[Fwd: [members-discuss] [ncc-announce] RIPE NCC Position On The ITU IPv6 Group]

Kevin Oberman oberman at es.net
Sat Feb 27 06:20:38 UTC 2010

> Date: Sat, 27 Feb 2010 12:04:12 +0800
> From: Phil Regnauld <regnauld at nsrc.org>
> Nick Hilliard (nick) writes:
> > 
> > And the politicians.  Yes, they will erupt in hitherto unseen
> > outbursts of self-righteous indignation at the stupid internet
> > engineers who let this problem happen in the first place and who
> > made no provision whatsoever for viable alternatives,
> 	Um, not to be the party pooper of your fire-and-brimstone scenario,
> 	but IPv6 deployment has taken quite a bit longer than expected.
> 	I'm not saying that political incentives (carrot & stick) or government
> 	regulations in the line of "implement IPv6 before X/Y or else..." have
> 	had any effect, except maybe in Japan: look how long it took for the
> 	EU commission to jump on the bandwagon, for instance (or for that matter,
> 	how long it took any government to take IP seriously).
> 	But if was asked why IPv6 hasn't been deployed earlier, I'd be hard
> 	pressed to come up with a simple answer.    "It wasn't ready"
> 	is probably not considered good enough for an elected official.

I'm sorry, but some people are spending too much time denying
history. IPv6 has been largely ready for YEARS. Less than five years ago
a lot of engineers were declaring IPv6 dead and telling people that
double and triple NAT was the way of the future. It's only been over the
past two years that a clear majority of the networks seemed to agree
that IPv6 was the way out of the mess. (I know some are still in

Among the mistakes made was the abandonment of NAT-PT as a transition
mechanism. The BEHAVE working group has resurrected it and I still have
hope of a decent system, but it has not happened as of today and we need
it yesterday.

Because so many network engineers or their managers decided that IPv6
was either not going to happen or was too far down the line to worry
about, vendors got a clear message that there was no need to spend
development money adding IPv6 support to products or implement it for
their services.

I won't go into the mistakes made by the IETF because they were doing
something very un-IETF under tremendous time pressure. The standards were
developed on paper with almost no working code. This was because the
IETF assumed that we would run out of IPv4 long ago since the basics of
IPv6 pre-date CIDR. They pre-date NAT. Yes, IPv6 has been around THAT

At leat one network was running IPv6 on its network, available to users
for testing for over 15 years ago. It's been a production service for

Let's face reality. We have met the enemy and he is us. (Apologies to
Walt Kelly.) We, the network engineers simply kept ignoring IPv6 for
years after it was available. Almost all operating systems have been
IPv6 capable for at least five years and most much longer. Most routers
have been IPv6 ready for even longer. But we didn't move IPv6 into
services nor offer it to customers. As a result, it just sat there. Code
was not exercised and bugs were not found. Reasonable transition
mechanisms are nowhere to be seen, and the cost of fixing this (or
working around it) has grown to frightening proportions.

There is a lot of blame we can spread around, but take moment and look
in a mirror while you parcel it out. I think we are more responsible for
the situation than anyone else.
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
E-mail: oberman at es.net			Phone: +1 510 486-8634
Key fingerprint:059B 2DDF 031C 9BA3 14A4  EADA 927D EBB3 987B 3751

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