BOOTP & ARP history

James R Cutler james.cutler at
Sat Mar 19 20:44:39 UTC 2022

> On Mar 19, 2022, at 2:49 PM, Michael Thomas <mike at> wrote:
> IPv6 in comparison was very familiar ground. To me it seemed that it was ipv4 with bigger addresses and that was about it. But I've never understood all of the strum und drang about ipv6.

As one tightly involved in multiprotocol networking in the '90s, I viewed with interest the evolution of IPv6. Nothing about IPv6 changed fundamental physical network design principals, except to remove IPv4 limits on the number of subnetworks. Oh, and the removal of coordinated RFC1918 addressing between members of the ever active merger and acquisition world. Life became much rosier. One could concievably deploy a plant floor with a million IPv6 globally unique device address without kludges required by IPv4.

I never ran into Sturm und Drang about IPv6 itself, only about the required investment in people and hardware, which I considered a short term bump with a long term payoff.

That, I discovered, was the true barrier to IPv6 planning and deployment — middle management, especial account managers. The basic argument was “The customer must first ask for it and sign a contract, then we will prepare for it.” Too much “not in my cost center” mentality crippled the ability of network implementers to even deploy IPv6 for demonstration purposes, as well as for learning. The idea that “my investment” might also benefit others, even in my own company was anathema. I have never become short sighted enough to endorse such idiocy.

As one experience with ‘joys’ of end to end connections between NATted networks with overlapping RFC1918 space, The advent of CGNAT and various pipe dreams (mostly in the US) of extending IPv4 address space offends my business sense and technical sense for wasting time, materials, and money.

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