Light Reading

LR Live: The Real Rationale for IPv6

Carol Wilson
7/15/2011
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NEW YORK -- IPv6 2011 -- Conventional wisdom says IPv6 adoption is being driven by the pace at which the pool of available IPv4 Internet addresses is running dry, but network experts here yesterday offered a more compelling motivation: Keeping the Internet simple, to save innovation.

Keynoter Doug Junkins, CTO of NTT America Inc. , made this case most directly. Innovation, he said, is tied to the expansion of computing power, which rides not only on Moore's Law but on "exponential growth of any-to-any computing and persistent storage."

Any way of addressing the IPv4 numbering problem short of native IPv6 adoption -- network address translation (NAT), in particular -- interferes with the any-to-any connectivity by setting up points in the network through which all traffic must travel. These gateway devices not only become bottlenecks but undermine service providers' ability to tailor services based on geographic locations or user-specific data. (See The Ugly Side of IPv6: Carrier-Grade NAT.)

"We need to maintain simplicity in order to be able to really scale this network," Junkins said. "'Simple' means we can have any device on the network communicate directly with any other device, rather than having to aggregate things into large data centers."

Others throughout the day stressed the value of maintaining the end-to-end connections around which the Internet was first built.

Widespread adoption of IPv6 would restore the "two-way Internet" and enable applications at a massive scale such as machine-to-machine communications, said Latif Ladid, president, IPv6 Forum . He called these potential new apps "the new Internet tornadoes."

"We will be able to do things in a certain way with IPv4, but they are harder to do and require greater expertise," Ladid said. "Those that think NAT is going to survive the new Internet tornadoes are wrong. We will see 10 killer apps that are bigger than the Web," and those will require the massive new address availability of IPv6. The "Web of things," agreed Junkins, will be enabled by IPv6. "It is not revolutionary, but without it, we will stagnate."

There were even concerns raised about creation of a two-tiered Internet: a top tier of users with permanent IP addresses and direct connections, and an underclass sharing a pool of IPv4 addresses and connecting through NAT devices. The extra delay caused by NAT could disturb applications such as video and even VoIP.

"One integrated network system is more stable and secure and offers the opportunity to participate fully in global developments based on Internet technology," said Elise Gerich, vice president of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority of ICANN . Without a seamless technology transition, late adopters in developing regions may not have the same access to applications and technologies as early adopters.

Some NAT will be required to support billions of connected devices that are IPv4-only, said Alain Durand, principal networking architect and software engineering director, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR). But service providers who rely on network-based NAT to preserve their remaining IPv4 addresses risk being perceived as offering "a downgraded IPv4 service," he said.

"Which users do you put behind a NAT?" he asked. "Is it only NAT for new users? Often those are the users that bring you the most revenue. Why would you offer a degraded service to those who bring the most revenue? What if there is a backlash?"

These are all reasons why the IPv6 community continues to urge ISPs and enterprises alike to adopt IPv6 technology in a dual-stack approach, said John Curran, CEO of American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) , the North American distributor of IP addresses.

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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paolo.franzoi
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paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:58:58 PM
re: LR Live: The Real Rationale for IPv6


 


I sure hope people open all their devices to hackers as suggested here.  Will be great for my security business.  NAT has ALSO really created the reality of firewalls.


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Carol Wilson
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Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 4:58:58 PM
re: LR Live: The Real Rationale for IPv6


So we should build carrier-grade NAT into the network for security reasons? Really?


I haven't heard that from anyone else, so please explain.

paolo.franzoi
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paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:58:56 PM
re: LR Live: The Real Rationale for IPv6


Whoa Nellie!


No, re-read what was written.  What he is advocating is device to device connectivity by making sure everyone's devices are directly accessible without NAT.  You and I use NAT extensively today and one of the things it does is create this very narrow pipe of addressing.


What this means is firewall people can try to manage the amount of inbound and outbound connectivity by monitoring ports and applications.  Yes these can be defeated but the old low tech attacks now fail.  In the olden days when people used to have just 1 PC behind a dial-up line and fixed IP addresses, hackers used to ping open ports on PCs directly to get control of them.  One advantage of home (and business) NATing is that this kind of attack went away and were replaced by others.


What I am saying is NAT is staying.  If you allow your open devices to be directly attacked they will be.  People need to build in layers of protection to limit the number of security issues that will happen.


Carrier NAT will exist for an entirely different reason.  Not all companies will have IPv6 addresses at the exact same moment.  Since they will not, there will need to be bridges from IPv4 to IPv6.  You can 1 for 1 map the IPv4 space to the IPv6 space for all I care.  


NAT as in I am building a private IP network in my building and not allowing the entire world to connect to it will still exist.  So this idea of direct device to device access is DOA.


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Carol Wilson
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Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 4:58:56 PM
re: LR Live: The Real Rationale for IPv6


I think you are reading something into this that isn't there. "He" - actually"they" are talking about adopting IPv6 in the network as dual-stack, without using CGN. They aren't talking about eliminating NAT on the premises, per se. That's not at all what this is about.  The any-to-any connection is premises to premises.


I'm well aware of how NAT is used today, but that isn't the topic of discussion here. This is about carriers who deploy CGN at gateway points in the network and route traffic through those points, creating bottlenecks and introducing latency that can be service-affecting.

paolo.franzoi
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paolo.franzoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:58:55 PM
re: LR Live: The Real Rationale for IPv6


"We need to maintain simplicity in order to be able to really scale this network," Junkins said. "'Simple' means we can have any device on the network communicate directly with any other device, rather than having to aggregate things into large data centers."


 


From the article....uh....This exists today in Premise Networks...and I think completely contradicts what you just typed.  This is where I draw my comment from.  The whole point of this article was that there is good business in IPv6 because we can do more things, right?  


As to dual-stacking everything, I think that is great for me since I get to sell a lot of new stuff.  Bad for people who own stuff.


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