V6 still not supported

Matthew Walster matthew at walster.org
Thu Mar 10 16:02:54 UTC 2022

On Thu, 10 Mar 2022 at 15:20, Tom Beecher <beecher at beecher.cc> wrote:

> You appear to run a residential ISP. There are essentially 3 things you
> would have to do to deploy IPv6.
> [...]
Putting aside the 'zero value' idea, if you were to decide to take steps
> today , what are your blockers?

I'm going to turn this on it's head. Why would someone deploy IPv6 today
when they have working IPv4, no CGNAT, and enough addressing to last them
for a while? There are 3 reasons I can see:

1. More IPv4 is expensive. Let's say the price is currently $50 per IPv4
address, but it's not an expendable resource... You could depreciate it
over 4 years and say it's $1/month, but realistically those addresses will
probably increase in value for at least the short-medium term, so it's
really just minor. Especially considering the cost of the CPE etc, which
are generally disposable after a few years.

2. CGNAT is expensive. Well, it can be, but that's mostly because it's
stateful. If MAP-T takes off as well as it seems to be doing, then you can
pretty much rely on stateless transformation, and that will be cheaper and
cheaper as time goes on.

3. Customer demand. The only customers who are demanding it tend to be the
whiny folk who also complain about Android not supporting DHCPv6, or that
they can't pay their bills with some kind of cryptocurrency. They will
always be complaining about something.

IPv6 is technologically superior to IPv4, there's no doubt about that. It
is vastly inferior when it comes to understanding what is going on by your
average sysadmin, network engineer, IT helpdesk person -- it is just far
too complicated. Even the wording is confusing, e.g. router/neighbor
"solicitation/advertisement" instead of "request/reply".

I am not just referencing the longer addresses, the "multiple addresses on
an interface" thing takes a long time to get used to, having ULAs for
internal addressing and then using GUAs (which may change with no notice)
for internet traffic, it just confuses people. Expecting those users who
run a server at home (a NAS or similar) to now rely on SLAAC rather than
static addressing that they might have done before, or even worse
configuring static addressing based on the prefix today and 6-12 months
down the line suddenly finding they can't access the NAS any longer in
their bookmarks, and no idea what to do to talk to it. They're not going to
understand why people use ULAs, or which prefix to use there.

Not to mention that it would be a technical support nightmare to only offer
IPv6-only services to customers, logging into their router or explaining
why their few pieces of software not working may be because of the lack of
IPv4 -- we're going to be stuck with IPv4 in the residential access and
enterprise space for a long time, so there's very little incentive to put
all the effort into IPv6 except for ideological reasons.

IPv6 is a case study in how all too often human factors are not considered
in the design of engineering projects. IPv4 works, and is relatively
inexpensive. Until it isn't, I absolutely understand why an ISP would not
consider IPv6 a priority at all. IPv6 cuts your IPv4 costs, but has costs
of its own.

... and I don't really know how to fix that.

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