IPv6 Confusion

Nathan Ward nanog at daork.net
Tue Feb 17 21:05:08 UTC 2009

On 18/02/2009, at 8:28 AM, Tony Hain wrote:

> One last comment (because I hear "just more bits" a lot in the *nog
> community)... Approach IPv6 as a new and different protocol. If you  
> approach
> it as "IPv4 with more bits", you will trip over the differences and be
> pissed off. If you approach it as a "different protocol with a name  
> that
> starts with IP" and runs alongside IPv4 (like we used to do with  
> decnet,
> sna, appletalk...), you will be comforted in all the similarities.  
> You will
> also hear lots of noise about 'lack of compatibility', which is just  
> another
> instance of refusing to recognize that this is really a different  
> protocol.
> At the end of the day, it is a packet based protocol that moves  
> payloads
> around.

Having taught a bunch of IPv6 courses opening with a photo of Gaurab  
and his "96 more bits, no magic" tshirt and then having dealt with the  
confusion once we get in to the nitty gritty details, I am inclined to  
agree with you here.

The intention of these sorts of statements is to remove the "I will  
have to learn IP all over again" fear (and the associated "it's too  
hard" etc.), but you are right, this has been causing people to get a  
bit surprised when stuff does not work the same as IPv4.

I suppose it is fair to say that in the core of the network, it is  
essentially 96 more bits, and no magic. The access network is where  
this becomes a bit of a confusing statement.

Anyway, comments taken on board, I'll have a think about how to do  
this differently.

Nathan Ward

More information about the NANOG mailing list