April 2004 - Newsletter
Welcome to the first issue of 6Sense, the official newsletter of IPv6 Summit, Inc., providing an exchange of perspectives related to Internet Protocol version 6 and the future of the Internet from people, companies, and governments helping to make the upcoming North American IPv6 Summit 2004 a success. Hundreds of people contribute time, talent, and treasure to build the community making the next generation Internet ever better, and 6Sense aims weave more threads of mutual consideration and occasionally offer a surprising insight on the historical evolution of the "v6-friendly" society.
In this issue Ben Mendelson, president of the Interactive Television Alliance, tells us how advertisers can benefit from adopting a standard like IPv6. TV advertising is about $200 billion annually in the US alone, and greater targeting and convergence with the Internet could have big payoffs. We also have contributions from IBM, Cisco, Spirent, and Hewlett-Packard, each of which has been a consistent supporter of IPv6 community building efforts in the US, including Moonv6, which, along with Internet2's IPv6 implementation, sets the pace for IPv6 deployments in the United States among dozens of different companies and government agencies. You'll also read why your participation and sponsorship has an impact greater than you might imagine on American and global Internet leadership.
We are grateful to our contributors for letting us share their thoughts. If you are an attendee or a sponsor of the North American IPv6 Summit 2004 in Santa Monica and would like to submit an article for consideration, please contact me at alex@coalitionsummit.com for submission details.
IPv6 Testing Challenges

Expectations for IPv6 are high: it is perceived as the protocol of the next generation Internet, replacing today's legacy IPv4-based networks. IPv6 deploys a new data plane to fix various addressing and efficiency problems with IPv4, and a new routing control plane to effectively make use of the new addresses. The impact of the new data and control planes on today's networks is significant. Failures or interruption are unacceptable in mission critical networking environments. Network operators and service providers are facing tough questions - when and how to migrate to IPv6? To answer these questions with certainty, they need assurance that in their particular networks, IPv6 will provide:
Rapid expansion needed for more users and devices.
Smooth transition and coexistence with IPv4.
Robust network failure recovery.
Deliverable Quality of Service.
Improved network security.
Network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) face the challenge of building routers to support both IPv6 and IPv4 networks, with two sets of control and data planes. This can add significant resource requirements to routers supporting dual stacks, impacting router performance and scalability. Additional transition mechanisms like tunneling and application/address translation add complexity to router design.
For end users, IPv6 improves productivity by enabling network connectivity via a wider range of media and delivery mechanisms. But for general acceptance, the new IPv6 networks must demonstrate responsiveness at least equal to that of IPv4. In addition, while several end user environments and applications like Windows XP, Linux, and sendmail support IPv6 today, more applications are needed to enhance IPv6's overall acceptance.
Testing to ensure interoperability
Network operators and service providers need to understand how well new IPv6 equipment will behave in multi-vendor environments. Most of the roadblocks to initial IPv6 deployment involve interoperability among different vendor equipment as well as between IPv6 and IPv4 systems. The need for test tools to identify and isolate problems prior to deployment is too critical for operators to ignore. For NEMs, providing interoperable products is a key element to success with the introduction of any new technology. The fear of incompatibility problems between legacy IPv4 infrastructure and multiple vendors' IPv6 systems can only be dealt with via a thorough test methodology to ensure interoperability.
IPv6 is defined by over 60 IETF RFCs. The implementation of very large and complex RFCs is prone to misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Conformance testing, with a comprehensive and rigorous test methodology, increases product quality and customer confidence. Conformance testing also saves time and money, by allowing vendors to verify a product's design throughout the entire product life cycle. Problems can be identified earlier in development, reducing costly last-minute rework and post-deployment problems.
Testing to characterize performance bottlenecks
Once the IPv6 network is up and running, the next major concern is how well it will perform. IPv6 introduces new control and data planes, along with transitional technologies like tunneling and dual-stack support. A precise understanding of performance inefficiencies and limitations is essential for networks planners and operators in designing their networks. NEMs are always under pressure to deliver more performance and scalability per dollar from their equipment. Both NEMs and network operators can benefit from a test methodology that can characterize data plane performance, including such metrics as:

Packet loss.
and control plane performance such as:

Size of forwarding information
Routing scalability.
Route convergence.
Routing stability.
Initial IPv6 development will focus primarily on the software level, to prove functionality. As the technology matures enough to mainstream deployment, implementation will move down to the hardware level for the ultimate level of performance. The new IPv6 routing protocols - like OSPFv3, RIPng, ISISv6 and MBGP+ - will need to process larger addresses and routes to achieve scalability similar to that of existing IPv4 networks. NEMs, service providers, and network operators must properly characterize scalability in order to understand the impact of the new IPv6 design and to prevent bottlenecks. Tunneling will be a key technology to interconnect IPv6 islands during the early stage of IPv6 deployment. The scalability and performance of a tunneling mechanism depends on the number of tunnels a device can handle; this metric must be monitored and measured.

To characterize the performance bottlenecks of a new IPv6 design properly requires a test bed that can overrun the performance and scalability limitations of a device or system under test. Creating such a test bed from hundreds of routers or switches is prohibitively expensive and difficult to manage. NEMs and service providers need test tools that can simulate real-world network conditions affordably and manageably. To stress test both the control and data planes adequately, the test tool is required to emulate hundreds of routers and also generate wire-speed traffic.

US Government Seminar - Discuss and learn network security issues over IPv6
Join Ixia Technologists in an interactive hands-on seminar focused on Real World Security Testing. This is a great opportunity to discuss and learn network security issues over IPv6.

May 4 - 27, 2004

Real World Security Testing: IP Networks

Register to a city near you!
Los Alamos, NM
Sandia Nat'l Lab, NM
Washington DC
Tyson's Corner, VA
Norfolk, VA
Fort Huachuca, AZ
Los Angeles, CA
San Diego, CA

IPv6: The cart before the horse

Sometimes, the cart leading the horse is not such a bad idea. The world of IPv6 is one of these exceptions. For those of you who don't know, IPv6 stands for Internet Protocol version 6, which is attempting to become the standard for identifying everything. Everything from computers to cell phones. From refrigerators to watches. From MP3 players to MP3 files. From digital televisions to digitally delivered television programming. You can see where this can impact device manufacturers, content creators, distribution services, and the whole advertising industry. If you are reading this, it will affect you.
Yet many large companies are unaware that the Internet is running out of numbers. And the very real problem this creates. The triple triplet system (i.e.: ###.###.###) was never intended to involve much more than individual computers and websites. As we start connecting cars, PDAs, and radios to the Internet-- the need for IP numbers greatly increases. When you add to that - all digitally delivered content, the need grows exponentially. We must address this issue BEFORE the cell phone industry replaces all older generation handsets. And all analog TVs are replaced by digital.
Normally, individual companies develop their products and THEN realize the need to standardize. We need to reverse the process. Creating and implementing the standard first, will spur development of new products and services. New hardware will be able to talk to each other. Newly developed content will be able to work on all devices. Expensive incompatibilities will become greatly reduced.
IPv6 also simplifies digital content. In the world of Interactive Television, advertisements will be targeted only to viewers who want or need them. There is already a system called Ad-ID that is being adopted by advertisers for this purpose. But for Ad-ID to work across different platforms and devices, it will need the additional information that can be carried by IPv6. This will allow diaper commercials targeted only to new mothers. And special offers for a new golf club that is automatically delivered to a willing weekend enthusiast.
Right now, IPv6 has a small but growing following in the EU. There are already consortiums combining public and commercial interests. North America is considerably behind. Associations representing consumer electronics, information technology, media, and advertising need to actively embrace IPv6 and educate their constituent groups. And the larger companies need to get involved and support the local IPv6 organizations.
There is a real opportunity to turn an impending negative situation into a conduit for innovation. Just this time ... consider the cart before the horse.

