by Alex Lightman, Publisher
Welcome to the first
issue of 6Sense, the official newsletter of IPv6 Summit, Inc.,
providing an exchange of perspectives related to Internet
Protocol version 6 and the future of the Internet from people,
companies, and governments helping to make the upcoming North
American IPv6 Summit 2004 a success. Hundreds of people
contribute time, talent, and treasure to build the community
making the next generation Internet ever better, and 6Sense
aims weave more threads of mutual consideration and occasionally
offer a surprising insight on the historical evolution of
the "v6-friendly" society.
In this issue Ben
Mendelson, president of the Interactive Television Alliance,
tells us how advertisers can benefit from adopting a standard
like IPv6. TV advertising is about $200 billion annually in
the US alone, and greater targeting and convergence with the
Internet could have big payoffs. We also have contributions
from IBM, Cisco, Spirent,
and Hewlett-Packard, each of which has been
a consistent supporter of IPv6 community building efforts
in the US, including Moonv6, which, along with Internet2's
IPv6 implementation, sets the pace for IPv6 deployments in
the United States among dozens of different companies and
government agencies. You'll also read why your participation
and sponsorship has an impact greater than you might imagine
on American and global Internet leadership.
We are grateful to
our contributors for letting us share their thoughts. If you
are an attendee or a sponsor of the North American IPv6 Summit
2004 in Santa Monica and would like to submit an article for
consideration, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
for submission details.
IPv6 are high: it is perceived as the protocol of the next
generation Internet, replacing today's legacy IPv4-based networks.
IPv6 deploys a new data plane to fix various addressing and
efficiency problems with IPv4, and a new routing control plane
to effectively make use of the new addresses. The impact of
the new data and control planes on today's networks is significant.
Failures or interruption are unacceptable in mission critical
networking environments. Network operators and service providers
are facing tough questions - when and how to migrate to IPv6?
To answer these questions with certainty, they need assurance
that in their particular networks, IPv6 will provide:
- Rapid expansion
needed for more users and devices.
- Smooth transition
and coexistence with IPv4.
- Robust network
- Deliverable Quality
- Improved network
manufacturers (NEMs) face the challenge of building routers
to support both IPv6 and IPv4 networks, with two sets of control
and data planes. This can add significant resource requirements
to routers supporting dual stacks, impacting router performance
and scalability. Additional transition mechanisms like tunneling
and application/address translation add complexity to router
For end users, IPv6 improves productivity by enabling network
connectivity via a wider range of media and delivery mechanisms.
But for general acceptance, the new IPv6 networks must demonstrate
responsiveness at least equal to that of IPv4. In addition,
while several end user environments and applications like
Windows XP, Linux, and sendmail support IPv6 today, more applications
are needed to enhance IPv6's overall acceptance.
Testing to ensure interoperability
Network operators and service providers need to understand
how well new IPv6 equipment will behave in multi-vendor environments.
Most of the roadblocks to initial IPv6 deployment involve
interoperability among different vendor equipment as well
as between IPv6 and IPv4 systems. The need for test tools
to identify and isolate problems prior to deployment is too
critical for operators to ignore. For NEMs, providing interoperable
products is a key element to success with the introduction
of any new technology. The fear of incompatibility problems
between legacy IPv4 infrastructure and multiple vendors' IPv6
systems can only be dealt with via a thorough test methodology
to ensure interoperability.
IPv6 is defined by over 60 IETF RFCs. The implementation of
very large and complex RFCs is prone to misunderstanding and
misinterpretation. Conformance testing, with a comprehensive
and rigorous test methodology, increases product quality and
customer confidence. Conformance testing also saves time and
money, by allowing vendors to verify a product's design throughout
the entire product life cycle. Problems can be identified
earlier in development, reducing costly last-minute rework
and post-deployment problems.
Testing to characterize performance bottlenecks
Once the IPv6 network is up and running, the next major concern
is how well it will perform. IPv6 introduces new control and
data planes, along with transitional technologies like tunneling
and dual-stack support. A precise understanding of performance
inefficiencies and limitations is essential for networks planners
and operators in designing their networks. NEMs are always
under pressure to deliver more performance and scalability
per dollar from their equipment. Both NEMs and network operators
can benefit from a test methodology that can characterize
data plane performance, including such metrics as:
- Packet loss.
and control plane
performance such as:
- Size of forwarding
- Routing scalability.
