Common operational misconceptions

David Barak thegameiam at
Fri Feb 17 15:20:37 UTC 2012

>From: Owen DeLong owen at

>Sigh... NAT is a horrible hack that served us all too well in address conservation. Beyond that, it is merely a source of pain.

I understand why you say that - NAT did yeoman's work in address conservation.  However, it also enabled (yes, really) lots of topologies and approaches which are *not* designed upon the end-to-end model.  Some of these approaches have found their way into business proceses.  

An argument you and others have made many times boils down to "but if we never had NAT, think how much better it would be!"  

To this, the response "so what?" is not unreasonable - organizations which have built up processes and products around the non-end-to-end model may or may not see a benefit in changing their ways.  Asserting that there is something wrong with existing, succesful business practices is not, by itself, compelling.  

While you and I may find this type of packet header manipulation distasteful, there's lots of organizations for which it's normal operations.  The more NAT for v6 gets fought, the more folks will fight to preserve it.  Time could be better spent demonstrating why NAT isn't needed in X or Y use case, and providing configuration snippets / assistance for non-NAT-based solutions to those various groups.

David Barak
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