HP invested in IPv6

"HP has invested in IPv6 and we believe it is a required, core enabling technology for next-generation networks," said Shane Robison, chief technology officer, HP. "We are glad to be a part of this effort and fully support the DoD's initiative. We are committed to IPv6 at all levels of our organization." Please see www.hp.com/network/ipv6 for additional HP information.

Taiwan Builds World-Class Research and Education Network Using Cisco Technology

A High-speed 20 gigabit-per-second broadband network, TWAREN links Taiwan with global research networks and facilitates international collaborative research
TAIPEI, Taiwan - March 23 - Taiwan's National Center for High-performance Computing (NCHC), a research institute under the National Applied Research Laboratories, is deploying the latest Cisco Systems® routing and optical technology to build a world-class advanced network to support advanced research programs in Taiwan.
A new IP+Optical network capable of transmitting 20 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) at its core, Taiwan Advanced Research and Education Network (TWAREN) will initially provide services to some 60 universities, colleges, research institutions and national research centers throughout the island.
TWAREN will support services such as Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), multicasting, network security, video, voice and integrated multimedia applications, which further facilitates cross border research and education activities. TWAREN consists of three tiers - production network, research network and optical network. The production network, which began operation in March 2004, is a dual circuit for its backbone and links to four core nodes. It supports multi-services, such as IPv6, MPLS, multicasting, network security, voice-over IP and integrated multimedia applications.
"By facilitating international collaborative research, TWAREN enables Taiwan to transcend geographical boundaries and explore new possibilities in R&D, global collaboration and learning, discoveries and innovation," commented Juang Zhe Nan (Joe Juang), director, National Science Council's NCHC. "I am confident that we have made the right choice on Cisco's well-proven IP & optical networking technology, and look forward to enjoying the ultra-high performance and reliability the company's products offer in this demanding field."
The Cisco® solutions include the Cisco ONS 15600 Multiservice Switching Platform (MSSP) and Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP). Both provide intelligent dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) technology and enhanced SDH capabilities. The products connect the 20-Gbps backbone with the four core network nodes and 11 GigaPOPs. The core nodes and the GigaPOPs are powered by the Cisco 7600 Series and 12000 Series routers that deliver high performance.
"When the project completes, Taiwan will be equipped with a world class network that is on a par with those in the US and other top networked nations," said Jayshree Ullal, senior vice president for Cisco's Optical Technology Group. "The Cisco solution offers Taiwan a converged next-generation network with a high level of capacity and flexibility to support research and direct peering with other advanced international networks."
Larry Chai, general manager of Cisco Systems Taiwan, remarked, "The National Science Council is obtaining a world-class IP and optical research and education network that will contribute fundamentally to Taiwan's research innovation and economic growth. We are very pleased to be part of this exciting project, and believe that the new network will further strengthen Taiwan's research capabilities and lay a solid foundation for the country's future in many areas of scientific and technology research."
TWAREN is under thorough testing currently, and will be expected to be operational by March 2004. When completed, Taiwan's domestic bandwidth will increase forty fold, which is comparable to the United States and other highly networked nations.

About NCHC
The National Center of High-performance Computing (NCHC) is a national laboratory founded under the auspices of the National Science Council in 1991. With a mandate initially to establish a sole, centralized facility for computational resources, the NCHC has undergone rapid expansions. A branch office in southern Taiwan was established in mid 2002. The NCHC became a non-profit organization in 2003.

TWAREN, or Taiwan Advanced Research & Education Network, is a project under the six-year national development plan. The major goals of TWAREN are:

To build a national, ultra-high-speed, high bandwidth, high reliability backbone network
To serve as the top-level network under which all other non-commercial networks are interconnected
To serve as the infrastructure that enables new possibilities in research and development, global collaboration, discoveries and innovation, and learning
To serve as an exchange point in Southeast Asia for research and education networks in the region
Serve as part of the mechanisms to train manpower, create jobs, spur economic growth and strengthen competitiveness
About Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems, Inc (NASDAQ: CSCO; SEHK: CISCO - T, 4333) is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Cisco news and information are available at www.cisco.com. Asia-Pacific news and information are available at http://www.cisco.com/asiapac/news/Copyright© 2003 Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. Cisco, Cisco Systems, and the Cisco Systems logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries.

