[arin-ppml] Encouraging IPv6 Transition (was: Clarify /29 assignment identification requirement)

Tom Vest tvest at eyeconomics.com
Sat May 12 21:42:59 EDT 2012

On May 12, 2012, at 12:06 PM, Owen DeLong wrote:

>>> - Actively promote the establishment and maintenance of 6to4 gateways by
>>> all present IPv4 allocation holders above a sensibly arbitrary size,
>> 6to4 gateways are not necessarily an advisable migration strategy.
>> 4to4 / CGN has significant advantages.
> 6to4 gateways aren't so much a migration strategy as a way to connect IPv6 islands across an IPv4 ocean.
> 4to4/CGN offer an alleged solution to a completely different problem -- How to multiplex more IPv4 connections onto a single IPv4 address. (Also not a migration strategy, but instead a strategy for attempting to avoid migration.) Frankly, anyone who has looked at the details of CGN and truly considered the problems of CGN would prefer to do native IPv6 with CGN providing only the minimal amount of connectivity to unfortunate IPv4 only end-points and would be actively seeking to encourage popular IPv4 only end-points to add IPv6 capabilities as quickly as possible.
> The alternatives which could be called a migration strategy are NAT64/DNS64 which provides a mechanism for an IPv6-only host to make an IPv6 connection to a proxy host which "NATs" that connection (it's really more like a  proxy) to an IPv4 connection to the true destination and DS-LITE which tunnels IPv4 private addresses over the providers IPv6 network to a CGN NAT44 box.
> All of these so-called solutions have tradeoffs and the only one which does not provide a degraded user experience is dual-stacked content providers during the transition period with the eventual goal of native IPv6 everywhere.
>>> - Actually bother to pronounce an IPv4 deprecation date.  Only some weak
>> It would be inappropriate at this time for ARIN to announce a
>> deprecation date for
>> IPv4 or IPv4 addressing.   It's not a RIR's place to do that;
>> it's  IETF's.
> Good luck getting the IETF to come to consensus on that one.
>> If ARIN were to decide they wanted to get out of IPv4 addressing prematurely,
>> it would be time at that point for them to be replaced as RIR for IPv4.
> Agreed.
>>> Indeed.  I'd revisit his suggestions.  A market, when left to its
>>> devices, solves these problems with remarkable speed and little
>> [snip]
>> It's amazing that despite the enormous amount of evidence to the contrary,
>> people keep regurgitating the totally unfounded myth that markets
>> provide the good
>> solution to all   problems.
> +1
>> If this were true,   TCP/IP  would    not be deployed very much,
>> because it would
>> never have caught on;  the market would have recognized this problem,
>> and prevented
>> TCP/IP from succeeding.    Instead most networks would be using the
>> best closed proprietary (and therefore most lucrative) replacement for
>> TCP/IP that the market  had  brought us,  which would have no  IP
>> address resource exhaustion problem from the beginning.
> Here, I think you drive off the rails a bit. Open Source can be the most
> efficient and most lucrative solution to a problem and a market can and
> has recognized that efficiency many times (Linux, Apache, SSH).
> Just because markets are often wrong (X11, Motif, Windows, Enron,
> Tulips, Housing) does not mean that they always are.

Hi Owen, 

Though I am in wholehearted agreement with both of your general points (about markets and open source), as well as with your your specific (counter)examples, I think that it is worth contemplating whether TCP/IP might never had achieved critical mass in the absence of the unique distribution mechanisms and principles that were ultimately, roughly codified in RFC2050 and institutionalized in the form of the "RIR system." My own interpretation of the historical record suggests that the interests who favored different, proprietary routing and addressing technologies (including both the proprietors themselves as well as the established telecom SSOs where their views went unchallenged), and who at that time embraced TCP/IP as, at best, an optional inter-networking feature that could be superficially bolted onto their own proprietary networking platforms, were still dominant almost everywhere except the United States at the time when the first RIRs appeared in Europe and Asia. I believe that the limited geographic devolution of the critical protocol resource distribution and policy-making authority that began with the establishment of RIPE NCC substantially reduced both the number and severity/cost of barriers to establishing and expanding a TCP/IP-based network -- rather than, say, a DECnet, SNA, or some other proprietary network -- and that those relative advantages played no small role in determining TCP/IP's subsequent path to absolute global market dominance.

Conceivably, one could argue that TCP/IP would eventually have achieved that same dominant status by some other path -- e.g., if the inherent superiority of TCP/IP protocols, or the growing market power of US-based, TCP/IP-favoring hardware manufacturers and/or network services providers would have eventually proven irresistible even in a world in which TCP/IP was just a parochial US-only standard -- despite the fact that prospective TCP/IP adoptees would have understood that choosing TCP/IP would make them perpetually dependent on some US-based entity -- either a USG contractee, or more likely GE, Halliburton, or one of the other early private entities who obtained classful IPv4 before its c. 1994-1995 exhaustion. Or perhaps HP, Dell, IBM, et al. and the telco-era SSOs would have eventually embraced "open access" approaches toward inter/networking protocol resources than were similar to or even stronger than the "needs based" practices pioneered by RIR system participants -- or barring that, maybe a whole new generation of open source-favoring hardware manufacturers would have inevitably sprung up somewhere, and inevitably competed all of the dominant, closed-network/protocol-favoring manufacturers and service providers into submission, or bankruptcy...

Anything's possible I guess, but speaking as someone who was born in the 20th century, and who has benefited a great deal from the existence of a working Internet during my lifetime, I'm very glad that we didn't have to wait to find out whether one of those other highly improbable sequences would have eventually panned out.



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