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There's really no plan for IPv6 migration

I have come to the scary conclusion that there are currently no plans for migrating to IPv6. While most all IG practitioners will agree that IPv6 is the way to go in terms of the development of the Internet.  However, it is obvious that despite the constant discussion within ARIN, APNIC, AFRINIC, LACNIC, RIPE NCC, ITU, IGF and the plethora of other Internet governance forums, there is no definitive plan or obvious timelines for this migration. Service providers are not leading the charge because it is an expensive and wholly disruptive process (moreover, the popular usage of Carrier Grade NAT'ing, Content Delivery Networks and Application Level Gateways are serving as stop gaps). Users are not enthusiastic either, as only 0.3% of Internet endpoints are IPv6 enabled. 

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Comment by Niel Harper on October 13, 2011 at 4:12am
For one, I think that all the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) need to stop working in isolation and agree on a definitive way forward. If the effort is not collaborative on a global scale, then it is doomed to fail. Secondly, we need to stop patching networks with CGNs, CDNs and ALGs, and focus on an open, end-to-end Internet system; one that does not have scarcity as an underlying precept. And finally, RIRs need to just let the IPv4 addresses run out and stop trying to hoard them and prolong the process. The longer the wait, the more diversion will occur across the different RIRs, and then the entire concept of IPv6 transition will be lost. Lobbying for a deadline date is pretty much an exercise in futility. There is little will to make this transition right now because of the economic climate, as well as the cost and complexity for service providers / network operators. And the fact is that the industry needs to take the lead. And right now the industry is driven by market pressures, and these pressure are more about revenue generation and increasing shareholder value, as opposed to delivering 'true' customer benefits. While I do agree that applications such as machine-to-machine communication, pervasive computing and ubiquitous payments demand IPv6 at the core, the industry and manufacturers are pretty much in bed together. I honestly do not have an answer to this quandary. What I do know is that until we begin to migrate in earnest, we are setting the Internet development cause back by at least two decades to the service provider / access dominated situation of the 80's. And this is very much counter to where we are at now, where content is king.
Comment by Michele Marius on October 13, 2011 at 12:58am

Hi Niel,

Although I do agree with you that there is no real plan to migrate to IPv6, the real question is "what can we do, or should be doing, about it?" Should we lobby for a deadline date to switch over to IPv6? 

Ultimately, the switch over is inevitable, especially when technologies such as machine-to-machine communications become more mainstream. But in the meantime, should we be trying to do more?



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