IPv6 Burgers (was: IPv6 Ignorance)

William Herrin bill at herrin.us
Thu Sep 20 20:29:22 UTC 2012

On Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 1:48 PM, Richard Brown
<richard.e.brown at dartware.com> wrote:
> Another measure of the size of the IPv6 address space... Back on World IPv6 Day in June 2011, Dartware had a barbecue. (Why? Because the burgers had 128 (bacon) bits and we served IP(A) to drink :-) You can see some photos at: http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/scenes-ipv6-day-barbecue
> But we came up with another interesting measure for the vastness of the IPv6 address space:
> If an IPv4 hamburger patty has 2^32 (4.2 billion) unique addresses in its 1/4 inch thickness, how thick would an IPv6 hamburger be (with 2^128 unique addresses)?
> The answer is... 53 billion light-years.


If a teeny dot of gristle at the edge of the patty is an IPv4 /28 LAN
and the same LAN is /64 in IPv6, how big is IPv6 now?

The 1/4 inch patty holds all the IPv4 LANs whose IPv4 capacity I'm
calling 2^28. IPv6's in principle has 2^64 LANs, so an increase of
2^36 LANs. Patty was 1/4 inch, so our IPv6 patty is 2^32 inches or
about 10 billionths of a lightyear. 68,000 miles, a little over a
quarter of the distance to the moon.

That's a big burger. But not so big as you thought. By 17 orders of magnitude.

In point of fact, a mere 150,000 people put together will eat all that
beef in their lifetimes. But for the distribution problem, the world
population could chew through it in half a day.

Worse, that's if we were managing IPv6 delegations the way we manage
IPv4 delegations. We're not. We're using sparse allocation. And 6RD.
And default customer allocations of 65,000 LANs. And other interesting
stuff that drastically increases the consumption characteristics.

Nice burger. Om nom nom nom.

Bill Herrin

William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/>
Falls Church, VA 22042-3004

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