful in protocols mostly
designed since IPv4 was, such as XNS, IPX, Appletalk and DECNET, can't
be accomodated in it.

I think IPv6 is similar enought to IPv4 that what you know about IPv4
can help you learn IPv6, but different enough that you shoudln't just
consider IPv6 to be IPv4 with bigger addresses. Some principles and
models are the same, some are similar, some are different.

Anyway, that's the way I think about IPv6 vs IPv4.


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