- Route convergence.
- Routing stability.
Initial IPv6 development
will focus primarily on the software level, to prove functionality.
As the technology matures enough to mainstream deployment,
implementation will move down to the hardware level for the
ultimate level of performance. The new IPv6 routing protocols
- like OSPFv3, RIPng, ISISv6 and MBGP+ - will need to process
larger addresses and routes to achieve scalability similar
to that of existing IPv4 networks. NEMs, service providers,
and network operators must properly characterize scalability
in order to understand the impact of the new IPv6 design and
to prevent bottlenecks. Tunneling will be a key technology
to interconnect IPv6 islands during the early stage of IPv6
deployment. The scalability and performance of a tunneling
mechanism depends on the number of tunnels a device can handle;
this metric must be monitored and measured.
To characterize the performance bottlenecks of a new IPv6
design properly requires a test bed that can overrun the performance
and scalability limitations of a device or system under test.
Creating such a test bed from hundreds of routers or switches
is prohibitively expensive and difficult to manage. NEMs and
service providers need test tools that can simulate real-world
network conditions affordably and manageably. To stress test
both the control and data planes adequately, the test tool
is required to emulate hundreds of routers and also generate
Seminar - Discuss and learn network security issues over
Join Ixia Technologists
in an interactive hands-on seminar focused on Real World
Security Testing. This is a great opportunity to discuss
and learn network security issues over IPv6.
May 4 - 27, 2004
Real World Security Testing: IP Networks
to a city near you!
Los Alamos, NM
Sandia Nat'l Lab, NM
Tyson's Corner, VA
Fort Huachuca, AZ
Los Angeles, CA
San Diego, CA
The cart before the horse
by Ben Mendelson
Sometimes, the cart
leading the horse is not such a bad idea. The world of IPv6
is one of these exceptions. For those of you who don't know,
IPv6 stands for Internet Protocol version 6, which is attempting
to become the standard for identifying everything. Everything
from computers to cell phones. From refrigerators to watches.
From MP3 players to MP3 files. From digital televisions to
digitally delivered television programming. You can see where
this can impact device manufacturers, content creators, distribution
services, and the whole advertising industry. If you are reading
this, it will affect you.
Yet many large companies are unaware that the Internet is
running out of numbers. And the very real problem this creates.
The triple triplet system (i.e.: ###.###.###) was never intended
to involve much more than individual computers and websites.
As we start connecting cars, PDAs, and radios to the Internet--
the need for IP numbers greatly increases. When you add to
that - all digitally delivered content, the need grows exponentially.
We must address this issue BEFORE the cell phone industry
replaces all older generation handsets. And all analog TVs
are replaced by digital.
Normally, individual companies develop their products and
THEN realize the need to standardize. We need to reverse the
process. Creating and implementing the standard first, will
spur development of new products and services. New hardware
will be able to talk to each other. Newly developed content
will be able to work on all devices. Expensive incompatibilities
will become greatly reduced.
IPv6 also simplifies digital content. In the world of Interactive
Television, advertisements will be targeted only to viewers
who want or need them. There is already a system called Ad-ID
that is being adopted by advertisers for this purpose. But
for Ad-ID to work across different platforms and devices,
it will need the additional information that can be carried
by IPv6. This will allow diaper commercials targeted only
to new mothers. And special offers for a new golf club that
is automatically delivered to a willing weekend enthusiast.
Right now, IPv6 has a small but growing following in the EU.
There are already consortiums combining public and commercial
interests. North America is considerably behind. Associations
representing consumer electronics, information technology,
media, and advertising need to actively embrace IPv6 and educate
their constituent groups. And the larger companies need to
get involved and support the local IPv6 organizations.
There is a real opportunity to turn an impending negative
situation into a conduit for innovation. Just this time ...
consider the cart before the horse.
invested in IPv6
"HP has invested
in IPv6 and we believe it is a required, core enabling technology
for next-generation networks," said Shane Robison, chief
technology officer, HP. "We are glad to be a part of
this effort and fully support the DoD's initiative. We are
committed to IPv6 at all levels of our organization."
Please see www.hp.com/network/ipv6
for additional HP information.
