IPv6 *is* like AMD
Posted Jan 28, 2011 5:12 UTC (Fri) by lutchann
In reply to: IPv6 *is* like AMD
Parent article: LCA: IP address exhaustion and the end of the open net
Transitions (paradigm shifts, in touchy-feely business parlance) happen when the pain associated with the change is outweighed by the advantages of the new way of doing things. The IETF was wrong in its belief that IPv6 had advantages that would motivate a meaningful number of users to change. But, contrary to what many people seem to think, they did put a great deal of effort into trying to minimize the pain of transition.
IPv6's undoing was that vendors took years to get anything implemented in products, so every time the IETF came up with a new transition path, it was three to five years obsolete by the time it was available to end users.
IETF: IPv6 is available for the latest operating systems and can automatically tunnel between end nodes over IPv4 with absolutely no administrative effort or network support!
Internet: Those tunnels won't work through our new firewalls and NATs.
IETF: IPv6 is included in the newest routers and firewalls! You can use 6to4 to create automatic tunnels to your border router, and ISATAP to create automatic tunnels safely within your site! You only have to configure one device to IPv6-enable all your workstations and servers! It takes almost no effort!
Internet: We can't, not until our new IDS and load balancers support IPv6.
IETF: Windows Vista and Linux support Teredo, so you can at least use that to restore end-to-end connectivity with IPv6. There's no configuration or network support necessary, since it automatically tunnels IPv6 over UDP.
Internet: That'd be great, but Teredo doesn't work with any NAT that has a stateful firewall, which is nearly all of them these days. Oh well, there are lots of other IPv4-only NAT traversal techniques now which do work. Skype works great.
IETF: Seriously guys...you'd better start migrating to IPv6 or you'll be in a world of pain when IPv4 is depleted. Most infrastructure has IPv6 support now. We've even standardized shiny new translation mechanisms that allow you to run your network IPv6-only as long as your workstations support it. What's the hold-up?
Internet: Well, the last three times you told us IPv6 was ready and we could turn it on and use it immediately, you were wrong. We're going to hold off on IPv6 until everyone else has worked the bugs out.
After watching this process for more than a decade, I'm a little skeptical when somebody comes along with a great idea for how the IPv6 transition "should have been done"--it invariably involves going back in time and implementing something that couldn't possibly have been foreseen to be necessary at the time it needed to be implemented.
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