LCA2011 Wednesday morning keynote

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Geoff Huston is here for this mornings keynote. But first Someone (didn't get their name) got up to show a video of a balloon launch. It was cute. Had a penguin in the middle of the screen, and the baloon went a long way up. Apparently it was related to the fund raising for the queensland floods somehow. Oh, they have a high res photo that they are going to auction off on Thursday to raise money.

Shirda got up, he's the technical manager for OLPC in Australia, and he spruked their project for a bit, and gave out an OLPC laptop. Ben Sandsfeld got up to talk about his campaign against software patents in Australia. He wants us to sign a petition, which is out at reception.

Geoff Huston got up, he's from APNIC (Asia Pacfic organisation for allocating IP addressess). He described our Unix was a by product of how AT&T couldn't commercialize Unix, so they kind of gave it away for free. And how TCP/IP also got started at around the same time, and how both these projects were early open projects, a pre-decessor to all of our opensource software. Openness is really good. In the 70's, if you had stuff from one company, your entire technology stack was from the one vendor. In the 80's the openness kicked off by unix and TCP/IP mean that vendor lock in started to fall apart, and the industry fundamentally benefitted. Geoff said that IPv4 didn't succeed because it was good, it was just as good as any other technology. But it was open, which is why it succeeded and gave us the Internet today.

Geoff says that the problem with the Internet is that sustaining openness is really hard. Geoff isn't sure that an open Internet is going to still be around in 5 years time. There is a constant pressure by comercial companies trying to develop the technology, who want to reduce the openess.

Things like Net Neutrality, Nex Gen networks, mobile internet, Triple/Quad play technology all apparently rely on closed technologies.

He showed some graphs of IPv4 address allocation. The graphs showed the addresses running out. In 1990 they started working on the address problem. Back then they had the idea that they wouldn't run out of IPv4 addresses, the transition to IPv6 would have occured early enough that this wouldn't be a problem. The idea was that the industry would act rationally to do IPv6 deployment. But it hasn't really happened. We're looking like the entire Internet is going to have to implement IPv6 in 7 months.

At the moment IPv6 sucks. There is a lot of stuff that is broken. So we are going towards an Internet that relies on NAT. ISPs are going to have to deploy large NAT systems, that will be expensive. NAT is going to eat into the tcp and udp port space, so things are going to start breaking, as that address space is only 16 bits.

IPv6 isn't backwards compatible with IPv4. So you still need IPv4 as well as IPv6. But a dual stack transition would only work if we hadn't run out of IPv4 addresses. So Geoff predicts there is going to be a market for IPv4 addresses. 

He mentioned how carriers lost huge market share (from complete control of the telephony stack to computers using packet technology). But these carriers are who we've been asking to invest lots of money to get IPv6 working. Groups like Google and Amazon probably don't need IPv4. Consumers aren't keen on spending more money to pay for IPv6. So he thinks the economic points show that we aren't heading to an open network. That we're heading to a closed network.

He says we need to fix this by altering our environment, so that Telstra, ebay, etc see why they should continue with open networks.

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This page contains a single entry by Geoff Crompton published on January 26, 2011 10:00 AM.

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