Builds World-Class Research and Education Network Using Cisco
A High-speed 20
gigabit-per-second broadband network, TWAREN links Taiwan
with global research networks and facilitates international
TAIPEI, Taiwan -
March 23 - Taiwan's National Center for High-performance Computing
(NCHC), a research institute under the National Applied Research
Laboratories, is deploying the latest Cisco Systems® routing
and optical technology to build a world-class advanced network
to support advanced research programs in Taiwan.
A new IP+Optical
network capable of transmitting 20 gigabit-per-second (Gbps)
at its core, Taiwan Advanced Research and Education Network
(TWAREN) will initially provide services to some 60 universities,
colleges, research institutions and national research centers
throughout the island.
TWAREN will support
services such as Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), multicasting,
network security, video, voice and integrated multimedia applications,
which further facilitates cross border research and education
activities. TWAREN consists of three tiers - production network,
research network and optical network. The production network,
which began operation in March 2004, is a dual circuit for
its backbone and links to four core nodes. It supports multi-services,
such as IPv6, MPLS, multicasting, network security, voice-over
IP and integrated multimedia applications.
international collaborative research, TWAREN enables Taiwan
to transcend geographical boundaries and explore new possibilities
in R&D, global collaboration and learning, discoveries
and innovation," commented Juang Zhe Nan (Joe Juang),
director, National Science Council's NCHC. "I am confident
that we have made the right choice on Cisco's well-proven
IP & optical networking technology, and look forward to
enjoying the ultra-high performance and reliability the company's
products offer in this demanding field."
The Cisco® solutions
include the Cisco ONS 15600 Multiservice Switching Platform
(MSSP) and Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform
(MSTP). Both provide intelligent dense wavelength-division
multiplexing (DWDM) technology and enhanced SDH capabilities.
The products connect the 20-Gbps backbone with the four core
network nodes and 11 GigaPOPs. The core nodes and the GigaPOPs
are powered by the Cisco 7600 Series and 12000 Series routers
that deliver high performance.
"When the project
completes, Taiwan will be equipped with a world class network
that is on a par with those in the US and other top networked
nations," said Jayshree Ullal, senior vice president
for Cisco's Optical Technology Group. "The Cisco solution
offers Taiwan a converged next-generation network with a high
level of capacity and flexibility to support research and
direct peering with other advanced international networks."
Larry Chai, general
manager of Cisco Systems Taiwan, remarked, "The National
Science Council is obtaining a world-class IP and optical
research and education network that will contribute fundamentally
to Taiwan's research innovation and economic growth. We are
very pleased to be part of this exciting project, and believe
that the new network will further strengthen Taiwan's research
capabilities and lay a solid foundation for the country's
future in many areas of scientific and technology research."
TWAREN is under thorough
testing currently, and will be expected to be operational
by March 2004. When completed, Taiwan's domestic bandwidth
will increase forty fold, which is comparable to the United
States and other highly networked nations.
The National Center of High-performance Computing (NCHC) is
a national laboratory founded under the auspices of the National
Science Council in 1991. With a mandate initially to establish
a sole, centralized facility for computational resources,
the NCHC has undergone rapid expansions. A branch office in
southern Taiwan was established in mid 2002. The NCHC became
a non-profit organization in 2003.
TWAREN, or Taiwan Advanced Research & Education Network,
is a project under the six-year national development plan.
The major goals of TWAREN are:
- To build a national,
ultra-high-speed, high bandwidth, high reliability backbone
- To serve as the
top-level network under which all other non-commercial networks
- To serve as the
infrastructure that enables new possibilities in research
and development, global collaboration, discoveries and innovation,
- To serve as an
exchange point in Southeast Asia for research and education
networks in the region
- Serve as part
of the mechanisms to train manpower, create jobs, spur economic
growth and strengthen competitiveness
About Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems, Inc (NASDAQ: CSCO; SEHK: CISCO - T, 4333) is
the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Cisco
news and information are available at www.cisco.com.
Asia-Pacific news and information are available at http://www.cisco.com/asiapac/news/
Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco, Cisco Systems,
and the Cisco Systems logo are registered trademarks or trademarks
of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United
States and certain other countries.
