Just let IPv4 run out. It’s over. Just get on with it.

So, I’m currently at the RIPE 63 meeting in Vienna. Obviously, one of the ongoing hot topics here is IPv4 depletion, at times consisting of discussion on either a) the transition away from IPv4 to IPv6 via various transition mechanisms, and b) how to make the pitiful amount of IPv4 addressing that’s left last as long as possible.

One of the things that is often said about (b) is that it shouldn’t be done to death, IPv4 should just be allowed to run out, we get over it, and deploy IPv6. However (b) behaviour is to be expected when dealing with exhaustion of a finite resource.

There are similarities and parallels to be drawn between IPv4 runout and IPv6 adoption, fossil fuel depletion and movement to alternative energy techologies. The early adopters and the laggards. The hoarders and speculators. The evangelists and the naysayers.

So, for a minute don’t think about oil and gas resources being depleted, that’s way in the future. We’re facing one of the first examples of exhaustion of a finite resource on which businesses and economies depend.

If the IPv4 depletion and IPv6 (slow) adoption situation is a dry run of what might actually happen when something like oil runs out, then we should be worried, because we can’t just rely on carrier grade NAT to save us.

1 thought on “Just let IPv4 run out. It’s over. Just get on with it.”

  1. The major difference between the IPv4 -> IPv6 and Fossil -> Alternative, is that IPv4 -> IPv6 is a net gain of resources and features.

    Fossil -> Alternative is largely an exercise in making power generation as unreliable and expensive as possible.

    Ironically, the green mafia have convinced us all that wind/solar is awesomecakes and governments are (or have been) pouring money into it, whereas no one seems to care about IPv6 at all.

    Perhaps we need to take some PR clues from the livin’-like-it’s-1811 brigade?

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