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Network Working Group J. Curran Request for Comments: 1669 BBN Category: Informational August 1994

                Market Viability as a IPng Criteria

Status of this Memo

 This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
 does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
 this memo is unlimited.


 This document was submitted to the IETF IPng area in response to RFC
 1550. Publication of this document does not imply acceptance by the
 IPng area of any ideas expressed within.  Comments should be
 submitted to the mailing list.


 In an open marketplace, adoption of new technology is driven by
 consumer demand.  New technologies that wish to succeed in the
 marketplace must provide new capabilities or reduced costs to gain
 consumer confidence.  Internetworking technologies can be
 particularly difficult to deploy and must provide a correspondingly
 high return on investment.  In order to determine market viability of
 new internetworking technology, it's necessary to compare the
 required deployment effort against the potential benefits as seen by
 the customer.  "Viability in the Marketplace" is an important
 requirement for any IPng candidate and this paper is an attempt to
 summarize some important factors in determing market viability of
 IPng proposals.

"Pushing" Internetworking Technology

 It has been asserted by some that the adoption of a single IPng
 protocol by the computing industry would generate general acceptance
 in the networking industry.  There is ample evidence to support this
 view; for example, some of the today's more prevalent networking
 protocols gained initial market acceptance through bundling with
 computer operating systems (e.g. IP via UNIX, DECNET via VMS, etc.)
 It should be noted, however, that this approach to technology
 deployment is by no means assured, and some of today's most popular
 internetworking software (Novell, etc.) have thrived despite
 alternatives bundled by computing manufacturers.   Given that IPng
 will have to compete against an well established and mature

Curran [Page 1] RFC 1669 IPng White Paper on Market Viability August 1994

 internetworking protocol (IP version 4), promotion of an IPng
 solution by computer system manufacturers should be recognized as
 highly desirable but not sufficient on its own to ensure IPng
 acceptance in the marketplace.

Can IPng compete against IPv4?

 Given the large installed base of IPv4 systems, computer system
 manufacturers will need to continue to provide IPv4 capabilities for
 the foreseeable future.  With both IPng and IPv4 support in their new
 systems, users will be facing a difficult choice between using IPv4
 and IPng for internetworking.  Existing IPv4 users will migrate to
 IPng for one of three possible reasons:

New functionality not found in IPv4

 IPng needs to provide functionality equivalent to that currently
 provided by IPv4.  It remains to be seen whether additional
 functionality (such as resource reservation, mobility,
 autoconfiguration, autoregistration, or security) will be included in
 the base specification of any IPng candidate.  In order to provide
 motivation to migrate to IPng, it will be necessary for IPng
 proposals to offer capabilities beyond those already provided IPv4.

Reduced costs by using IPng

 It is quite unlikely that migration to IPng will result in cost
 savings in any organization.  Migration to IPng will certainly result
 in an increased need for training and engineering, and hence
 increased costs.

To gain connectivity to otherwise unreachable IPng hosts

 For existing sites with valid IPv4 network assignments, connectivity
 is not affected until address depletion occurs.  Systems with
 globally-unique IPv4 addresses will have complete connectivity to any
 systems since backwards-compatible communication is required of new
 IPng hosts.
 From the perspective of an existing IPv4 site, IPng provides little
 tangible benefit until IPv4 address depletion occurs and
 organizations reachable only via IPng appear.  Given the absence of
 benefits from migration,  it is uncertain whether a significant base
 of IPng sites will be occur prior to IPv4 address depletion.
 Sites which are not yet running IP have little motivation to deploy
 IPng for the immediate future.  As long as IPv4 network assignments
 are available, new sites have an choice to use IPv4 which provides

Curran [Page 2] RFC 1669 IPng White Paper on Market Viability August 1994

 the sufficient internetworking capabilities (measured in
 functionality, cost, and connectivity) for many organizations today.
 Given the parity in IPng and IPv4 capabilities, IPv4 (as a more
 mature internetworking protocol) is the more probable choice for
 organizations just now selecting an internetworking protocol.
 Once IPv4 address assignments are no longer available, sites wishing
 to participate in the global Internet will have a very difficult
 decision in selection of an internetworking protocol.   The current
 suite of IPng proposals cannot provide complete internetworking
 between IPng-only sites and IPv4-only sites since (by definition)
 there will be insufficient space to map all IPng addresses into the
 IPv4 address space.  As none of the proposals currently call for
 dynamic network address translation (NAT), it is inevitable that
 IPng-only sites will have access to a partial set of IPv4 sites at
 any given moment.
 Internetworking services which do not allow complete access to the
 global Internet (IPv4 and IPng in the post-IPv4-address-depletion
 world) are clearly not as valuable as services which offer complete
 Internet access.  Sites which are unable to obtain IPv4 network
 assignments will be seeking Internet services which can provide
 complete Internet service.   Additionally, some sites will have
 "privately numbered" IPv4 networks and will desire similar Internet
 services which provide transparent access to the entire Internet. The
 development of network address translation devices and subsequent
 services is highly likely under these market conditions.


 No internetworking vendor (whether host, router, or service vendor)
 can afford to deploy and support products and services which are not
 desired in the marketplace.  Given the potential proliferation of
 network address translation devices, it is not clear that IPng will
 secure sufficient following to attain market viability.  In the past,
 we have seen internetworking protocols fail in the marketplace
 despite vendor deployment and IPng cannot succeed if it is not
 deployed by organizations.  As currently envisioned, IPng may not be
 ambitious enough in the delivery of new capabilities to compete
 against IPv4 and the inevitable arrival of network address
 translation devices.  In order to meet the requirement for "viability
 in the marketplace', IPng needs to deliver clearly improved
 functionality over IPv4 while offering some form transparent access
 between the IPv4 and IPng communities once IPv4 address depletion has

Curran [Page 3] RFC 1669 IPng White Paper on Market Viability August 1994

Security Considerations

 Security issues are not discussed in this memo.

Author's Address

 John Curran
 BBN Technology Services, Inc.
 10 Moulton Street
 Cambridge MA 02138

Curran [Page 4]

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