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The Second Internet


Most importantly, in the process of keeping IPv4 around too long, we’ve already broken the First
Internet badly with something called NAT (Network Address Translation). NAT has turned the Internet
into a one-way channel, introduced many really serious security issues and is impeding progress on
newer applications (like VoIP and IPTV).You can easily make outgoing connections to servers like
www.cnn.com, but it is difficult or impossible for other people to make connections to you. It has
divided the world into a few producers (like cnn.com) and millions of consumers (like you). In the Second
Internet, anyone can be a prosumer (producer and consumer). NAT was a necessary evil to keep things
going until the Second Internet was ready to be rolled out. NAT has now served its purpose, and like
crutches when your broken leg has healed, should be cast aside. Its only purpose was to extend the life
of the IPv4 address space while the engineers were getting IPv6 ready.
Using a “horses and cars” metaphor, there is no reason to wait for the last horse to die (the last IPv4
address to be given out) before we start driving cars (deploy IPv6). Good news, everyone! IPv6 is ready
for prime time today. My home is already fully migrated to dual stack (IPv4 + IPv6). And that’s in the
Philippines!
1.1.3 – Wait, How Can the Internet Grow by 100 Fold?
If there are over a billion nodes on the First Internet, and there are just over 6 Billion people alive, how
can it possibly grow by more than 100 fold? The key here is to understand that the Second Internet
(based on IPv6) is the Internet of Devices. A human sitting at a keyboard will be a relatively rare thing,
although IPv6 will make it far easier and cheaper to bring the next billion humans online using IPv6’s
advanced features and almost unlimited address space. Many Asian countries and companies (who
routinely have 5 to 10 year horizons in their planning) already consider IPv6 to be one of the most
strategic and important technologies anywhere, and are investing heavily in deploying it. 2010 is the
tipping point for IPv6. Adoption curves are starting to climb at steep rates reminiscent of the adoption of
the World Wide Web back in the early 1990s. By March 2012 (when the last IPv4 address will likely be
allocated to some lucky end-user), the migration to IPv6 will be well underway in most leading
countries, and completed in many Asian countries.
1.1.4 – Why is 2011 a Significant Year for the Second Internet?
There is an entire chapter in this book on the depletion of the IPv4 address space. What this means (in
English) is that we are running out of IP addresses for the First Internet. This will be a very important
event in the history of the Internet. We nearly ran out in 1997, and only managed to keep the Internet
going through some clever tricks (NAT and Private Addresses), kind of like using private extension
numbers in a company PBX phone system. However, even with this trick (which is now causing major
problems), we are about to run out for good. The folks that create the Internet don’t have any more
clever tricks up their sleeves. All the groups that oversee the Internet, like the Internet Assigned
Numbers Authority (IANA), the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the
Internet Society (ISOC), the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the Regional Internet Registrars
(ARIN, RIPE, APNIC, LATNIC and AFRINIC) have been saying for some time that the world has to migrate
now. They should know. They are the ones that give out IP addresses. They know that the barrel is
almost empty. We’ve got to increase the number of unique Internet addresses, which has some far
reaching consequences.
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