Vision for IPv6
in the era of e-business on demand
The Internet today
runs on Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), whose address
space will inevitably become exhausted, possibly as soon as
2009. Already, users experience significant operational glitches
and costs due to ambiguous addressing and the resulting gaps
in connectivity. Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) can resolve
this problem with larger addresses, thus helping to restore
universal connectivity, and bring other benefits such as automatic
configuration, improved mobility, and the potential for end-to-end
In the emerging environment
of e-business on demand, where information technology becomes
a resource supplied by the network when the user wants it,
the traditional boundaries between enterprises, service providers,
and end users melt away. IBM(r) defines an on demand business
as an enterprise whose business processes -- integrated end-to-end
across the company and with key partners, suppliers and customers
-- can respond with speed to any customer demand, market opportunity
or external threat. In this networked environment, any user
may need to access any service of any service provider. This
can only be done by restoring the original Internet concept
of universal addressing, accompanied of course by appropriate
end-to-end security. IPv6 is the tool for this. While this
does not call for an immediate abandonment of IPv4, it certainly
calls for a strategic commitment to IPv6. The opportunity
cost of remaining locked into an insufficient address space
is extremely high in the long term. Instead, an enterprise
or service provider should progressively introduce IPv6 connectivity
and services, until eventually they become the normal way
of doing business and IPv4 becomes a legacy.
significant computer operating system and almost every network
equipment vendor now has IPv6 support. The adaptation of middleware
is under way. In 2003, we see clear signs of widespread understanding
that IPv6 is useful, necessary, and available. Now is the
time for enterprises to put in place an IPv6 strategy.
IBM is engaged in
efforts to consolidate its operating system support for IPv6
and to help extend support to cover all relevant software
products. The timing of product enhancements will depend on
individual product release schedules and marketplace need.
We will continue to build on these foundations to help ensure
that the benefits of IPv6 connectivity will become available
to all our customers.
A large equipment manufacturer, selling its products worldwide,
wants to instrument multiple components on all its products
so that they can "phone home" in support of diagnostics
and maintenance. The company cannot obtain enough unambiguous
IPv4 address space to do this, or can only obtain fragmented,
discontiguous address space. Although simply attaching an
IPv6 address (and DNS name) to each component is not a complete
solution to this problem, it is a necessary first step.
A large bank needs
to update its network of 10,000 automatic teller machines
and employee terminals, to get away from a legacy proprietary
protocol. Its Internet Service cannot offer it enough IPv4
addresses to accomplish this. Furthermore, with end-to-end
IPv6 capability, the ATMs and terminals have the potential
to become more sophisticated than simple client machines.
A developing country
with a very large population wants to provide Internet connectivity
for every classroom. Local ISPs can only offer the government
a handful of IPv4 addresses.
A services company
wants to offer a grid computing service to small or medium
businesses, with the goal of serving thousands of such customers
simultaneously. Local ISPs can only offer a few hundred IPv4
IBM and IPv6
IBM has been involved in the design and standardization of
IPv6 since 1995, and remains active in the IETF and the IPv6
Forum. The IBM AIX(r) operating system began including IPv6
in 1997, which was in fact the first commercial support of
IPv6 on Unix. By 2002, IBM support extended to its zSeries(r),
pSeries(r) and iSeries(tm) operating systems, as well as to
third-party operating systems on xSeries(r) products. Linux
has good IPv6 support, and IBM's Linux Technology Center has
made substantial contributions, especially in the area of
IBM products supporting
IPv6 technology can offer address space relief and thereby
open many new opportunities for customers and services. Moreover,
e-business on demand will increasingly depend on the ability
of IBM network products and solutions to connect virtually
any service requester to virtually any service, with little
or no prior planning for the specific connection.
IPv6 support in our
network products can enable such connectivity while helping
to improve the configurability and security of those connections.
In the European Union's
6NET project, IBM works with 35 other industrial and research
partners. In this important IPv6 deployment project, IBM leads
the work on middleware and application trials, which will
include the use of both IBM WebSphere(r) and the Open Grid
Services Architecture over a native IPv6 network. IBM Global
Services, IBM Systems Group, and IBM Software Group are all
involved in this project.
IBM is engaged in
efforts to consolidate its operating system support for IPv6
and to extend support to cover all relevant software products.
While product plans are subject to change, work has been done
to identify requirements across all IBM software products.
