IPv6 In Europe

I’m in Brussels for the Global IPv6 Launch on behalf of the TSSG. Yesterday I attended the IPv6 Cluster meeting. I though the following observations as to Barriers for IPv6 deployment most interesting.

  • Bandwidth Costs are higher for VoIP using IPv6
  • End-to-end and hence P2P is seen as been for the use of media ‘pirates’
  • NAT is seen by some as a security tool
  • Infrastructure replacement cycles are such that a lot of operators don’t want the extra expense. They will wait for the next ‘cycle’

The first point is obvious when you think about it, not one I would have though of admittedly. The second and third points are the intrigueing ones.

The original Internet was based on the end-to-end model, now, end-to-end is being touted as being a ‘pirates’ tool. We definitely need to remind people that this is not the case. NAT being a security tool, now that is laughable, try tracing someones machine that is spewing out loads of crap onto your network if they are behind several layers of NAT. It is simply not possible. The point was made that Network Address Filtering (NAF 🙂 ) will still be used but that by getting rid of NAT, we restore the end to end model.

Here are two snippets from Jim Bound, Chairman of the North American IPv6 Task Force

The first one was a response to a question from Tim Chown about how the US DoD has taken to using global addressing in their trials bearing in mind the (private) nature of their networks.

“The soldier on the battlefield who is in harms way is the last mile, It can’t be Private addressing, it has to be end to end, and it sure as hell can’t be NAT.”

And a comment on NAT,
“NAT is a disease on the planet, like alcholism, the industry is in denial and needs help!”

Also, the point was made that NAT is not filtering, filtering is still a requirement and indeed quite sensible. On our own IPv6 network in TSSG we filter incoming IPv6 packets. In short, it was a very interesting meeting.

The Launch event today was less techical, all of the talks were interesting, though I had to leave early with a serious head-ache (not related, I promise).