North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Creating demand for IPv6

  • From: Joe Abley
  • Date: Wed Oct 03 09:57:34 2007

On 3-Oct-2007, at 0422, Iljitsch van Beijnum wrote:

On 3-okt-2007, at 5:20, William Herrin wrote:

1. End the insanity of having software prefer IPv6 if available (AAAA
records over A records).


I am increasingly of the opinion that the insanity is not in the stub resolver API, but in the decision to deploy dual stack towards end users in the first place.

Deploying both IPv4 and IPv6 towards end systems means increased opex, increased support costs, and often reduced performance for users. As a bonus, it does nothing to reduce IPv4 resource consumption. In the absence of any IPv6-only content, it's hard to see what problem this solves. Perhaps this helps explain the lack of deployment.

However, if there was a reasonable translation mechanism available which allowed IPv6-only end systems to access IPv4-only content, I think the picture would look quite different. Connecting users with IPv6 only might represent a cost saving (since the addresses are easier to acquire, and easier to manage; there's greatly reduced need to engage in protracted justification exercises in order to give someone a block of addresses.)

If the translation mechanism was such that IPv4 content could be consumed, but IPv6 content could be reached more quickly/reliably, then a groundswell in translated IPv6-only end users would provide incentive for content providers to listen on IPv6 as well as IPv4.

The translation mechanism doesn't currently exist (although the document that deprecated NAT-PT suggested that it should be created). Designing a universally-general translation mechanism seems hard, and seems likely to suffer from many of the same problems as IPv4-IPv4 NAT; perhaps as an interim measure, however, for the millions of Internet users for whom the network mainly means 80/tcp, the mechanism doesn't have to be universally-general. Perhaps it just has to be good enough.

Perhaps the assignment of IPv4 addresses to end users could become a premium service available to those who need them, leaving cheaper, IPv6-only service for everybody else.

If there was significant price incentive for users to choose IPv6- only access over IPv4-only or dual stack, perhaps the translation mechanism could be a real, interim measure (as opposed to the kinds of interim measures that hang around smelling bad for 30 years).

Perhaps, perhaps. :-)