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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    IP Numbers Is IPv6 Necessary? Wise?
    posted by michael on Saturday March 02 2002, @06:22AM

    Reacting to Japanese government policy to encourage rollout of IPv6, two distinguished commentators from Japan, Senior Researcher Nobuo Ikeda and Professor Hajime Yamada, argue that the underlying assumption on which this policy is based - that IPv4 addresses are running out - is actually "very dubious". To top that, they offer novel arguments suggesting that moving to IPv6 might actually be unwise. Their paper is called Is IPv6 Necessary?

    As a first step, the authors take aim at ICANN's estimate that, "We will run out of IP addresses by 2008." Instead, they rely on American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN) statistics showing that only about 1.9 billion IP addresses have been used, leaving about 2.4 billion to go. One source of the flaw in the ICANN report, they argue, is that it counts only addresses remaining to be allocated by ICANN, without taking account of addresses still in stock at the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). They then take up the thorny issue of inequalities in allocation, and make the technically sensible, but politically controversial, suggestion that "So what should have been done before calling for IPv6 is to survey the situation of IP address use, and have users return their unused addresses."

    Assuming returns of unused addresses, they predict that "there would be a sufficient number of addresses to last 11 years even under the unrealistic assumptions made by ICANN, which simply extended the needs during the bubble years. If a more common-sense assumption is adopted, there are sufficient addresses to last for more than 20 years." They admit that "When addresses are altered and segmented, the volume of routing tables grows, lowering the search efficiency" but argue that this is no longer so great a concern due to increasing hardware capacity. [I've heard other views on this subject, although I don't have the technological background to hold one myself.-mf]

    The Japanese government's report also argues for IPv6 on grounds of "improved protection of privacy and security." The authors reply that these, and other asserted gains, are also available in an IPv4 regime. For example IPsec for IPv4.

    Most interesting to me is section 5 of the paper, which argues that there are inherent disadvantages to an IPv6 regime, and that layered networking, DHCP, and even NAT, may have positive virtues we might not wish to lose by changing to a fully end-to-end network numbering scheme.

    Almost as interesting is the argument that IP will be obsolete by the time we run out of addresses, and that therefore the potentially substantial conversion costs (and especially costs of having both IPv4 and IPv6 running concurrently), are just not worth it.

    Food for thought indeed.

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    Is IPv6 Necessary? Wise? | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 4 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Is IPv6 Necessary? Wise?
    by PeterBarron (pebarron@hotmail.com) on Saturday March 02 2002, @06:44AM (#5120)
    User #3240 Info | http://www.icannwatch.org/
    The harsh truth is that they're right. The problem is mostly political, with large class A holders hording the names and implementing nonsensical internal addressing schema.

    While many feel that NAT is the spawn of the devil, it has many advantages over ipv6.

    Just the cost of upgrading, and in most cases replacing equipment alone should dissuade against ipv6 adoption.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Is IPv6 Necessary? Wise?
    by PeterBarron (pebarron@hotmail.com) on Saturday March 02 2002, @10:25AM (#5123)
    User #3240 Info | http://www.icannwatch.org/
    Who is Jim Fleming, and why is he spamming me with my own posts here?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re: Is IPv6 Necessary? Wise?
    by fnord ({groy2k} {at} {yahoo.com}) on Saturday March 02 2002, @11:10AM (#5124)
    User #2810 Info
    I've long written IPv6 in tandem with the sarcastic real soon now for some of the reasons this paper covers. As for IPv6 bringing improved protection of privacy and security if I give my frig a unique identifier and leave it connected to the net 24/7 it wouldn't take long for some h4X0r to curdle my milk. IPv6 has come under attack for decreasing privacy. The IETF's response wasn't very reassuring. End-users would be no more likely to mess with default settings than they would be to change their default DNS.

    It is governments and IP folks who want IPv6, so of course ICANN wants it too. Luckily it faces the chicken and egg problem that almost no-one else wants or needs it. Short of some sort of global legislation requiring its use, IPv6 will reach a critical mass of deployment about the same time as IPv8. -g

    [ Reply to This | Parent ]

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