Factors, actions influencing the possibility/timing of IDR forIPv6-basedrouting domains?

michael.dillon at bt.com michael.dillon at bt.com
Tue May 19 11:48:00 CEST 2009

> Just about all of these folks are hosting on one of the large 
> virtual server farms, run by one of the virtual server 
> companies on the Internet.  None of those people are going to 
> go to their server farm operators and demand the operator add IPv6.
> But, those farms know the same thing Google knows, which is 
> that eventually there's going to be IPv6-only clients out 
> there, and they don't want those clients complaining to their 
> own customers, and their own customers perhaps leaving 
> without even saying anything.

At least two of those "farms" are currently developing an
IPv6 container for IPv4 virtual servers. Basically, you use
XEN on Linux or OpenSolaris, both of which provide virtual
switch and router capabilities. The IPv4 machine's image is
loaded into XEN and the underlying OS provides the various 
translation/proxy services needed to make it work seemlessly
on the IPv6 Internet.

This type of service takes the pain out of moving a content
site to IPv6, and in fact, a hosting provider could just 
insert these translation/proxy services between the servers
and the Internet. But the virtual machine package is important
because when people start to offer this commercially, and
content providers decide to switch hosting providers to take
advantage of this easy migration path, it will pressure the
hosting providers to just bundle IPv6 gateway services into
their standard product offering.

These things will speed the shift to IPv6. It is not like
the early days of the Internet where the competing protocols
like NETBEUI, IPX, DECNET and so on, where fundamentally
incompatible with TCP/IP. Therefore I believe that the 
IPv6 transition will happen quite a bit faster than the
transition to IPv4.

> and the content providers in the US 
> will be the worst about becoming IPv6-only because of their 
> heavy investment in IPv4 infrastructure.

Possibly. But due to the elapsed time, one would think that
they have mostly recouped their investment. Given the global
economic situation, it is likely that the IPv6 transition will
coincide with a general improvement in the economy. At that
time, everyone will be ready to invest again, and IPv6 seems
like a low-hanging fruit scenario, i.e. it does not cost that
much to start using it.

--Michael Dillon

More information about the ipv6-ops mailing list