I went through an interesting talk by Geoff Huston at the linux.conf.au conference (video link). The tone of the talk reminds of another paper I read some time back by Bob Briscoe “Flow Rate Fairness: Dismantling a Religion“. While Bob’s argument was about how the fundamental protocols on the internet (TCP) lack a market oriented view of fairness, Geoff’s argument is about how the fundamental protocols on the internet (IPv4) lacks a market oriented view of allocating IP addresses. More importantly, this is a lesson for me again in the importance of business logistics in adoption of any kind of infrastructure technology. While this interplay may not be so important for end user technology (such as a consumer device like smartphones or laptops), it is extremely important for technology which forms the basis of businesses of a large number of independent firms. Geoff argued that the primary reason for lack of IPv6 adoption was a lack of understanding in market incentives. The future for both address allocation and flow rate fairness as we march into the future remains unknown. I look forward to an interesting interplay between technology, openness and market forces in the Internet. We live in interesting times!
related posts: Network Neutrality and flow rate fairness