North American Network Operators Group

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Re: IPV4 as a Commodity for Profit

  • From: Stephen Sprunk
  • Date: Thu Feb 21 17:55:33 2008

Thus spake "Adrian Chadd" <[email protected]>
As I ranted on #nanog last night; the v6 transition will happen when it
costs more to buy / maintain a v4 infrastructure (IP trading, quadruple
NAT, support overheads, v6 tunnel brokers, etc) then it is to migrate
infrastructure to v6.

If people were sane (!), they'd have a method right now for an
enterprise to migrate 100% native IPv6 and interconnect to the v4
network via translation devices. None of this dual stack crap. It makes
the heads of IT security and technical managers spin.

I agree, to a point. My prediction is that when the handful of mega-ISPs are unable to get the massive quantities of IPv4 addresses they need (a few dozen account for 90% of all consumption in the ARIN region), they'll gradually start converting consumer POPs to 10/8 and reusing the freed blocks for new commercial customers. ISPs without consumer customers to cannibalize addresses from, e.g. hosting shops, will be the main folks needing to buy space on the market.

Unfortunately, it's just not possible today for most edge networks to go v6-only and get to the v4 Internet via NAT-PT. WinXP can't do DNS over v6, and earlier versions (which are still in widespread use) can't do v6 at all. The vast majority of home routers/modems can't do v6 either. They'll need NAT-PT eventually so all of those users stuck on v4 can get to new v6-only sites when they appear. Some may offer native v6 as well for people who don't like ISP NAT, but the main complainers will be the heavy P2P users they don't want in the first place, so where's the motivation?

Enterprises are a different story entirely; most are already on RFC1918 (or unadvertised class B space) behind their own NAT, and adding PT functionality to it is a simple software update that gives them access to external v6-only sites without touching any of their hosts. Once all their hosts can support it, perhaps in 5-10 years, they'll do a flash cut to v6 on the internal side and reconfigure their PT to reach external v4-only sites.

Dual-stack is necessary in the ISP core, definitely, but it's unrealistic at the edge. Most of us living out there went through the hell of running multiple L3 protocols in the 80s and 90s and have no desire to return to it; there's just no ROI for doing it that way vs a simple NAT-PT box.

(ObRant: Want v6 to take off? Just give everyone who has a v4
allocation a v6 allocation already. There's enough space to make
that happen.

I'm philosophically opposed to giving people something they haven't asked for. It's not like it's tough to get IPv6 space; ARIN's rejection rate is something like 2% once you remove the folks that applied for the wrong type.

Also, a response from the ARIN Pres/BoT on a similar topic was that it's not ARIN's job to push IPv6 on people, merely to educate them and serve any resulting requests. Giving an IPv6 block to everyone who has an IPv4 block definitely goes against that philosophy.

Oh wait, that reduces IRR revenues..)

Not at all; at least under the current fee schedule, revenues won't go down until total consumption of IPv4 space is well into a decline, which isn't going to happen for a long time. If that happens by 2020, I'll be pleasantly surprised.


Stephen Sprunk "God does not play dice." --Albert Einstein
CCIE #3723 "God is an inveterate gambler, and He throws the
K5SSS dice at every possible opportunity." --Stephen Hawking