One Year On: IPv4 Exhaust

Owen DeLong owen at
Sun Sep 25 22:41:17 UTC 2016

> On Sep 25, 2016, at 3:58 PM, Radu-Adrian Feurdean <nanog at> wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 25, 2016, at 23:27, Mark Andrews wrote:
>> But it shows that if you turn on IPv6 on the servers you will get
>> IPv6 traffic.  We are no longer is a world where turning on IPv6
>> got you a handful of connections.  There are billions of devices
>> that can talk IPv6 to you today the moment you allow them to.
> I know, but for the "server guys" turning on IPv6 it's pretty low on
> priority list.

Which is a selfish, arrogant, and extremely short-sighted and unenlightened view of self-interest.
(see below)

>> Can all your customers talk IPv6 to you?  No.
>> It the proportion of customers that can talk IPv6 to you increasing? 
>> Yes.
> My customers are eyeballs. Residential ones have dual-stack by default,
> business - some have, some don't and some explicitly refuse (or ask for
> v6 to be disabled).

If you don’t want to face an escalating nightmare for supporting those businesses
in the last category in the future, you should probably be educating them today.
Sure, go ahead and do what they want, but at least make a stab at letting them
know why this might not be such a great idea going forward.

>> Is somewhere between 11-14% worldwide enough for you to invest the
>> time to turn on IPv6 enough?  It should be.
> Since they (the 11-14% worldwide) do have IPv4 anyway, some consider
> it's not worth; at least not yet.

This is a circular argument… The 11-14% still have IPv4 through various increasingly
fragile and unscalable mechanisms mainly to deal with servers that haven’t deployed IPv6 yet.
If all the servers they want to reach had IPv6, it would be relatively easy and highly desirable for
their ISPs to turn off their IPv4 relatively quickly.

OTOH, the server guys (mostly) can’t get to pure IPv6 because of the lagging eyeball networks
that don’t universally deploy IPv6 to all of their customers.

It’s like a perverse form of constructive resonance where each one feeds on the other in an escalating
destructive cycle. Unfortunately, the ones suffering are not the ones causing the problem, so it becomes
another typical example of what is classically known as the “toxic polluter” problem of capitalist economies.

(Absent regulation or morality, dump your toxic waste in such a location as it doesn’t cause you a problem,
without regard to the impact on others is the most cost effective solution to the problem)

> The issue with IPv6 deployment it's not as simple as some people
> suggest. It's not a technical problem either, but it's a big one.

For the vast majority of networks, it’s not a big problem, but it hasn’t achieved adequate visibility as a
business continuity risk, so it continues to plod along and laggards continue to inflict remote damage.

The good news is that as more and more of the larger content and eyeball networks deploy more and
more IPv6, the remaining laggards will rapidly become less and less relevant until it’s no longer worth
holding up progress on the internet just for the sake of keeping them connected. They will become
a series of disconnected IPv4 islands in an IPv6 ocean that passes them by as they sail off into obscurity.


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