[ppml] IPv6 Killer App (Re: getting converts to V6)

John Curran jcurran at istaff.org
Wed May 23 08:18:09 EDT 2007

At 11:48 PM -0400 5/20/07, Lee Dilkie wrote:
>And all this fits how, you ask? The original email talked of trying to
>get folks converted to IPv6. I pointed out that, contrary to some other
>opinions, it's not the ISPs that need converting (though they certainly
>do, but they will anyway to follow the money) but rather the industry
>(the "internet") needs to create demand to move to IPv6 with some
>as-yet-discovered killer IPv6 application that will make the switch a
>compelling one for the end users.

In general, I try to avoid making public comments due to avoid any
possible confusion with my role as an ARIN board member.  However,
it's probably worth it it in this case, as this is an excellent question
that shouldn't go unanswered.

The ARIN Board has not considered the specific question above, and
hence has no position on it .  Speaking personally, from experience
running a few Internet service providers, I offer the following thoughts:

Right now, it would be very useful for everyone to consider how they can
enable their existing services to be reachable via IPv6 in addition to IPv4.  
This means the web & mail servers for all organizations, and additional
applications for many organizations.

There is no incentive to do this, and it has a real cost.  I will not speculate
on the adoption rate of putting existing services onto IPv6 due to 'market
pressure' because there is no actual market pressure today and I'm all
too well-aware of the uptake rates of initiatives that are purely undertaken
as a "public good".

We should make lots of efforts at reclamation, reuse of existing assigned
space, and use of previously reserved space.  These will extend the time
for transition, and that is a good thing.  However,  the current demand
curve for IPv4 address space is very impressive, and none of these efforts
will prevent the Internet community from entering a period of time where
IPv4 addresses go from being readily available in well-understood blocks
to being available in smaller units, via more esoteric measures, in the
face of ever-increasing need.  Any ISP who claims to have an answer to
how they'll obtain the IPv4 addresses necessary for their new customer
growth in 2011 is either unaware of the situation or they are being
exceedingly optimistic.

If most organizations in the Internet community work start today to make
their own services available via IPv6, then at some point in the near future
IPv6 connectivity will resemble today's Internet service.  Yes, there will be
still be the need for these customers to have access to/from IPv4-only sites,
but it's not hard to imagine how to provide these Internet customers use of
an IPv6/IPv4 gateway to get to/from "legacy" IPv4-only services.

No, it is not a pretty transition.  It is, however, one with understandable
costs and certainty of being able to deliver Internet services to customers. 
That's not a claim that can be made by those who intend to provision
customers via IPv4 and expect to be able to do so indefinitely.

So, the killer app will exist in near future, at least for the ISP community:
The killer application for IPv6 will be the ability to explain to those who like
certainty (e.g. investors, governments) that your business as an Internet
Service Provider still has a viable plan for ongoing operation and growth.


p.s.  Reproduce/distribute as desired, with or w/o attribution.

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