[arin-ppml] IPv4 is depleted today

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at ipinc.net
Fri Aug 29 20:12:57 EDT 2008

> -----Original Message-----
> From: David Farmer [mailto:farmer at umn.edu] 
> Sent: Friday, August 29, 2008 3:22 PM
> To: arin-ppml at arin.net; Ted Mittelstaedt
> Cc: 'David Farmer'
> Subject: RE: [arin-ppml] IPv4 is depleted today
> On 29 Aug 2008 Ted Mittelstaedt wrote:
> > There are a couple of phrases in this post I found most
> > humorous:
> > 
> > "...return our current IPv4 address space it is to valuable 
> > internally...."
> > 
> > "...will be necessary to extend the life of
> >  IPv4 long enough for us to get IPv6 ramped up..."
> Glad to be comic relief for you, but;
> > What our esteemed colleague David is saying is in essence
> > he wants a transfer policy because he has a lot of IPv4
> > and he (understandably) wants to continue to use it.
> > He labels IPv6 not ready, why not?  He already has
> > plenty of IPv4, he doesn't need IPv6.  He has no incentive
> > to deploy IPv6, really.
> Wrong, we have plenty of incentive to deploy IPv6, we been 
> working on it, 

Can you walk into your University Presidents office and
tell him with a straight face that unless they pony up a
quarter million bucks over the next 3 years for IPv6 deployment,
that the college will lose connectivity to the Internet?

That is my point.  Of course you could not.  If you did there
would be an investigation by the beancounters who would find
out that the real answer is "well, maybe we need to do this
but not right at this moment" and the President would say "I
understand where your coming from but there's more important
things to spend money on right now" and that would, as they
say, be that.

THAT is what I am talking about when I say you have no real
incentive.  Not you personally, your organization.  It does not.
Have any real incentive.  And it will not until the rest of
the Internet does, in fact, switch to IPv6

You must have heard of the phrase "Mexican Standoff" I am sure.
Same issue.

> have you?  We just have bigger incentives not to break IPv4, 
> yet, and there 
> are other projects, with higher priorities too. 

So you will do very little until the loss of access to IPv6
makes conversion to IPv6 into the top-dog incentive, more
of an incentive than breaking IPv4, or other projects with
"higher priorities"

This is visionary management?  Aren't you setting the priorities
on your own projects?

> But, we are 
> making deliberate, 
> all be it slow progress, are you?  Four years ago we had IPv6 as an 
> equipment requirement for our new campus network RFP, we have been 
> putting our money where our mouth is for IPv6 for a while.
> But, IPv6 ain't ready for grandma today, with a lot of work 
> it will be by IPv4 
> exhaustion.

And when will this work be done?  It seems the incentive is into putting
work into finding out how to avoid doing the work to switch to IPv6,
rather than actually switching.

Name 5 reasons that have nothing to do with money that you
could not switch to IPv6 right this moment.  I am sure there must
be some.  THOSE are the REAL reasons that are blocking IPv6
deployment.  All other reasons, including the monetary "other
projects are higher priority" are bogus nonsense.

When people talk about IPv6 not being ready, THOSE are the issues
that they should be talking about.  But they don't - mostly, they
talk about how expensive it's going to be to switch everything.
That's making excuses.

In our case the reason is simple - our major upstream promised native
IPv6 this fall, last year.  A few months ago they reniged.  There
will be consequences when their contract comes up at the end
of the year.  And incidentally they are a GSA contractor and so they
obviously are reniging on the US government requirement for IPv6
too.  I cannot understand how this is allowed to be so without
consequences - but thankfully our owner has avoided government
jobs when possible so we do not have, as they might say, an intimate
knowledge of how government suppliers are allowed to get away with
breaking their promises.  Our suppliers aren't.

> > He also won't give his network's IPv4 up to "sell" through 
> a transfer 
> > policy, or course not.  He is just expecting every other 
> legacy holder 
> > out there to sell off their IPv4.
> Wrong, if the University of Minnesota were to stop using it's 
> IPv4 address 
> space we will return it to ARIN, and not sell it.  We have in 
> the past, we 
> returned a C to IANA when we got our original B, and we may return a 
> couple other swamp C's in the future as a matter of 
> principle, but that really 
> won't make any difference to anything.  Nor, would returning 
> all of our 
> address space, it might delay IANA exhaustion by a whole day or two. 
> I'm just trying to recognize that it will be easier and more 
> effective to give 
> people an incentive to return address space, then to only ask 
> them return it, 
> or to try to force them to return it.    

