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The Second Internet


Foreword
The Chips are Down! However Knowledge is Sadly Missing!
The word “Internet” has become a household name in every language without any translation. Even the
French have kept the same name while normally they tend to create a French version for any
English name to make it sound like it’s invented in France. Now when you ask normal users how the
Internet really functions, be prepared to be surprised by the sparse response and accept their kind
apology that they had no time to delve into this complex world, understandably.
When you ask Internet experts on the current Internet Protocol (IPv4), you will be enriched by their
prolific and visionary thoughts of what you can do with the Internet and most probably that it can even
solve world hunger. However when you ask these same experts about the new Internet Protocol version
6 (IPv6), you will find only a few that can answer with high precision how the new Internet based on IPv6
functions, how it will be installed or how it will enhance the current Internet. I guess most Internet
experts have by now understood that the visible difference between IPv4 and IPv6 is the size of the
address space moving from a limited to virtually unlimited resource (from 4.3 Billion addresses to 340
Billion Billion Billion Billion addresses).
While basic IPv6 was designed and standardized between 1994-1998 and deployment has been
happening at a slow pace for the last 10 years, it is astonishing to see the same historical deployment
patterns of the current Internet Protocol (IPv4). That was designed between 1972-1980 with first
deployment in 1981. It had to wait for ten years until 1991 for the Internet to be opened for public use
per US Congress agreement. The number of IPv4 experts was quite small and not surprisingly it’s the
same level of IPv6 experts that we have now.
The Internet community is asking for killer apps to facilitate justifiable deployment of IPv6. Now, without
educated engineers at developers level and ISP levels, it is unreasonable to expect creation of such apps
that would benefit from the new built-in features in IPv6. The principal feature of IPv6 is the restoration
of the end-to-end model on the back of which the Internet was built on in the first place. The e2e model
restores e2e connectivity, e2e security, e2e QoS, node reachability, remote access for maintenance and
network management purposes. Essential features have been tightly redesigned like mobility,
Multicast, auto-configuration, to take the Internet where it has not gone before. IPv6 will take the
Internet into commodity services adding networking value to services like RF-ID and sensors. IPv6 will
open new paradigms for Internet of Things, Smart Grids, Cloud Computing, Smart Cities, 4G/LTE
services, etc.
To realise this we need to have engineers professionally trained with IPv6 eyes and not with IPv4 eyes. A
recent survey on IPv6 training and studies at universities has demonstrated that IPv6 training and
courses are way too embryonic to have any critical impact. Patching IPv6 with IPv4 thinking would be
just extending the IPv6 address space to the Internet and not fully exploiting the rich set of new features
still invisible to the normal engineer. Deploying IPv6 without upfront integration of IPv6 security and
privacy is re-doing the same mistake done in the deployment of IPv4. This is even defeating the prime
purpose of fixing thing like security in the Internet. It is estimated that some 20 million engineers are
working on the current Internet worldwide at ISPs, corporate and all other public and private
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