IPv6 mistakes, was: Re: Looking for an IPv6 naysayer...

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Fri Feb 11 17:34:48 CST 2011


On Feb 11, 2011, at 1:41 PM, Ricky Beam wrote:

> On Fri, 11 Feb 2011 12:20:59 -0500, George Bonser <gbonser at seven.com> wrote:
>> The thing is that a very few networks account for a very large amount of
>> traffic.
> 
> Traffic has to have two end points.  Just because the content source supports IPv6 does not mean the content request will be.  That's the "millions of eyeballs" (aka sheep.)
> 
> You don't seem to grasp the full picture... There are 4 parts to the equation:
> 1. Content Source
> 2. Transit network(s)
> 3. CPE
> 4. Content Consumer
> 
> Fixing the source (be it Facebook, Youtube, or netflix) is rather simple in concept -- it's just one network, and doesn't require touching millions of devices.  Transit networks are hit-n-miss, but is becoming less of a burden.  The CPE on the other hand is a whole other mess... there are thousands (into millions) that will need firmware upgrades or complete replacement to support IPv6. (That's the cablemodems, dsl modem, Uverse RGs, FiOS ONTs, and linksys's and netgears of the world.) And *then* the device that actually wants the content has to have support. (that'd be you roku, blu-ray player, console, laptop, cellphone, picture frame, etc.)
> 
The CPE is an expected problem that most providers have been doing
some level of planning for.

I'm quite certain it will get solved in one of the following ways:

1.	Provider ships replacement box.
2.	Provider tells customer "As of X date, your current CPE will no longer be
	supported. Go buy one of these:" followed by a list of qualified CPE
	devices.
3.	Provider finds some other way to get CPE to customers.

>> What is the natural "churn" rate for CPE for one of the large MSOs?
> 
> How often MSO's replace CPE gear? "When it breaks" and "when it's no longer compat"  I don't know about your cable company, but TW doesn't replace anything unless it's broken.  I've had the same SB5100 for nearly a decade. (they did replace the SB3100/4100's a few years back, but they were no longer compatible with the network.)
> 
When the provider needs their customers to be IPv6 compatible, then IPv4 gear will be "broken" for all practical purposes in the above sentence.

This will happen much faster than you expect.

> AT&T DSL also doesn't replace CPE's unless they break. (or you buy a new one.)  In bridge mode, any modem will do.  It's when the modem is also the router (which is most cases today) that it will need attention to support IPv6. (in bridge mode, you'll have to fix whatever it's plugged into, but that's the customer's problem... off to Best Buy for an IPv6 capable D-Link.)
> 
See above.

>> What portion of the MSOs have v6 capable CPE in place right now...
> 
> Unknown.  I've not known any MSO to publish those numbers.  Any sane MSO is handing out D3 modems even if they are still running a D2 network, so new connections (or replacements) should be D3.
> 
Yes... All D3 modems are required to be IPv6 ready.

So, any plant where the customers have D3, it's a configuration issue
to provide IPv6 once the rest of the network is ready.

>> you only need about five
> 
> If you're thinking of five major cable operators, they aren't each "one network" but are a group of franchises/markets running more or less independent of each other.
> 
Not so much as you think on the IP side of things.

>> Yes, and I mentioned that.  So once you have >50% of the potential
>> content sources v6 capable and >50% of the potential eyeballs v6
>> capable, you have potentially 25% of internet traffic on v6.  And that
>> can be done with the migration of enough networks to count on your
>> fingers.
> 
> Heh.  No it can't.  You grossly underestimate the work necessary to get the eyeballs v6 capable.  If Comcast has to replace as little as 10% of their modems, that'd be over 1mil.  That's not going to happen overnight. (or even a month.)
> 
No, you grossly underestimate the motivation that will exist to get the
eyeball networks v6 capable.

Comcast has over 20 million subscribers. Their subscribers fall into two
categories:

	1.	Subscribers with their own gear:
			Comcast will probably send them a note that tells them
			it's time to buy new gear with specifications on what to buy.
	2.	Subscribers that pay Comcast a monthly fee to "rent" that gear:
			Comcast will probably swap out their gear. Yes, it may be over
			a $million, but, Comcast collects $millions per month in gear
			rental fees from which that can easily be covered. There will
			be no real problem in terms of the cost here.

On the flip side of the equation, all of them are going to have to start
delivering new services on IPv6 equipment with IPv6 support pretty
soon anyway. As such, bringing the existing customers forward becomes
a cost reduction measure because it's always cheaper to manage a
network were everyone is on a limited set of hardware choices than
a more diverse network. Things that reduce costs are strong
motivation in narrow-margin services like residential broadband.

Owen





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