Timing is everything.  Giving back a large swath of IPv6 pre-IPv6
runout matters.  Giving it back soon after runout matters.  Giving
it back years later, when IPv6 is well on it's way, it nothing
more than a photo-op.

> > The situation reminds me when my city, Portland OR, put
> > in Light Rail.  Everyone driving cars in the city strongly 
> supported 
> > light rail.  They all wanted it because the figured that "the OTHER 
> > guy" would stop driving his car, and take light rail, and 
> get the heck 
> > off the freeway so that THEY could drive an uncongested freeway.
> > 
> > Needless to say, the freeway congestion did NOT go away.
> > 
> > I would ask our colleague that if he feels that it would
> > be too much trouble for him to split his legacy block
> > to be able to sell off part of it under a liberalized 
> transfer policy, 
> > doesn't he think that everyone else with a legacy block is going to 
> > feel the same way?  Why is he special?  And if every other legacy 
> > holder feels this way, then where exactly are these IPv4 
> blocks going 
> > to come from that will be sold through a liberalized transfer
> > policy, that will "extend the life of IPv4" as he puts it.
> > 
> > In short, he meticulously explains why a liberalized 
> transfer policy 
> > would do absolutely nothing to help him return his unused 
> IPv4 space 
> > to the free pool, then proceeds to claim that we need a liberalized 
> > transfer policy to enable more IPv4 to be returned to the 
> free pool!!!
> > 
> > I can't think of a more damming example of why a 
> liberalized transfer 
> > policy would be about as useful as teats on a boar.
> You are right, we're not special, a liberalized transfer 
> policy will probably not 
> free up much space.  That was one of my points, that I 
> obviously didn't 
> hammer hard enough.  
> But, it might free up a little, and we're going to need every 
> hair-brained Wile 
> E. Coyote idea we can come up with to get to keep IPv4 going 
> long enough 
> to get everyone on to IPv6.

Correction WE are going to need it, YOU are not.  Because as you
say, you already have enough IPv4 to last you.

> Because unlike Wile E. Coyote, 
> if the Internet 
> falls off the cliff we not going to get up and walk away.

No, what will happen is the moneymen in the various companies
that have billions invested in the Internet will apply wads of
cash to the problem and voila, all IPv6 deployment problems
will vanish.

Right now all they are doing is throwing engineers at the problem
and letting them argue amongst themselves as to the best solutions.
Because, they really don't care right now because there's still
IPv4 available.  They figure once runout actually happens, the
engineers will have finished arguing and then they will start paying
for the deployment.

> I'll put it back on you, are you sure we can get IPv6 fully 
> deployed before 
> IPv4 crashes into the wall, I'm not.  We (UMN) will be there 
> but we've been 
> working on it for a long time.  I don't think everyone will be.

Then, those who truly are unable to deploy it will say goodby
to the Internet and go back to growing vegetables, or mailing
letters via US mail or whatever they were doing before the
Internet came along.  While the rest of the world leaves them

When the horse-drawn carriage came out, a lot of people who were
farmers ended up being blacksmiths, and carriage makers, and
such.  Then when the automobile came out, not every buggy whip
maker made the transition to making cars.  Some kept making
buggy whips until they died - and likely, they were happy
doing it.  They had just opted out of the rat race.

We cannot fundamentally change the Internet to accommodate the
buggy whip makers.  Right now we all are making buggy whips.
But, before most of us retire, we likely will be making cars.

> If we have a transfer policy that might free up a little 
> space, it is not going to 
> save us in the long term, nor will NAT, only IPv6 can do 
> that.  But it could 
> help build a bridge,

No, all it will do is provide incentive to the beancounters
who don't know squat about anything, to NOT spend money for
a while longer.  It's a false hope, a mirage.

> and if IPv4 addresses went for $1000 an 
> address it sure 
> would make a bigger incentive to move to IPv6 and hopefully 
> push IPv6 up 
> the priority list for IT departments everywhere.  So if only 
> for that reason, it 
> might help to have a transfer policy, to give that extra little push.

IT departments who would only take action if this happened are what
we call reactionary.  In the US, unless a business is in a monopoly,
(like Microsoft) being reactionary just pushes you down the whirlpool
of inaction until you go out of business.
> I also think the longer we debate a transfer policy, the more 
> the message 
> that IPv6 is the only true hope get diluted. 

You are right.  We should just kill the transfer policy idea and
be done with it.


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