Key products and technologies have already been enabled, with
additional product plans to deliver IPv6 support in 2004 and
2005. The timing of product enhancements will depend on individual
product release schedules and marketplace need. IBM will continue
to build on these foundations to help ensure that the benefits
of IPv6 connectivity become available to all our customers.
For the complete
text of IBM's vision for IPv6 in the era of e-business on
International Business Machines Corporation 2003. All rights
AIX, IBM, iSeries,
pSeries, WebSphere, xSeries and zSeries are trademarks or
registered trademarks of IBM Corporation in the United States
and other countries.
UNIX is a registered
trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other
Other company, product
and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.
All statements regarding
IBM's future direction or intent are subject to change or
withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives
IBM Vision for IPv6
Are You Ready?
Jim Jordan, Spirent
Bill Kine, Spirent Communications
IPv6 is coming. European
and Asian networks have already deployed IPv6 within their
infrastructures. The Department of Defense will be based upon
IPv6 by the year 2008. And mobile phone users (all of us!)
will have IPv6 addresses within the next few years. When IPv6
arrives en masse it will bring many exciting new elements
to the field of networking. Security, quality of service,
auto-configuration and a truly massive address space will
be available to all network users.
IPv6 promises a lot.
And IPv6 will fulfill its promises. However, the technology
and equipment still need time to catch up to the IPv6 vision.
IPv6 brings so many new concepts to networking that it is
truly revolutionary. Therefore, new hardware, protocols and
network architectures are likely to be developed specifically
for the IPv6 paradigm - but this will require time and validation.
After all, IPv4 has had two decades to get to its present
mature stage. The networking community needs to plan for the
IPv6 revolution, as well as a period of coexistence between
the present and future versions of the Internet Protocol.
It is a sizeable understatement to say that IPv6 increases
the available Internet Protocol address space. The growth
from 232 to 2128 addresses is much more than exponential -
it's colossal! The implications associated with this change
must be considered. First of all, routers and switches could
conceivably have huge routing tables - millions or even billions
of routes. Parsing a destination address for the "longest
match" could add significant latency to the forwarding
process. Furthermore, each individual IPv6 address is four
times as large as its predecessors; therefore routers must
reserve at least four times as much memory per address. Most
modern network devices have highly optimized silicon-based
packet forwarding engines. These chips were designed for traditional
32-bit addresses; 128-bit addresses are a whole new challenge.
The largest IPv6
networks in the world currently have about 1000 unique address
prefixes. For comparison purposes, the Internet routing tables
typically contain about 140,000 IPv4 addresses. Although IPv6
is designed for scalability, these gigantic networks have
not yet materialized. Therefore, real-world experience with
the issues related to IPv6 scalability is non-existent. Scalability
can only be tested in labs - so thorough network emulation
and testing is critical in order to determine the limits and
performance associated with large networks.
The familiar IPv4 routing protocols all have extensions to
support IPv6. Each of the conventional routing protocols has
a suffix appended to its name to indicate IPv6 support: BGP4+,
ISISv6, RIPng and OSPFv3. These modifications were afterthoughts,
not integral parts of the protocols. This evolutionary approach
is appealing for transitional networks and convenient for
operators. However, it is hardly optimal for the revolutionary
new routing paradigms made possible by IPv6. Although IPv6
addresses can be carried by these modified protocols, important
extensions such as auto-configuration, security, etc. cannot
be natively accommodated. Also, the performance and scalability
of these IPv4 routing protocols in large IPv6 networks is
wholly unproven. Once again, extensive lab testing and emulation
Many of the promises of IPv6 are based upon its extensions.
However, most of these value-added features (auto-configuration,
security or QoS) have not yet been implemented by router vendors,
so they do not exist in live networks. When these features
become available, the power of IPv6 will be fully realized.
The networking community has yet to decide how these features
will operate in production networks, so they too must be tested
in labs prior to deployment.
The age of IPv6 is dawning. It is coming faster than most
of us realize. IPv6 offers the networking world many new advantages
including scalability, manageability, ease-of-use and security.
Additional features are being introduced by some of the creative
thinkers in standards bodies and forums throughout the Internet
neighborhood. Network equipment manufacturers and service
providers have not been able to keep pace with all of the
IPv6 developments. Accordingly, IPv6 deployment has been rather
limited. Therefore, there are many unknowns associated with
this promising new protocol.
