Only 5x IPv4 ... WRONG! :)

George Bonser gbonser at
Wed Oct 20 11:11:18 CDT 2010

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Owen DeLong [mailto:owen at]
> Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 2:50 AM
> To: George Bonser
> Cc: nanog at
> Subject: Re: Only 5x IPv4 ... WRONG! :)
> On Oct 20, 2010, at 2:09 AM, George Bonser wrote:
> >
> >
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: George Bonser
> >> Sent: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 12:30 AM
> >> To: Owen DeLong
> >> Cc: nanog at
> >> Subject: RE: Only 5x IPv4 ... WRONG! :)
> >>
> >> It isn't "easy" but it isn't the fault of "v6" in most cases.
> >>
> >
> > Put another way, the set of challenges facing the
> enterprise/production
> > operator (the people who use that network to facilitate the delivery
> of
> > a product ... either on the transmitting or receiving end of that
> > delivery) is quite different from the set of challenges that face a
> pure
> > network operator.  And what seems so easy for one may not be so easy
> for
> > the other.
> >
> > Dual stacking network gear is less of a problem than dual stacking
> > hundreds or thousands of servers, special purpose appliances,
> software,
> > etc. of different vendors, ages, and complexity.
> >
> I'm not sure why you assume that network operators don't have hundreds
> or thousands of servers, special purpose appliances, software, etc.
> of different vendors, ages, and complexity.

Huh?  I didn't assume anything.  I simply said that an operation that is
a pure network play is going have a different experience than an
operation that has a lot of other stuff and where network is a smaller
part of the overall picture.  And even that is going to vary from one
organization or even at different locations within an organization.  A
location with older gear might have a more difficult time of it.
> However, other than some very limited exceptions, HE has dual-stacked
> their entire enterprise, not just their backbone. All of our public
> facing
> servers are fully dual-stacked with published AAAA records. Our
> customers can freely run IPv4, IPv6, or both on our managed servers
> and/or their own equipment in our colos. All of our IP connectivity
> clients have access to dual-stack services, and, we actually provide
> economic incentives for customers to do dual-stack rather than IPv4
> only connections to us.

Yes, HE has made considerable investment in v6 and is a tremendous asset
to the community in raising awareness, offering encouragement,
education, and support in getting people to move to v6 and they "eat
their own dog food".  All great attributes.  It is very apparent that HE
"gets it" and has made a major commitment in that area.  Other
organizations are going to see varying amounts of traction. Hearing
things like "we aren't fork lifting all the gear, it isn't like v4 is
going away, that facility isn't growing, we will worry about v6 on our
next buildout" aren't uncommon. I also hear things like "oh, yeah, we
have talked about v6 but don't have a specific plan".

> Migrating from IPv4 to dual stack isn't going to get significantly
> easier
> by procrastinating at this point. It's only going to get more urgent.

Absolutely agree.  Everything anyone builds new at this point should be
v6 capable.  At least one shouldn't, in my opinion, let things get

> Doing something hard on a schedule is hard.

Particularly true if you already run a lean shop and have aggressive
work schedules as it is for managing the operation.  Telling another
department that they are going to need to upgrade the OS (or OSes) on
several hundred machines in order to accommodate what they might not
perceive as a pressing need is going to depend on the level of support
the effort has from the top levels of management.  Other organizations
are going to see the value in getting it done earlier rather than later.
Fundamentally it seems that the extent to which an organization moves on
this will depend on many factors and one that is pretty important is
their current rate of change in relation to their current size.  A large
operation that is cruising along with what they have or is maybe
shrinking might not want to invest a lot of time, effort, money into
changing.  One that is growing quickly will have less of a problem
rolling out v6 in their new facilities and installing it in the older
ones as they quickly outgrow that infrastructure.

> Doing something hard in a rush because you failed to schedule it
> is harder.

Absolutely.  What is driving this is an understanding on my part that
the extent to which organizations adopt v6 is going to vary widely and
so will the reasons for it.  I interface with other organizations on a
daily basis and I see the entire spectrum of v6 readiness and reasons
why it is where it is with those organizations.

When I hear someone say "v6 is ..." followed by something or another it
has to be tempered with the understanding that while they might be
making an absolute statement, that statement is relative to their
situation and that same "truth" isn't going to hold for someone else.

I would join you in encouraging people get things moving.  If you don't
at least have a plan, you need one. Now. Really.  Because an
increasingly large number of customers, peers, and partners are going to
be operating v6 native or at least v6 capable and accommodating v4 is
going to become an increasingly large pain in the hips for them.

> Owen


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