[ppml] NANOG IPv4 Exhaustion BoF

Geoff Huston gih at apnic.net
Fri Mar 7 01:39:10 EST 2008

Tom Vest wrote:
> On Mar 7, 2008, at 12:38 AM, Geoff Huston wrote:
>> You know, I have this suspicion thats what this industry does best, and
>> has perfected this approach with more than a century of practice. Indeed
>> thats what I thought was encompassed in a economic study of this
>> situation where we have managed to get to where we are now by precisely
>> this behaviour of each actor diligently pursuing their (of their
>> shareholders') interests.
> Sometimes that best practice leads to global or near-global collapse.
> It has happened twice in our industries/careers already, with costs that 
> I believe you both know well.
> Sometimes what follows the collapse is better, sometimes it's not that 
> obvious.
> Regardless, many people and companies suffer badly, for a long time if 
> not permanently.
> If you wish to claim that this transition poses no such risks, then I 
> will try very hard to just move on to other points.
> If you acknowledge that risk, however, I think it's worth considering 
> less risky/volatile options.

Tom, as Scott has already requested from you, we haven't seen any other 
options from you yet! Once the unallocated space is exhausted then if 
you still want IPv4 addresses you are going to have get addresses from 
someone who already has them.

Now I must admit that the escalation of events from airplane crashes, to 
ships sinking, to bridges burning to now global collapse is all riveting 
reading, but lets put this into some realistic proportion. Yes, the 
situation the this industry has driven itself into is messy, but I'm 
pretty sure that global collapse is not exactly on the agenda. In such 
situations you hare going to have a number of responses -some will wait 
for as long as possible and try to take a lead from others who they 
think have steered an appropriate course through this. Others will adopt 
a position of early adoption in the hope that it will lead to an 
advantaged position as the progress. And others will fall somewhere in 
between the two. Some of these choices that actors make will play out to 
the benefit of the actors, other will not. Some vendors will produce 
product ahead of market demand, most will not. Thats not new news now or 
in the past. Thats just the way we operate as an industry.

What I would claim is that this transition is just another risk factor 
in an industry that has its fair share already and doubtless will 
continue to have its fair share in the future.


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