We are all IPv6 pioneers.
This is an exciting new era for networking professionals.
However, like any new technology, IPv6 must be fully tested
before converting any critical network applications to this
new architecture. Conformance testing must be conducted to
ensure that devices comply with the evolving IPv6 standards.
Performance testing is necessary to determine devices' scalability
and throughput in the IPv6 world. And finally, functional
testing is critical to validate the protocol implementations
and transitional mechanisms associated with IPv6.
has over three years of experience testing IPv6. Many of Spirent's
IPv6 implementations (OSPFv3, for example) pre-date those
of the equipment vendors. A full journal of IPv6 test methodologies
is available on Spirent's web site at http://www.spirentcom.com/ipv6.
Let the IPv6 experts help you stage and test your IPv6 implementation
and migration strategy.
Summits as the Engine for IPv6 Diffusion
by Alex Lightman
I'm writing this
from Beijing, where the China IPv6 Global Summit concluded
yesterday. 2,500 people were registered and 25 sponsors (from
the US, Canada, the EU, and Japan as well as China) showed
the support for a boom in IPv6. China already has over 300
million mobile phone users, enough to use up every one of
the remaining Internet addresses for IPv4 once they switch
to the mobile Internet, as China seeks to leapfrog nearby
Japan and Korea, which have nearly 80 million mobile Internet
users between them. The diffusion of IPv6 is very different
in each country.
In China it's driven
by government-sponsored engineering research entities, with
Huawei and domestic router companies belatedly buying software
to catch up. No military person has ever attended a Chinese
IPv6 summit (vs. hundreds from the Dept. of Defense for
US summits). While much is made by Westerners about how
China lack of IP addresses drives adoption, that's
not the sense I got from the Beijing summit. For one thing,
APNIC (the organization that hands out both IPv4 and IPv6
addresses) claims that all Chinese requests have been met.
For another, several Chinese speakers emphasized (to the only
applause of a very reserved audience) that China needed IPv6
to sell Chinese hardware and software for export.
In Japan, both Prime
Minister Mori and continuing with Prime Minister Koizumi,
have called for a national effort to be "the best
IT nation" in part by being the best adopter of IPv6,
and the IPv6 Promotion Council of Japan has hundreds of corporate
members, and 4,000 attendees at its business summit. Prof.
Jun Murai's prestige as Japan's "Father of the Internet"
helped him get a breadth of support in Japan without compare
in any other national context that has lasted, putting Japan
as No. 1 IPv6 implementer. NTT Communications maintains the
largest IPv6 network, with over 1,000 IPv6-enabled routers.Europe's
implementations are driven by the European Commission, an
entity with a $100 billion budget that has funded a number
of multimillion dollar research projects that span several
countries, and Luxembourg is the home of the IPv6 Forum, whose
leader, Dr. Latif Ladid, has helped organize over 30 summits,
starting with the very first IPv6 summit, in Paris. European
companies, including big companies like Nokia and Ericsson,
and start ups like France's 6Wind, show European leadership
in IPv6 for wireless and an entrepreneurial quality uncommon
in the IPv6 world, were established companies provide the
In the US the market
has been driven from 1999 by voluntary efforts and by leading
Internet hardware companies like Cisco and Hewlett-Packard,
whose employees have given generously to IPv6 community build
on and off company time and, since June 2003, by the Department
of Defense, which has mandated IPv6 for all systems that tie
into the Global Information Grid since October 2002. America
entrepreneurial efforts are particularly in training, where
Native6, Sunset Learning, along with larger Spirent, get American
engineers, managers, and soldiers up to speed on IPv6. So
who will lead in IPv6 and what does it matter?
Americans are damn
good at inventing and early adoption. Our Edisoneque track
record of nearly 7 million patents is why the US, though
only conducting recorded economic activity for about 300 years,
has an $11.4 trillion/year economy, about ten times larger
in dollar terms than China, which has been in business 2,000%
longer and has over 400% more people. China "came within
a hair's breadth" of industrializing in the 14th century
AD, but stopped inventing and early adoption. The Internet
is arguably America's greatest invention, and whether the
US continues to lead in Internet-related reinvention, or passes
the crown to China, will determine, as much as any other factor,
whether the US maintains its lead in hundreds of other areas.
