[arin-ppml] IPv6 Heretic thoughts

Cort Buffington cort at kanren.net
Thu Sep 4 23:07:23 EDT 2008


You are correct, I am not the typical CEO and you are correct again  
about non-profit. In fact, you really just gave me a nice opening to  
jump through :) And yes, I would agree with many of your comments,  
which I would boil down to something (please forgive a little artistic  
license here) like "we need an easy button to push"... Or at least  
that's how I'd like to interpret some of your original comments,  
because I fear that's what It'll take.

But you all have to look out for the small segment of us IPv6 people.  
Our numbers are growing. The national R&E community is taking this  
very seriously. Yes, I am on Internet2's IPv6 Working Group, which  
makes me a zealot I suppose... But, I'm also seeing an unprecedented  
growth in both interest and adoption. And even folks with huge  
enterprises out there, like Brother Farmer, have been working towards  
it for years already.

So, when a majority of major universities in the US have taken the  
plunge, and the state, regional R&Es are all doing it (many already  
are), and Internet2 is doing it (has for years), and these people are  
connected to major content providers who are doing it (ipv6.google.com  
anyone?), what will be said of it then? Cliff is right in that the  
type of system he describes would be absolutely fantastic to have, and  
probably necessary to move a significant population segment. But I  
submit that it will be a combination of factors the bring IPv6 to  
fruition. There will be the R&E community who by and large DO run dual- 
stack. When enough of us do it to represent a target to the commercial  
world, then perhaps some other technologies for "translation" will be  
available that allow more of the profit-bound world to come on board.

Simply put folks, there will not be a single solution. Be it  
translation, dual-stack, something we've not thought of yet, it will  
take more than one method for this to happen for us all. Perhaps we  
should spend less time viewing the world as a big version of our  
networks -- squabbling about why what worked for someone one work for  
us (me included) -- and begin seeing this transition for what it is: A  
long, multi-faceted change that will have many solutions. Let us  
embrace those who have had the resources to adopt early. Dual-stack  
may be a kludge for many, but if folks like me didn't actually run  
dual-stack networks, we would have no real data about just how kludgey  
it is, only speculation.

In response to the thread from Brother Farmer concerning IPv4  
depletion already being upon us, in his world, with his business  
model, and his networking strategy, it is true. But it isn't true for  
everyone. I know several small ISPs, who will be the last to adopt  
IPv6 and would see folks like Dave Farmer and Cort Buffington as  
raging lunatics. Right now, they're struggling to find the services  
that distinguish them from the AT&Ts and Time Warners of the world,  
IPv6 is the LAST thing on their minds. But someday, the work the rest  
of us do will benefit them as we will most assuredly have made just  
about every major mistake possible trying to implement v6 by then.

Again, I believe that IPv6 is coming. And I believe that it will come  
in due course for each of us at different times and different way.  
Let's focus on getting there together, constructively, as a community  
of leaders and problem solvers. To quote Benjamin Franklin, "We must  
all hand together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

With that, ladies and gentlemen, I will conclude my soap-box for a few  
more months :) Thank you to Brother Dave Farmer and Brother Cliff  
Bedore for providing me context to twist to my own needs.

Thanking you for your time and this venue,

On Sep 4, 2008, at 9:18 PM, Cliff Bedore wrote:

> Cort Buffington wrote:
>> 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.
> OK, there's one CEO who can't wait. :-)
> Not being funny, Can that IPv6 socket reach www.bdb.com?  If so, how?
> Also not trying to pick on you but non-profits tend to have  
> different goals than for-profit entities.
>> 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  point.
>> 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.
> I read it and am impressed that you have gone as far as you have.  I  
> think you will have to admit you are not a typical CEO in a typical  
> for-profit company and are probably in the very small minority of  
> entities who have gone gung ho for IPv6.  As you point out, lots of  
> people bought Beta video players, HD DVD.  Hell I was a big  
> proponent of CPM86/Concurrent CPM/86.  It was a much better system  
> than MSDOS but that didn't make it a success.  And don't get me  
> wrong.  I'm not particularly anti-IPv6 but it's just NOT happening  
> in most of the world.  It doesn't seem like we're going to get a  
> disruptive application for IPv6 so we need another hook to get  
> people to buy in.  The only one I see is to get IPv6 and IPv4  
> talking transparently so we don't need dual stack and people can  
> keep resources that use IPv4 and get to IPv6 as progress and funds  
> allow.  No one wants to go to IPv6 by itself because there is too  
> much IPv4 they couldn't reach.  Dual stack is a kludge(IMO).  We  
> need transparent communication between them and without that, I  
> don't believe IPv6 will take off in my lifetime.
> Cliff
>> Regards,
>> Cort
>> 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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Cort Buffington
Interim 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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