North American Network Operators Group

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Re: The Choice: IPv4 Exhaustion or Transition to IPv6

  • From: Dave Israel
  • Date: Thu Jun 28 14:50:07 2007

Adrian Chadd wrote:

You don't believe the killer app will be "sorry, no more IP addresses?"

I bet it won't. There are too many people willing to patch what we have rather than toss it out and start over. As the IP addresses run ever lower, ISPs will probably patrol usage even more and reclaim IPs. Then router vendors will probably propose new routing schemes that don't require bit boundaries, so allocations can be made outside the powers of two, and ISPs will reclaim more and reallocate it. The routing tables will get bigger, but since memory is getting cheaper, we can work around that, too. IPv4 will probably become more and more of a kludge, but until somebody actually comes up with something IPv6 can do that cannot be backported to IPv4, customers are not going to give a rodent's behind about IPv6. There is a chance that some people will be roped in with "IPv6: It's Shiny and the Japanese Are Doing It," but not enough to make IPv6 a customer-driven initiative. IPv6 will most liekly be deployed and refined outside of the mass market: cell phones, personal nets, educational and research facilities, etc. Providers might slowly start building elaborate proxies to allow IPv4 clients to attach to IPv6 hosts (which will be hysterical: now with IPv6, everybody's a NAT client) as they convert their individual backbones to v4, or perhaps those proxies, like digital TV converter boxes, will live at the endpoints. But any dreams anybody may have of a flag day where IPv4 is turned off and IPv6 turned on are never going to come true unless the industry decides to do it en masse, so that all the customers who will be deeply offended have nowhere else to go.

If you want IPv6, you're seriously going to need to think of how it can happen slowly and with as much of the pain as possible put upon the network engineers, who know what they are working for, and not the end users, who don't care how it works as long as their flash games, lolcatz, and porn keep working.