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spacer.gif   Vint Cerf - Spotlight on IPv6 Challenges
Posted by : forum on Friday, October 27, 2006 - 02:15 PM
IPv6 Forum Information

An IPv6 Task Force SC Initiative

Technical questions:

  • What are the challenges IPv6 is facing today in the market?

    Until IPv4 address space is impossible or very hard to obtain, ISPs will not hear much demand from users and this has inhibited the implementation of IPv6 in the service sector. The software vendors have long since introduced the capability into their laptop, PC and server systems and even the router vendors have implemented it. The use of NAT boxes his shielded the user community from demand for IPv4. Actual operational roll out is also potentially inhibited by immature network management software designed for use with IPv6.

  • Does IPv6 need a killer application to achieve accelerated deployment?

    When IPv4 address space is no longer available and NAT doesn't solve the problem, there will be immense pressure to move to IPv6. Applications for which one needs to initiate communication to a well-known (ie registered) destination may also provide some pressure. Oddly enough, "presence" and the use of NAT, STUN and TURN may prove adequate for many of these applications as they have for peer-to-peer services. Eventually, however, even the NAT tricks will prove unequal to the absolute demand for IP addressing. Perhaps the sudden arrival of a billion IPv6-enabled mobiles or set top boxes or video games would have a strong effect on demand for IPv6 services.

  • Do you have any opinion on when we'll see IPv6 uptake globally?

    Yes, I think we will start to see some real pressure around 2008

  • When do you expect IPv4 addresses to become exhausted?, can you foresee other solution than IPv6 for a global Internet?

    This has been a matter of controversy since the early 1990s. Credible estimates now suggest much earlier time frames than before, perhaps as soon as 2010-2012.

  • What are in your opinion the biggest flaws of IPv6? Can they be tackled?

    It does not do mobile IP very well although it does so better than IPv4. This can be easily fixed with a new end-point identifier at higher layers (almost acting as a session identifier) that can be re-bound to changing IP access addresses as a party changes connectivity to the Internet. Obviously, one needs strong authentication to allow such re-binding without the hazard of highjack.

  • What real benefits can IPv6 bring to end-users?

    I continue to believe that end/end interaction without NAT intervention is preferable, from a design and protocol standpoint, than to use the present day NAT structures with their attendant rendezvous requirements.

  • Do you think security will be better with IPv6 than currently with IPv4, or is this a completely independent issue?

    While one could argue that the requirement to enter IPSEC mode is better in IPv6, in fairness, one can insist on this for some IPv4 applications too. Avoiding NAT has some benefits from the security perspective but I would not argue that this is a determining factor in the utility of IPv6.

  • Does IPv6 offer better privacy?

    No, not really.

  • Will applications become easier to deploy?

    To the extent that one does not need such artificial devices as STUN and TURN, the answer is yes.

  • Do you see any major differences in training engineers for IPv6+IPv4?

    Not really. New network management systems are needed that recognize IPv6 addresses and warnings but this is logically equivalent to IPv4.

Political & Business Issues:

  • What are the drivers for IPv6?

    Running out of IPv4 address space and the re-introduction of end/end addressing.

  • Is there a business case for IPv6?

    Yes, especially when IPv4 address space becomes monetized and people try to start trading it for its value.

  • Does IPv6 have to demonstrate an ROI?

    In some absolute sense, everything has to demonstrate ROI but if you run out of address space, it is hard to stay in the ISP business.

  • Can IPv6 be a turning point regarding the global Internet?

    Only in the sense that it permits continued expansion of the network without having to depend on NAT and its limitations.

  • Why is Europe and the US lagging behind? And Is Asia really ahead of them?

    It would appear so - there hasn't been a lack of IPv4 address space in the US and Europe (or NATs have taken care of the need so far).

  • Can China take leadership and become the center of new Internet solutions?

    It may well become a primary locus for IPv6. It seems worth noting that Japan has made remarkable progress in this area but mostly in the academic setting, not in the commercial deployment of IPv6.

  • What's the societal impact?

    Perhaps an improved ability to support inter-device and inter-user communication as the Internet continues to scale.

  • Can IPv6 empower the citizen?

    No more than IPv4.

  • Can the IPv4 address shortage be used as a monopoly resource to control the Internet? Would there be a black market for IPv6?

    I doubt that there would be a black market for IPv6 but one can easily imagine a market for IPv4 address space developing in a few years.

  • Can Europe, and the World - one day - bear with the fact that the public Internet can't grow anymore because the addresses ran out? Can business live and thrive without that growth?

    No, something will have to be done about this because the Internet has become too valuable to allow to stagnate.

  • What's the business impact of not doing IPv6?

    Potentially losing touch with the market.

  • Can government play a role in driving IPv6 deployment?

    Yes, it can start adopting the position that it will not use services from ISPs that don't also offer IPv6. Governments can start using dual stack systems.

  • How would you qualify the support awarded by your government to IPv6 deployment?

    The US military has committed to reaching IPv6 readiness by 2008. Some other parts of the USG are following suit.

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