IPv6 Ignorance

Marco Hogewoning mch-v6ops at xs4all.nl
Sat Oct 6 12:26:34 CEST 2012

> So things are clear, I was just using cost as an example.  We *are* deploying IPv6, but not using slaac for anything yet.  How we get v6 to small customer CPE is still not decided, so we'll have to work that out down the road.  I'm obviously still "just getting my feet wet" but I'm working towards 100% IPv6 availability.

Had some experience with the CPE issue, although we were in the luxury position of being there 4 years ago when there was still some IPv4 and time left to sort things out.

The good news, in contract to popular belief, those CPE don't live forever. Yes some might last for 4 or 5 years, but sooner or later they will puff out the magic blue smoke and it has to be replaced.

In other good news, technology is evolving, also in the home networks. At least in the Dutch market there is still a heavy migration towards digital TV. At the same time the stuff at home is moving forward with TVs and other kit being IP aware. People start to install NAS boxes at home etc. At some point in the near future that guy is going to want another CPE. One that has gigabit ethernet to talk to the STB or one that can act as a media center itself. People by a new laptop and all of a sudden want a faster wifi connection, or maybe they want a second radio in there. Some providers here in NL are already working on building a public wifi network out of the CPE they already installed.

This is were you have to be a smart kid, stop trying to convince people (customers, your boss) who don't understand IP and who can't be bothered wether it is v4, v6 or v12 (the last one goes faster right?) that you need to spent money for just this feature. Find something they do understand, such as "goes faster", "has a new blinking light", "it goes beep" and convince them they must have it.

Once you reach that point, of course you have done your homework. You present them with that fancy new box, all singing and dancing, which can make it possible to deliver this new product. And of course you made sure that wonderful new box also does IPv6, after all it has to be future proof.

People will like the new product, offer them an upgrade path. Makes everybody happy even those who don't understand IPv6.

Now of course you aren't their yet, you still have to figure out how to do your provisioning, IPAM and configure the rest of the network. But at leas there are now IPv6 capable devices going out of the door and it is not even your budget.

Now there is one caveat and that is the big bucket with IPs in the sky is empty. Which means that you might have an immediate problem with your service delivery. Unfortunately there is no way around it, you have to spend money somewhere. What makes all the difference is how you spent it.

A summary of the options:

- See if a bag of money can convince somebody to transfer IPv4 addresses to you
- Take a big bag of money to a router vendor and buy a very big NAT44 box that can handle all your traffic
- Split that bag into two smaller ones: buy IPv6 gear and buy a (smaller) box that can do NAT64 for the time not everything is IPv6

So $boss is stuck between what I would call a rock and a hard place. Probably option 3 has the most potential for ROI in the long run. And the cool thing, neither of these should prevent you from following the strategy I explained. You need IPv6 gear in the end, play it smart and this project can only speed up that process.

Reality check: people, especially residential customers, will not spent money on IPv6. It is not cool, it doesn't give you extra street credit and it does not solve your midlife crisis (buy a small fast car). Make sure you sell something they want, add IPv6 in the background. A new iPhone5, the latest Porsche and there are numerous other examples on how to get people to start using IPv6 without them knowing it.

I've been there, got all the t-shirts and the network now has close to 25k IPv6 users who never knew what hit them. Their Internet just kept working and it will keep on working as they expected. But they all have interactive television to show off to their friends :)

PS: info on IPv6 ready CPE can be found at ipv6actnow.org/cpe

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