27 January 2009

Irish IPv6 Summit (Wed 28th Jan 2009)

Irish IPv6 Summit Logo

Well, my blog has be quiet for over a month now as I have focused my energies on a number of things. Foremost amongst these is the IPv6 Summit that will take place all day tomorrow in Dublin Castle. We're very happy with the panel of speakers, including the opening by Minister of Communications, Eamon Ryan, and the two keynote speakers, Fred Baker (Cisco), who has a very prominent role in IETF standardisation, and Detlef Eckert (EU Commission), who is a senior policy advisor to DG-Information Society and Media, the unit in the EU Commission with responsibility for ICT policy.

The other speakers are myself, opening the event in my role as Chair of the Irish IPv6 TF, John Boland (CEO of HEAnet), Ireland's national research network, Niall Murphy (Google), Dave Northey (Microsoft), Giorgio Lembo (Tiscali International Networks), John King (BT), Zoltan Gelencser (Hutchison3G UK), Ross Chandler (Eircom), David Malone (NUI Maynooth), and Nick Hilliard (Dublin Internet Neutral Exchange).

Irish IPv6 Summit (Home Page)
Irish IPv6 Summit Agenda (PDF)
Irish IPv6 Summit Agenda (HTML)

This is an impressive line up of technical and political awareness of the importance of understanding the next generation Internet protocol. The Internet is a huge success story that underpins much of the world’s ICT infrastructure today BUT “Peak IPv4” is nearly upon us. This will see the last central block of IPv4 addresses allocated to Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) at the end of 2010. The impact on users will be that they will not be able to get new public IPv4 addresses 12-18 months after that.

This is not a complete doomsday scenario, the existing Internet will continue to work after the addresses run out. The problem is that the whole philosophy of the Internet is based on growth into new areas: bring more and more of the world's population on-line, bring more diverse devices on-line from mobile phones to built-in sensors in buildings. For this trajectory to continue, new addresses are needed. So it really makes sense for anyone upgrading a network today to invest in a solution that is at least IPv6 compatible, so that they have the option of migrating to IPv6 within the next 5 years when these shortage issues start to bite. As more and more people do switch over, it should make the argument easier --- this is a network effect problem where you need to get a critical mass of acceptance to create the right environment for it to become the obvious choice.

Restoring an address abundance has many potential advantages. It re-enables the pure end-to-end model of the Internet where every device has a public address, and so, with due consideration of the security issues, could offer a service to any other device. In other words it re-enables the peer-to-peer potential of the Internet and low barrier to entry for new services.

So if you are interested in the debate, register and come along tomorrow. If you cannot come we'll be streaming the event live over IPv4 and IPv6 (thanks to HEAnet), and we'll be making on-line videos of the talks, as well as the slides, available on-line after the event.

Posted by mofoghlu at January 27, 2009 9:47 AM | TrackBack
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