Is it time to drop IPv6?

More and more we are learning that

  • IPv6 and IPv4 raise severe coexistence problems which we do not know how to address (particularly in multihoming)
  • IPv6 despite all our efforts is not being taken up
  • the hype and false promises are not helping
  • numbers will run out if nothing is done.

Randy Bush has compared the IPv6 rollout (starting from 1995) with the war in Iraq –  “no transition plan, declared victory before the hard part started, no real long term plan, no realistic estimation of costs, no support for the folk on the front lines [and continual declaration that] victory will be next month” – to which we would add acute embarrassment at the failure, which leads to denial and coverups and all sorts of attempts to wish the problem will go away – rather than admitting failure, and beginning a serious attempt at a remedy.

We now (among others) think its time to learn from the failure and start to examine alternatives. These might include

  • greater use of NATs
  • a controlled market for IPv4 addresses
  • reallocation  of unused or underutilised blocks

All of these can give us more time. Then, we believe, a new protocol will emerge to pave over tcp/ip.  Will it be based on Ethernet addressing?


2 Responses to “Is it time to drop IPv6?”

  1. John Curran Says:

    Doesn’t the first slide, first bullet of Randy’s talk (which you reference) begin:

    “We will transition to IPv6, get over it”

    Interesting that someone who has studied these very real transition issues
    has come to such a different conclusion?


  2. ianp Says:

    Not really surprising John –

    Continuing the Iraq analogy, Randy Bush and George Bush both seem to come to different conclusions to those I do when examining the same facts. In both cases however, unlike the Bushes, I have no actions or organisations to defend.

    Randy’s slides are at

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