[arin-ppml] DTV and IPv6

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Thu Jan 29 16:42:28 EST 2009

> But anyone who thinks that this somehow demonstrates that we 
> should laugh in the face of v4 address runout and that 
> running into a brick wall will somehow facilitate a smooth 
> and effective transition, is being irresponsible.

I agree. Good thing that I was not laughing in the face of
anything. In fact, I was pointing out that IPv4 addresses
will runout. There is no sign that the global Internet growth
is slowing down. This means that organizations who depend on
continued growth of their part of the Internet, must act to
deploy IPv6, even if they only do that to recover IPv4 addresses
to use in the parts of their network where they plan to delay

As far as smooth and effective transitions go, we gave up that
option some years ago. The only way that we are going to dig
ourselves out of the IPv4 mess is painfully in the midst of
technical and economic chaos. The die is cast, now we must act.

> What the 
> DTV case really indicates is that such migrations are 
> complex, unpredictable and difficult to manage.
You are preaching to the converted here. Most of us have lots
of experience with migrations and have seen the disruption
and bloodletting up close.

> Anyone who 
> imposes an artificial constraint on that migration, such as 
> not fully utilizing underutilized v4 addresses in the vain 
> hope that this will "force" people to behave the way they 
> want them to behave, is playing a game of chicken. 

IP addressing and routing is designed to waste addresses favour
of structured topology. Vain hope comes from those who want to
fully utilise something that has been designed and deployed to
NOT EVER be fully utilised.

There is a bottom line here, and that is capex and opex. You cannot
get something for nothing. Running a business or a network closer
to the cliff edge costs more in opex to monitor things closely and
act quickly when problems arise. Or you could cut your opex costs 
by investing capex to give your business or network some elbow room.
IPv6 is a capex investment that will pay dividends for many, many 
years. Trying to optimize IPv4 use in some way may also involve
some capex but it also drives up opex costs which will cut your
profits for many, many years.

Look at what the big ISPs are all doing. They aren't sitting around
waiting for the axe to fall. They have all begun the capex investment
in IPv6 tests and trials. They are gearing up and preparing for
thr transition to IPv6 because they are all run by business people
who understand the importance of minimizing downside risk. All the
IPv4 optimization strategies come with a large downside risk and that
is why the folks holding the pursestrings are not going that way.

--Michael Dillon

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