The consistent, widespread
government support for IPv6 from Europe and Asia (which are
highly motivated to beat the US in economic competition, though
their partisans say this in a way that is very subtle, and
thus avoid triggering Sputnik-like headlines). This support
contrasts with idiosyncratic nature of the government support
for IPv6 in the US outside of the highly competent Dept.
of Defense. A case in point: Richard Clarke, much in the headlines
of late, was persuaded by key members of the IPv6 Forum to
support IPv6 as part of improving Cybersecurity, and agreed
to be a keynote speaker at our IPv6 Summit in San Diego, June
2003. Clarke quit and his successor as Cybersecurity Czar,
Howard Schmidt also agreed to support IPv6 and to be the keynote
for San Diego. Schmidt lasted just a few months, and was not
replaced, leaving the US without an IPv6 champion. If John
Stenbit and Director of Architecture and Interoperability
John Osterholz had not stepped up to take leadership, the
US government (and thus broad cross-industry/cross-government
cooperation) would have been missing in action, even as thousands
of very intelligent executives and politicians are investing
billions in IPv6 leadership abroad.
I was not surprised
to learn at the speaker's dinner during our Arlington IPv6
Summit that, right before making the decision to mandate IPv6
(announced, memorably, on Friday the 13th, just a weekend
and a week before the San Diego IPv6 summit), Messrs. Stenbit
and Osterholz looked at the corporate sponsorship list for
the San Diego summit, and saw that several of the best and
brightest American companies (as well as several from Asia
and Europe) were supportive of IPv6. The Dept. of Defense
mandate is now spreading around the world, leading to decisions
in some countries (such as the Ministry of Defense in Germany)
to also mandate IPv6 and to explorations in others. Canada,
the Czech Republic, and the UK have sent representatives
to US IPv6 summits to meet with DoD IPv6 experts.
The DoD participation
has almost completely changed the color and smell of media
coverage of IPv6, from dank and rank to bright and lip-licking
appetizing. After the Ottawa IPv6 summit articles were written
about the Foreign Internet and the majority of (unimaginative)
tech reporters sniffed at the notion that the 30 year old
TCP/IP Internet could be improved. The Pentagon's mandate
(the first of any military) changed their tune, and other
than a few odd pieces like the error-filled Technology Review opinion
piece, coverage of IPv6 has had a positive tone. Mainstream
press, including the New York Times, BBC, and the Wall Street
Journal have started to cover IPv6, and the wonderful Network
World has done great cover stories on IPv6 after the San Diego
and Arlington IPv6 summits.
I get asked all the
time by very smart people how the number of attendees of summits
compare, both across time and around the world. People are
looking for The Next Big Bandwagon to jump on, and rates
of increase are tracked by executives like technical traders
track the momentum or acceleration of Relative Strength of
a public company's stock. The relative number of attendees
and the number and reputations of the corporate sponsors are
thus revealed as highly significant milestones and signifiers
of a society's success in grasping what should seem blindingly
obvious: the Internet is very important, and the early adopter
of the next generation Internet has a head start in creating
new opportunities for existing companies, as well as new industries.
Your participation really matters. Your company's sponsorship of
IPv6 summits really matters. At this point, the country to
beat for participation is China, and, to paraphrase the pilot
episode of television's Kung Fu (I am in China after all),
when the the US has as many participants and sponsors as China),
then, grasshopper, we will be ready to lead.
The IPv6 Summits
are like the Olympics: they show the relative rankings of
nations. While the Olympics get the attention, any reasonable
analysis would show that IPv6 adoption is orders of magnitude
more important in advancing the health, wealth, and wisdom
of a society. So, make your stand, and join us in Santa Monica
to show that you support a new Internet for a better country,
and inspire and challenge a world that is watching the US
to redouble their efforts. Good summits lead to get good
press and good dealmaking, and industry rivalry. This leads
to further government attention and funding, and to the very
best sort of arms race, one that will eventually get
all six billion people connected on the Internet, and
thus make each of us part of all of us, for the very first
time. Want to improve the world? Come to the IPv6 Summit and
All rights reserved.
Views expressed here are solely those of the authors and/or
their employers and do not necessarily reflect the perspective
of IPv6 Summit, Inc.
here to opt-out
of future 6sense Newsletters.