misunderstanding scale

Doug Barton dougb at dougbarton.us
Sun Mar 23 03:00:58 UTC 2014

On 03/22/2014 10:16 AM, Nick Hilliard wrote:
> On 22/03/2014 16:29, Doug Barton wrote:
>> It is a mistake to believe that the only reason to add IPv6 to your network
>> is size. Adding IPv6 to your network _now_ is the right decision because at
>> some point in the not-too-distant future it will be the dominant network
>> technology, and you don't want to get left behind.
> not wanting to rain on anyone's parade, but people have been claiming this
> since the days of IPng.

Hyperbole of the past doesn't negate the reality of the future. :)

The IPng folks did a lot of good things, and they made a lot of 
mistakes. For me personally the "not-to-distant future" part of the 
above paragraph is new, I have not (until recently) said to people that 
you'll need IPv6 *soon*, but I have consistently said to people that 
"You will need IPv6 eventually, so the sooner you start planning for it 
and moving forward the better off you'll be."

> Granted, we're a couple of years after IANA runout
> and two RIRs are also in post-runout phase,

Another way to say that would be, "Things have been progressing exactly 
as predicted starting around say, 2005 or so." That's when I first got 
really enthusiastic about the IPv4 scarcity/promote IPv6 issues. Things 
have been playing out basically the way that they were predicted to when 
Tony Hain came to me (when I was IANA manager) with the first draft of 
his IPv4 runout projections.

> but the level of pain
> associated with continued deployment of ipv4-only services is still nowhere
> near the point that ipv6 can be considered a viable alternative.

With respect I think you're ignoring some pretty important facts. Not 
the least of which is the level of pressure that's been taken off of 
IPv4 runout by the large providers (referenced elsewhere in the thread) 
who have already moved to IPv6. I think you're also ignoring the fact 
that at this point unless you can afford to buy substantial address 
space on the darkish-grey market it's basically impossible to launch a 
new Internet enterprise of any real scale on IPv4.

More importantly I'm confused/dismayed by your language, "still nowhere 
near the point that ipv6 can be considered a viable alternative." Even 
though the major content networks already have well-established IPv6 
networks, referring to IPv6 as "an alternative" is thinking about the 
problem in the wrong way. As we all know, phases of technology adoption 
generally follow this model:

All IPv4
	Some IPv6, mostly IPv4
		Roughly half and half
			Mostly IPv6, some IPv4
				All IPv6

We're still in phase 2 now, but the other phases ARE coming. IPv4 
addresses are a finite resource, and as the years go on there will 
simply not be enough to go around. (Arguably we've already passed that 
point, but things like CGN are going to let us slide along for a little 
longer.) So at this point IPv6 is not "an alternative," it's a 
complement to IPv4. "Doing" IPv6 now means that you'll be ready far in 
advance of the point when you no longer have a choice.


More information about the NANOG mailing list