[arin-ppml] How hard is it to transition to IPv6?

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Fri Mar 27 17:43:32 EDT 2009

In a message written on Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 05:26:51PM -0400, Scott Helms wrote:
> afford a compliant device?  Cut them off?  Replace the device 
> ourselves?  Globally ~1.4% of active browsing sessions are from systems 
> running Win 2000 and I don't have any problem saying that percentage is 
> much higher in rural markets.  I still have some providers who report 
> significant usage of Win 98.  While there is an unofficial patch out 
> there for Win 2000 (and steering customers to it is a whole new issue) 
> AFAIK there isn't anything for 98.

That decision is years off.

To continue with Google as the example.  www.google.com is now
available via IPv4 and Ipv6.  Even when we run out of IPv4 addresses
your Win 2000 customer will continue to be able to access www.google.com
via IPv4.  It is likely this capability will continue to work for
years, and perhaps decades.

When exhaustion occurs, you will have to turn up NEW customers on
IPv6 only.  Only those new customers will need IPv6 compliant devices
day one, so they can access google over IPv6.  You may also need
to provide some translation technologies, as not all content providers
will be as forward looking as google.

If course, if you have customers leave, or do convince some to
upgrade that will free up some IPv4 resources in your own network
that you can use to take on new customers with non-compliant devices.

With luck, most of your Win 2000 customers will have upgraded for
other reasons before you are faced with the decision of cutting
them off or not.

The trick here is, to take on a new IPv6 customer the ISP's network
must be IPv6 enabled.  You don't need to run off and pester all of
your IPv4 customers; unless they too are an ISP, leave them alone
for now.  You need to make sure your network is enabled, and your
vendors will have new equipment you can sell to new subscribers
when there are no more IPv4 resources.

This is not a flag day.  IPv4 will die very slowly, over a period
of many years.  IPv6 will take over very slowly, over a period of
years.  Runout is likely to be a minor inflection point in the
graph, not a seismic shift.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/
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