[arin-ppml] IPv4 Depletion as an ARIN policy concern

Chris Grundemann cgrundemann at gmail.com
Mon Nov 2 13:31:55 EST 2009

On Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 08:13, Warren Johnson
<warren at wholesaleinternet.com> wrote:
> [wears flame retardant under-roos]
> There is also the very real possibility that we never get to ipv6 and ipv4
> simply becomes a closed system with only 4 billion "chips" into the big game
> (at least until some technology comes along to supercede everything).  In
> the 30's New York City started requiring licenses for taxi's to pick up
> fares.  70 years later, the same amount of licenses existed (they did
> auction some more off in the last few years).  The system simply adjusted to
> that circumstances.  There are other forms of mass transit in that city but
> the very specific need  of point-to-point pickup (if you're standing on a
> street corner) was only doable through  those licensed taxis.

I kind of like that analogy, with one problem.  There is no _legal_
alternative to licensed taxi's in New York City today.

Ignoring the folks who operate illegal taxi services in NYC, let's add
an IPv6 equivalent: the hovercab.  The hovercab has been invented and
NYC has decided that they will issue 1 million hovercab licenses for
free (or close enough to free that it doesn't really matter).

The problem is that you need a ladder or some such to board a
hocvercab, and very few people, businesses, street-corners, etc. are
so equipped today.

If I am one of the folks without a regular taxi license but I want to
run a taxi company, I have options now.  I can purchase a medallion
for $700k+ or I can go get a free hovercab license.  If I take a free
hovercab license, I am left with an unspent $700k (the cabs cost about
the same either way).  Maybe I give out free step-laddders to as many
building owners as I can with that money.  Maybe I just charge WAY
lower fares than regular taxi's do and let my customers buy their own
ladders.  Maybe I find some other, more creative way to push adoption
- develop a new and better (cheaper) way to board the hovercab
perhaps?  The higher the cost of taxi medallions, the more incentive
everyone has to move toward the cheaper/easier-to-get hovercabs.

> As I see it, we can work on policy based on the assumption that we're going
> to get to ipv6, or we can work on policy based on the assumption we're never
> getting there.  How do we go about picking a direction for policy
> development without looking schizophrenic?  Also, does picking the "Dark
> side" (meaning never getting to ipv6) totally devestate the migration and
> make it a complete non-starter?

Getting back to the point of these seemingly endless threads: IPv4
depletion as an ARIN policy concern:

1) Irregardless of IPv6 adoption, we (the ARIN community) need to deal
with IPv4 return, allocation, assignment and transfers in the lead up
to, and especially after, IPv4 free-pool depletion.  I think it is
clear to everyone, no matter their stance on IPv6 or NAT, that there
will be at least some demand for IPv4 after there are no unallocated
prefix' available.

This raises a few questions in my mind:

 a) What are ARIN's responsibilities to the community, specifically?
     - Needs-based distribution?
     - Fair distribution?
     - Minimization of route table growth?
     - Maximization of access for individual end-users?
     - Maximization of access for organizational end-users?
     - Efficient utilization of address space?

b) What are ARIN's responsibilities to the rest of the world?
     - Re-distribution of addresses?
     - Others?
     - Nothing?

c) What is this communities responsibility to ARIN?
     - Should we consider the preservation of ARIN as a policy concern?

If we can develop definitions of and answers to these questions (and
probably many more that I am overlooking) then we will have a strong
base upon which to build policy around the impending depletion of IPv4
resources.  The bottom line is that in almost all combinations of
possible answers, _something_ needs to be done policy-wise.

2) The next thing that should influence policy designed to meet the
needs of this community in the run up to and after depletion is the
possible technical paths forward.  In this regard I think we must
weigh all the possibilities but plan for the most likely.  IPv6 _is_
going to be the next Internet Protocol.  IPv4 will _not_ live on
forever as the primary Internet protocol.  These are facts that we
must consider when writing policy.

I think our best next step (aside from getting off the wholly
irrelevant NAT66 discussion) is to build a list of these questions,
address each of them collectively and then build scenarios based on
the top answers (as I am sure we will not have one agreed upon answer
for all of these questions - likely not even one).  The resulting
framework will allow truly intelligent and relevant policy

If we can agree on the questions, then we can create a thread for each
and maybe start having some much more list-relevant debate.

Or maybe I just drank too much tea this morning...

> -----Original Message-----
> <SNIP!!!!!!>
> If not for #5, IPv6 would have a much easier time getting past the "worthy
> enough to deploy" barrier. There's a moderate risk-cost associated with only
> being able to use IPv4 given the uncertainty surrounding the end of the free
> pool. Weighed against the risk-cost of crashes, malfunctions and security
> breaches due to configuration and software changes to enable IPv6, the costs
> are almost in parity. But the fact that the systems so-enabled will attempt
> IPv6 first and only fall back to IPv4 just kills the whole equation.
> Of course, that pendulum could swing the other way too. When whatever
> happens post-depletion settles out into a routine, the risk-cost of
> continuing with only IPv4 could go way down.
> Regards,
> Bill Herrin
> --
> William D. Herrin ................ herrin at dirtside.com  bill at herrin.us
> 3005 Crane Dr. ...................... Web: <http://bill.herrin.us/> Falls
> Church, VA 22042-3004 _______________________________________________
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