2009 – A Year of IPv6 and Internet Virtualization
January 20, 2009 Leave a comment
This article originally appeared in the Jan 2009 Any2 Exchange Newsletter
For the past 30 years or so we have gone through an accelerated learning process in globalization. While the under 25 crowd has lived in a world of extreme technology diffusion, many of us still recall the days when having near real time news was an exception, and provided at a great cost in both human and financial resources.
Who can forget the international awakening when real time information came out of UNIX Talk sessions during the Russian Coup attempt in 1991 – when the world realized the veil of national secrecy and suppression of events had been ripped open forever. The Internet has played a role in international transparency which has changed the concept of globalization and brought people together on a human scale that could not have been comprehended just a couple decades ago. It is safe to assume we have successfully passed the Internet concept test.
The basic tools we’ve used over the past 40 years have proven global one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many communications via packets works. Now we can move on to the next phase of global communications development, with a new suite of tools that will allow even more powerful ways of bringing the world to your laptop.
This month we have two feature articles in the Any2 newsletter. One by Martin Levy on the topic of IPv6, and the other by Justin Giardina on storage replication and virtualization. In the next edition we will draw our attention to cloud computing and software as a service.
The Any2 Exchange fully supports deployment of IPv6 in the IXP, as well as support through the Any2Easy route servers. The actual amount of IPv6 traffic is still relatively low, however the number of routes available through Any2 is showing steady growth. We allocate both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses to all new Any2 Exchange members, and will assign new IPv6 addresses on request to any other existing member who does not currently have an allocation.
It is important for us to aggressively promote IPv6. ARIN recently made the following statement:
“With only 15% of IPv4 address space remaining, ARIN is now compelled to advise the Internet community that migration to IPv6 is necessary for any applications that require ongoing availability of contiguous IP number resources.” (www.arin.net)
With an accompanying resolution:
“BE IT RESOLVED, that this Board of Trustees hereby advises the Internet community that migration to IPv6 numbering resources is necessary for any applications which require ongoing availability from ARIN of contiguous IP numbering resources.”
Those are pretty serious warnings to the Internet community that it is time to re-tool for the next generation. What is that generation? Lots of visionaries out there who are far more creative than I, offering a landscape of virtualization and convergence of nearly every aspect of life.
In the scope of our activities we are seeing customer and tenant movement in the direction of virtualization, through both storage and software as a service via cloud compute provisioning. While getting a lot of attention in the tech media as a concept, the actual deployment of these services is going ahead in a near stealth mode. We eagerly look forward to the marriage of Brocade and Foundry, and the offspring that may further bring storage and cloud compute capacity into the switching and routing fabrics.
The ability to route and switch with direct addressing, rather than NAT or private addressing is going to be a requirement in the virtual compute world to help eliminate both physical and software points of failure, as well as eliminate any latency byproduct of address translation.
So, we have our work cut out for us. CRG West and the Any2 Exchange see our role in this new world as the developers of infrastructure needed to support the applications and services being developed by networks, cloud companies, SaaS companies, CDNs, and the carriers.
At the end of the day we still need to provide solid electrical and cooling systems support, access to fiber and interconnections (including the Any2 Exchange), and a neutral place for the community to meet.
With the economy in turmoil, limited funding available for both capital and operational expenses, and the need to rapidly move ahead, we will strive to do our part in providing the infrastructure and community center to reduce both CAPEX and OPEX, as well as develop the facility infrastructure needed to fulfill the visions of those who lead.