[ppml] /48 vs /32 micro allocations

Michael.Dillon at radianz.com Michael.Dillon at radianz.com
Tue Mar 15 08:15:32 EST 2005

>    History is rife with examples (species hunted to extinction, rivers
>    polluted beyond the point at which they would sustain marine life,
>    regional deforestation) where lax stewardship and out-and-out
>    profligate waste came about because of the contemporaneous perception
>    among stakeholders that a particular resource was inexhaustible.
> I fear we are headed the same way with v6.  Those who do not
> understand history are doomed to repeat it.

IPv6 is different.

Like IPv4, IPv6 is an imaginary resource. It is not
real. IPv4 and v6 were created by the human imagination
and if IPv6 addresses ever come close to exhaustion,
a newer IP can be created from the same source to
replace IPv6.

So the real question is not, "Will IPv6 ever run out?".
It is, "Does our policy provide enough early warning
of exhaustion of IPv6 addresses so that a replacement
for IPv6 can be dreamt up and deployed?". I think that
a world in which the RIRs only allocate /32 and shorter
prefixes could easily answer "Yes" to that second question.

If IPv6 can be made to last to the end of the 21st
century, then that is good enought. Perhaps the IANA and
the RIRs should show some sort of runout plan up to the 
year 2100 based on the best current estimates of technology
deployment. We can update such plans every year or so, and
monitor how accurate our initial assumptions were.

This is an area where we should not be making policy without
scenario analysis and actual hard numbers calculated correctly
based on various different sets of initial assumptions. There
is currently too much guesswork and ego that goes into
policy making. In the real world, policies evolve, they
are not engineered in advance to be perfect.

The fact that ARIN, as an organization, is dying, doesn't
really help matters. The Internet continues to grow larger
every year and yet the set of people interested in dealing
with these issues seems to grow smaller. The same gang of
old boys makes the same tired arguments. They may be right,
they may be wrong, but without a real test of those 
arguments in a real broad-based discussion, we'll never
know whose argument is the most correct.

--Michael Dillon

More information about the ARIN-PPML mailing list