ARIN-PPML Message

[arin-ppml] Christopher Mettin

On Dec 5, 2009, at 5:06 PM, Michel Py wrote:

> a) "IPv6 is a failure"
>    ...
> Whether a) is acceptable as a mailing list topic is debatable. Time is
> of the essence, and a statement that would have been widely seen as
> politically incorrect a few years ago suddenly becomes an  
> uncomfortable,
> unwanted but nevertheless more prevalent every day reality check.

I agree that it is an important reality check. That said, I think that  
IPv6 has been since 1996 a solution developed in expectation of a  
problem. That problem has been creeping up on us (some networks have  
been having issues with addressing for quite a while, others are  
starting to now, but the generality remains at this point a prediction  
with a date). People generally don't do things that cost them money  
until they see something resembling ROI, and folks on this list and in  
other places have seriously questioned the ROI.

In my opinion, IPv6 will have been demonstrated a failure if (a) the  
IPv4 address space doesn't run out or (b) when it does, IPv6 turns out  
to not be an adequate solution. It will have been an adequate solution  
(perhaps *just* adequate, but adequate) if it gets deployed widely and  
as a result it becomes more straightforward for operators (ISP and  
enterprise) to run their networks. It will have been inadequate if in  
the long run if we see sustained use of complex work-arounds - 6to4,  
Teredo, ISATAP, 6rd, ds-lite, IPv4/IPv6 CGN, IPv4/IPv4 CGN, IPv4 A+P  
hacks, and so on - instead of IPv6 deployment. I personally would  
include LISP in that category, although that could be over-reaching.

I very much support IPv6 native deployment. My reason for supporting  
it is not that I think IPv6 is the greatest possible thing; in fact I  
explicitly and publicly reserved judgement on that for a long time. My  
reason for supporting it is that I think that, of the available  
solutions, in the 3-5 year timeframe it is the least opex/capex  
approach to the issues the industry is facing with addresses. IPv4/ 
IPv4 CGN is something we deploy now in many of the Internet's  
hinterlands; I observe that folks there don't talk about being "on the  
Internet", but talk about the number of hops between them and the  
Internet. The economic growth is where folks can easily deploy new  
applications, and IPv4/IPv4 CGN is a major hurdle to that. The other  
work-arounds I mentioned are useful as temporary steps to IPv6  
deployment, giving folks the ability to deliver services using IPv6  
while transforming their networks at a rate that makes sense to them.  
But it is additional complexity and as a result additional opex/capex.  
The holy grail of minimized opex/capex to be found in relative  
operational simplicity, and that is IMHO to be found in a uniform  
contiguous address space.

I have heard it said that the problem with the weather is that  
everyone complains about it but nobody does anything about it. It  
seems like we are very happy to increase operational complexity and  
complain about the costs, but we go a long way out of our way to avoid  
actually solving the issues. It's time to do a real analysis of the  
costs and pick a strategic direction. In my mind, IPv6 is the only  
approach on the table that has a hope of reducing costs.