[arin-ppml] Just a reminder of some quick mathematics for IPv4 that shows the long term impossibility of it

Chris Engel cengel at conxeo.com
Fri May 13 13:51:43 EDT 2011

> On May 13, 2011, at 6:30 AM, William Herrin wrote:
> > On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 7:44 PM, Owen DeLong <owen at delong.com>
> wrote:
> >> On May 12, 2011, at 3:46 PM, William Herrin wrote:
> >>> On Thu, May 12, 2011 at 4:23 PM, Ted Mittelstaedt <tedm at ipinc.net>
> wrote:
> >>>> So how exactly do we get the other 4.5 billion people on the Internet
> >>>> using IPv4?
> >>>
> >>> Survey says: NAT.
> >>
> >> That does not put the other 4.5 billion people on the internet.
> >
> > The half billion or so who've joined the Internet behind NATs this
> > past decade seem to think differently. Who am I to disagree with them?
> > Who are you.
> >
> Does a rat who has lived its entire life in a cage realize it is in a cage?
> Just because they haven't actually experienced the internet and have been
> fooled into believing what they have is access to the internet does not
> make the claim any more accurate.
> As I said, they don't have internet access. They have a controlled
> and limited subset of the features that define internet access.
> The internet is a peer-to-peer network where each system has a
> globally unique potentially reachable address and can operate
> as both client and server. Machines behind a NAT have access
> to only a subset of those defining features.
> Owen
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Perhaps, a more salient point is simply that while resources may be relatively inelastic that doesn't mean there isn't some elasticity available in efficient utilization of resources, even if that elasticity comes with some undesirable side effects. The supply of arable land in supporting population and improvements in agriculture and sanitation come to mind as a historical example. NAT and host headers are examples I can think of for IPv4.  I suppose the real question is how much elasticity is left in IPv4 utilization and what are the consequences of efforts to increase it?

Note, that I think the "rat" probably isn't significantly bothered by the cage even if it knows it's there....if all it really cares about doing is updating it's Facebook page and checking what movies are playing at the local cinema. It really depends on what the individual "rat" desires to achieve. The cage may limit it's options, but if none of the options the "rat" cares about happen to be limited by the cage...then it's presence is pretty much inconsequential to that individual "rat".

Note that this isn't an argument particularly for or against NAT (even though I personally find it useful) nor IPv6 adoption. Just pointing out that not everyone necessarly wants to get the exact same things out of their access to the internet.

Christopher Engel
(representing only my own personal views)

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