What Should an Engineer Address when 'Selling' IPv6 to Executives?

I would be concerned in strongly spruiking advantages of IPv6 to
executives if an IPv6 dual stack solution is actually being deployed.
(ie. some given IPv6 SS advantages below do not apply to IPv6 DS)

  1. Decreased application complexity:
      Because we will be able to get rid of all that NAT traversal code,
      we get the following benefits:

      I. Improved security
        A. Fewer code paths to test
        B. Lower complexity = less opportunity to introduce flaws
      II. Lower cost
        A. Less developer man hours maintaining (or developing) NAT traversal code
        B. Less QA time spent testing NAT traversal code
        C. No longer need to keep the lab stocked with every NAT implementation ever invented
        D. Fewer calls to support for failures in product's NAT traversal code
  2. Increased transparency:
      Because addressing is now end-to-end transparent, we gain a
      number of benefits:

      I. Improved Security
        A. Harder for attackers to hide in anonymous address space.
        B. Easier to track down spoofing
        C. Simplified log correlation
        D. Easier to identify source/target of attacks
      II. Simplified troubleshooting
        A. No more need to include state table dumps in troubleshooting
        B. tcpdump inside and tcpdump outside contain the same packets.

There are two well documented advantages to IPv6 dual stack:

- responding to customers requesting IPv6 dual stack connectivity
- excellent access to the IPv4 network

IPv6 is a *different* network to IPv4 even if both networks happen to be
carried on the same platforms (thank you Cisco, F5, Juniper etc -
without this, our execs would be seriously baulking at having to replace fairly
modern hardware).

I have also noticed examples given of historic protocol changes. Not all of
these are relevant as some of them only involved "middle" OSI layers, so
do not apply very well to the IPv6->IPv6 transition.

Engineer Karl Pospisek (alias kpospisek@telstra.com)

Dual stack is a (very) temporary solution while waiting for some others to catch
up and deploy IPv6. Contemplating dual-stack as a permanent or long-term
solution ignores the extent to which IPv4 is utterly unsustainable at this point.


Dual stack is a (very) temporary solution while waiting for some others to catch
up and deploy IPv6. Contemplating dual-stack as a permanent or long-term
solution ignores the extent to which IPv4 is utterly unsustainable at this point.

Owen, when do you think IPv4 is going to go away to the point that it will no longer be necessary to carry it? We may be using "long-term" to mean different things, so I'm curious to see what you mean by that.

David Barak
Need Geek Rock? Try The Franchise:

Once IPv6 is sufficiently ubiquitous (rough estimate, but say 900+ of the Alexa 1000 sites have IPv6 and ~95% of eyeball networks), you'll see a rapidly declining desire to pay the increased cost of supporting IPv4.

Combine that with the fact that as the internet continues to try and grow, the longer IPv4 remains relevant, the more cobbled, hacked, layered, NATted it will become. All of these additional heroic measures to keep IPv4 running will have a huge and multiplying cost. The network will be increasingly complex and harder to troubleshoot while also becoming increasingly fragile. The end user experience will be degraded by the additional layering while the service providers costs to provide that service are increasing because of the need to provide additional equipment and man-hours to manage the growing complexity. As the costs of supporting IPv4 go up, ISPs will have no choice but to pass that cost along to customers.

Eventually, some IPv6 ready customers will not want to continue subsidizing the IPv4 costs and will insist that the cost increases related to IPv4 be billed to the IPv4 customers. Once IPv4 becomes a separate and increasing charge on people's internet bills, the economics will further drive the transition away from IPv4.

Will we have isolated pockets of IPv4 within organizations for years to come? Sure.

How long will IPv4 remain the lingua franca of the internet? I'm pretty sure that will be less than a decade and likely ~5 years at this point.


While that is surely true, it's not on a trajectory to happen this
year. Or next year. Or the year after that. Call dual-stack an
"intermediate" solution. Treat is as "temporary" or "very temporary"
at your peril.

Bill Herrin

Will dual stack cease to be before we all cease to be? Barring
an immortality breakthrough, I'll bet on me first.


That really depends on how you view the trajectory.

If you treat it as linear, you're absolutely right. OTOH, if you curve fit it,
it depends on which curve-fitting algorithm you use, but it still looks like
you might be right.

If you look at industry trends, however, it's been growth spurts due to
events that have created most of the growth. I suspect that most of the
Alexa 1,000 will be doing something around IPv6 in the next 2 years
and that anyone not doing IPv6 in 3 years will have a real hard time
staying in the top 1000.