[arin-ppml] IPv6 Heretic thoughts

Cort Buffington cort at kanren.net
Thu Sep 4 18:36:16 EDT 2008

While I agree that CEOs are generally disinterested, I have  
irrefutable scientific evidence to the contrary:

I am a CEO. I run a non-profit corporation that operates a state-wide  
R&E network consortium. Our backbone network has been in production  
with IPv6 since February 2004. Today, all CPE routers are IPv6's with  
only a couple of very small end-site exceptions. Several members have  
asked us to turn it on to their LANs. This e-mail I'm typing will  
travel to my mail server on an IPv6 socket. The browser that's open to  
google on my desktop right now is open over an IPv6 socket.

Many of you are probably asking whether I take my meds or not. I lived  
through being a lowly technician on a network back in the days when  
management refused to accept that we would really need to stop using  
IPX and AppleTalk in favor of this IP stuff. After all, IPX was  
everywhere. The Internet would most assuredly get IPX support before  
we had to change over to IP to use it -- and if not, we could just run  
through translators. Sure I was working in a shop that was probably  
not the norm and had more strange notions than most, but nonetheless,  
to me, much of this IPv6 discussion sounds very familiar.

I've also worked in commercial two-way radio. I remember when  
frequencies started to become scarce and the FCC started auctioning  
off spectrum to the highest bidder. I talked to the guy (like 10  
minutes ago) I worked for back then. I gave him the choice of running  
out of spectrum and ending up in the auction environment we have  
today, or taking 5 years to replace the majority of his infrastructure  
so that he'd never be unable to get frequencies. Clearly, he'd have  
opted to replace infrastructure. I could make mention of any number of  
limited natural resources here, like oil, but I'm sure you all get my  

So many times, when a resource grows scarce, there is no choice. This  
time we have a choice. The majority seem to think that we'll just keep  
extending IPv4 forever, somehow. Or that some replacement that won't  
require work and a learning curve will come along, somehow. I grant  
you that, the clear majority, may very well be right that IPv6 won't  
be the answer. One day I may have to answer to my board of directors  
about the resources I wasted on IPv6. I really do believe that if IPv6  
is not the answer, it will be because we, as a society, refused to let  
it be the answer. I will remain in the apparent minority that believes  
it is the answer.

If you've actually read this far, thank you for giving me a few  
minutes of your time. I've lurked on this list for some time and said  
very little. I appreciate the opinions and ideas -- even when I don't  
agree with mine.


On Sep 4, 2008, at 12:40 PM, Cliff Bedore wrote:

> There is no CEO in the world sitting around saying "Boy I can't wait  
> to
> get us on IPv6"....

Cort Buffington
Executive Director
The Kansas Research and Education Network
cort at kanren.net
Office: +1-785-856-9800 x301
Mobile: +1-785-865-7206

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