[ppml] Proposed Policy: IPv4 Countdown
Luke S. Crawford
lsc at prgmr.com
Fri Mar 16 15:56:10 EDT 2007
On Fri, 16 Mar 2007, Kevin Kargel wrote:
> First I feel I need to jump in and say we are all underestimating the
> resourcefulness of the internet user. OK, I admit I'm an old fart and
> that when I started in the internet you had to solder your own modem and
> beg or bribe a professor or a scientist for dial-up access at 128 baud.
> At that time there was no IANA, no ARIN, not even any concept like DNS
> but people figured out how to communicate, even if they had to type the
> routing tables in by hand every time they turned the computer on.
I don't think anyone is saying that the Internet is going to go away.
Even if we go to "nat hell" the Internet will still mostly work. We will
find a way, even if it involves duct tape, bondo and bailing wire. The
discussion here is not "how do we keep the Internet from going away?" but
"what do we want the Internet to look like 5 years from now?"
More and more we are moving towards a 2 tier system where 'servers' are
on the real Internet (with routable IPv4 addresses) and 'clients' are on
the nat Internet, where they can make [some] outgoing connections, but
they can not serve content with any degree of reliability. Also I
believe 'nat hell' will prove much more expensive, in the long term
(though cheaper in the short term) than a switch to IPv6, as there is
significant ongoing complexity cost.
Being as I'm positioned to keep (and rent out) [virtual] servers on public
IPv4 space, and as I'm also in a position to get paid to maintain the
expensive and more complex "nat hell" I'm not complaining too loudly
about the way things are going. Long-term, the status quo will likely
make me more money than a simpler, more flat IPv6 Internet. And really,
I think even from a "Internet health" perspective, keeping vulnerable
windows boxes on a 'second class Internet' might be good for all
This IPv6 push, I think, is mostly run by far-sighted individuals that
would prefer the flatter, more egalitarian Internet where everyone has a
publically accessible IP address; where clients can be servers. This is
Internet gives me warm fuzzies, and it allows for simple design of some
interesting distributed applications. I think most of us agree it is
better than 'nat hell' that we are currently headed towards.
As for the proposal at hand, I think a "dead date" without price increases
is a bad idea. If I wanted to spend another $400/month on power, I could
drag the servers in my bedroom down to the datacenter, and sell an entire
/22 worth of 40Mb virtual private servers. My point is that the
temptation to homestead would be overwhelming, even for those of us trying
to be responsible Internet citizens.
a solution that would avoid homesteading could be to set up a parabolic
increase in price. Say, double the price of IPv4 allocations every 6
months. I imagine my provider would start charging me immediately for
my [currently free] ip addresses. Of course, I would pass those costs on
to my customers, and maybe even offer free IPv6 addresses, such that a
customer could get a significant discount by using a IPv6-only VPS. I
imagine those would sell poorly at first, but after a year or two of
price increases, IPv6 with tunnels to the IPv4 world would start to look
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