[VoiceOps] IPV6

Alex Balashov abalashov at evaristesys.com
Wed Oct 21 13:47:35 EDT 2009

Jeff McAdams wrote:
> Alex Balashov wrote:
>> Sure, a 128-bit address is going to be unwieldy in any notation.
>> Why is hex better, I am genuinely curious?  Does being able to slice 
>> at the half-byte boundary allow for some highly advantageous 
>> granularity I am failing to appreciate as an IPv6 n00b?
> There is some advantage to that, yes, when you're talking about DNS 
> delegations, but I think the critical thing is that "255" is fewer 
> characters than "ff".  It really does come down to it being that simple.
> My employer has an IPv6 block out of ARIN's PI assignment space of 
> 2620:0::/23.  So I express the first two octets of that address with 
> "2620" which ends up being more concise than the dotted decimal octets 
> equivalent.  Even when the conversion would leave you with two character 
> results, versus 3, you still end up more concise because you drop the 
> "." and still have a very readable chunk of the address.

It's certainly shorter.  The issue is that it takes more effort and 
time mentally to compute contiguity, subnet boundaries, etc. because 
the numbers involved are not base 10.

As you suggest, it's something one can probably get used to.  But it 
sure is ugly in the interim.

Being a systems programmer by trade, I have little difficulty counting 
in hex.  It's just harder than counting in base 10, especially for 
people who aren't similarly disposed.  And contractions do make it 
difficult to read.

I do think that's one of the major barriers to the adoption of IPv6 in 
a commonsensical, pedestrian way.  Nobody is against bigger address 
space, increased security, more interface autoconfiguration, etc.  I 
think they just look at the addresses and go, "Uh, I don't want to 
read THAT..."

> To step back, I agree with the original poster.  I am absolutely 
> dumbfounded that the voice industry, and VoIP industry in particular, 
> hasn't latched on to IPv6 much much more than they have.  Its a 
> relatively closed ecosystem of devices and systems that could (at least 
> in theory) be IPv6 enabled without having to enable a huge extra amount 
> of infrastructure to support it (even transport networks need not be 
> fully IPv6 enabled, although its certainly beneficial to be fully native).

Moving the transport core of a service provider to IPv6 is not so 
difficult.  But taking advantage of all the benefits you cite requires 
that users be on IPv6 too, which is far from always a viable state of 
affairs at this point.  It's more likely if you're a CLEC or ISP and 
control the network end-to-end to the customer edge, but nearly 
impossible if you're an ITSP without facilities affinity.

Alex Balashov - Principal
Evariste Systems
Web     : http://www.evaristesys.com/
Tel     : (+1) (678) 954-0670
Direct  : (+1) (678) 954-0671

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