[arin-ppml] The non-deployment of IPv6

Ted Mittelstaedt tedm at ipinc.net
Mon Dec 7 16:30:12 EST 2009

Michel Py wrote:
> Fred,
> I am a bit surprised you swallowed that bait; the IPv6 camp should be
> desperate to send people of your caliber feeding controversies from me.
> But I'll bite! I changed the subject; "IPv6 is a failure" is too
> provocative and it is too early to make this determination yet. I hope
> you will agree that the current state of IPv6 is "non-deployment".
>>> Michel Py wrote: "IPv6 is a failure" ..[snip].. and a statement
>>> that would have been widely seen as politically incorrect a few
>>> years ago suddenly becomes an uncomfortable, unwanted but
>>> nevertheless more prevalent every day reality check.
>> Fred Baker wrote:
>> I agree that it is an important reality check. That said, I
>> think that IPv6 has been since 1996 a solution developed in
>> expectation of a problem.
> Unfortunately, only for some parts. This statement is valid for the
> larger address space solving the expected problem of IPv4 shortage (and
> to a lesser extent the problem of very large ISPs being too big for
> and even larger-than-class-A spaces). Some other parts of
> IPv6 are either a solution looking for a problem, an undelivered
> promise, or vendors trying to have it their way despite what the
> consumer base says.
> - Solution looking for a problem: let's look at autoconfiguration:
> first, it's not new to IPv6; we had that with IPX. Second, it addresses
> a problem that ceased to be one for a long time: DHCP is working and is
> available on any $20 cheesy "router". Third, it's not much of a
> solution: if it was, there would be no need for DHCPv6.
> - Undelivered promise: routing table aggregation. If any IPv6
> multihoming solution (except like doing exactly the same as IPv4) was
> working, the RIRs would not have already adopted policies allocating PI
> addresses to non-LIR entities.
> - Vendors trying to have it their way: I understand this is not the
> forum to debate my pet peeves with Cisco, but I will use a recent
> real-world example:
> Two weeks ago, I deployed a new customer network. Small; a handful of
> remote sites. The routing protocol I used (and it was my call to make)
> is EIGRP, because RIP and IGRP sucks and OSPF is too complex for the
> customer. Where's EIGRP for IPv6? Maybe you could hint someone at Cisco
> (evil grin) that instead of IPv6 with OSPFv6, the customers will keep
> running IPv4 with EIGRP? 

OSPF is not too complex, I've used it (on Cisco gear) for networks as 
small as having only 5 routers.  The main use of EIGRP is to lock people 
in to Cisco gear, that's why Cisco pushes it.  And in any case, since
you admitted this is your call, your customer didn't obviously care what
you used as long as it worked.

> Unfortunately, the IPv6 marketing is still using outdated arguments. The
> bottom line is: the only real problem that IPv6 solves today is the
> predicted shortage of IPv4 addresses. Some aspects of IPv6 are indeed
> superior to IPv4, but not worth the increased complexity and cost. And
> we mostly agree (see below) that in the end it's just a matter of big
> bucks.
>> People generally don't do things that cost them money until they see
>> something resembling ROI, and folks on this list and in other places
>> have seriously questioned the ROI.
> With some good reasons.
>> In my opinion, IPv6 will have been demonstrated a failure if (a) the
>> IPv4 address space doesn't run out or (b) when it does, IPv6 turns out
>> to not be an adequate solution. It will have been an adequate solution
>> perhaps *just* adequate, but adequate) if it gets deployed widely and
>> as a result it becomes more straightforward for operators (ISP and
>> enterprise) to run their networks. It will have been inadequate if in
>> the long run if we see sustained use of complex work-arounds - 6to4,
>> Teredo, ISATAP, 6rd, ds-lite, IPv4/IPv6 CGN, IPv4/IPv4 CGN, IPv4 A+P
>> hacks, and so on - instead of IPv6 deployment.
> I agree with what's above. Unfortunately, there are so many workarounds
> already that nobody really believes that they will be quickly eliminated
> should native IPv6 deployment occur. We all have in our respective
> closets a few skeletons of temporary-only-for-3-days-I-swear ugly hacks
> that are still there 5 or 10 years after the fact. In other words: we
> don't even have a clean start, and a large number of unproven hacks does
> not appear any better than double NAT.
>> The holy grail of minimized opex/capex to be found in relative
>> operational simplicity, and that is IMHO to be found in a uniform
>> contiguous address space.
> I agree with that too, but IPv6 brings a whole lot of new complexities,
> one of the major no-nos being multiple addresses per host. Talk about
> operational simplicity. Between two evils none of which is clearly a
> lesser one, people will keep with the one currently in place.
>> In my mind, IPv6 is the only approach on the
>> table that has a hope of reducing costs.
> So far, it seems that not too many new people are believing in this
> hope, and that more of those who used to believe it have become
> disconnected from their previous faith.
> As of being the only solution on the table, it is. Double-NAT is
> temporary-only-for-3-days-I-swear, right?
> I would entertain that IPv4+ (which would be a backwards-compatible IPv4
> with the only difference being an extended address space) would be much
> more popular as a solution if it was on the table.
> Question: how many years after the last IPv4 block gets allocated to the
> RIRs do we wait until we feel it is time to make that call?

It's really not "our" call to make.  I frankly find a level of unreality
in most discussions of IPv6 switchover on this list because so few bring
up the real issue - Microsoft Windows.

I well remember the time period 1993-1996 when most corporate networks
started switching from IPX to TCP/IP.  Windows for Workgroups with it's
TCP/IP add-on support was just like Windows XP with it's IPv6 add-on
support.   Windows 95 is like Vista with IPv6 support with one huge,
gigantic, grand-canyon difference - Win95 was immensely preferable to
WFW 3.11, however Vista is NOT immensely preferable to XP.

Most corporate shops I knew about - and I was working as a corporate
network admin until '98 - fell over themselves in the rush to get rid of
Windows 3.1 and WFW 3.11 and replace it with Windows 95.  Holy baloney,
don't any of you guys remember the old 16-bit NDIS hack?  To support
real-mode NDIS 2 network drivers in Windows 95?  Or the gigantic number 
of drivers for old cruddy hardware that Microsoft stuffed into Win95
just because they were afraid that some fool with their Okidata 95 
dot-matrix-printer might not get it to work under Win95 and go 
badmouthing the new OS to their friend?  I mean, come on!  It was only
14 years ago, not THAT long ago!!

Win95 got a level of acceptance that has almost never been equaled
before or since in the computer industry.  Standards in Win95 - like
TCP/IP - that most people didn't give a rat's ass about in pre-Win95 
days - suddenly occupied front-and-center.  It's no surprise that the
explosion in interest in the Internet dated from that time.

Today, though, Vista bombed hard, and it's too early to see what Win 7
will do - but I frankly don't see a huge reason to switch to it, and
I have both Win XP and Win 7 at home and in the office.  And seriously,
folks, does everyone here understand that Microsoft will be releasing 
security updates and patches to XP Professional until 4/8/2014?  That
is almost 5 years from now.  You can be sure that XP will be a 
significant number of installed seats on the Internet until then, and
as long as it is, IPv6 isn't going to be widely deployed.

As for IPv4+, or whatever alternative you dream up, unless you have MS
buy-in, then you can just forget it.  And MS is backing IPv6


> Michel.
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