IBM Vision for IPv6

IPv6 in the era of e-business on demand
The Internet today runs on Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), whose address space will inevitably become exhausted, possibly as soon as 2009. Already, users experience significant operational glitches and costs due to ambiguous addressing and the resulting gaps in connectivity. Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) can resolve this problem with larger addresses, thus helping to restore universal connectivity, and bring other benefits such as automatic configuration, improved mobility, and the potential for end-to-end security.
In the emerging environment of e-business on demand, where information technology becomes a resource supplied by the network when the user wants it, the traditional boundaries between enterprises, service providers, and end users melt away. IBM(r) defines an on demand business as an enterprise whose business processes -- integrated end-to-end across the company and with key partners, suppliers and customers -- can respond with speed to any customer demand, market opportunity or external threat. In this networked environment, any user may need to access any service of any service provider. This can only be done by restoring the original Internet concept of universal addressing, accompanied of course by appropriate end-to-end security. IPv6 is the tool for this. While this does not call for an immediate abandonment of IPv4, it certainly calls for a strategic commitment to IPv6. The opportunity cost of remaining locked into an insufficient address space is extremely high in the long term. Instead, an enterprise or service provider should progressively introduce IPv6 connectivity and services, until eventually they become the normal way of doing business and IPv4 becomes a legacy.
Essentially every significant computer operating system and almost every network equipment vendor now has IPv6 support. The adaptation of middleware is under way. In 2003, we see clear signs of widespread understanding that IPv6 is useful, necessary, and available. Now is the time for enterprises to put in place an IPv6 strategy.
IBM is engaged in efforts to consolidate its operating system support for IPv6 and to help extend support to cover all relevant software products. The timing of product enhancements will depend on individual product release schedules and marketplace need. We will continue to build on these foundations to help ensure that the benefits of IPv6 connectivity will become available to all our customers.

Customer scenarios
A large equipment manufacturer, selling its products worldwide, wants to instrument multiple components on all its products so that they can "phone home" in support of diagnostics and maintenance. The company cannot obtain enough unambiguous IPv4 address space to do this, or can only obtain fragmented, discontiguous address space. Although simply attaching an IPv6 address (and DNS name) to each component is not a complete solution to this problem, it is a necessary first step.
A large bank needs to update its network of 10,000 automatic teller machines and employee terminals, to get away from a legacy proprietary protocol. Its Internet Service cannot offer it enough IPv4 addresses to accomplish this. Furthermore, with end-to-end IPv6 capability, the ATMs and terminals have the potential to become more sophisticated than simple client machines.
A developing country with a very large population wants to provide Internet connectivity for every classroom. Local ISPs can only offer the government a handful of IPv4 addresses.
A services company wants to offer a grid computing service to small or medium businesses, with the goal of serving thousands of such customers simultaneously. Local ISPs can only offer a few hundred IPv4 addresses.

IBM and IPv6
IBM has been involved in the design and standardization of IPv6 since 1995, and remains active in the IETF and the IPv6 Forum. The IBM AIX(r) operating system began including IPv6 in 1997, which was in fact the first commercial support of IPv6 on Unix. By 2002, IBM support extended to its zSeries(r), pSeries(r) and iSeries(tm) operating systems, as well as to third-party operating systems on xSeries(r) products. Linux has good IPv6 support, and IBM's Linux Technology Center has made substantial contributions, especially in the area of Mobile IPv6.

IBM products supporting IPv6 technology can offer address space relief and thereby open many new opportunities for customers and services. Moreover, e-business on demand will increasingly depend on the ability of IBM network products and solutions to connect virtually any service requester to virtually any service, with little or no prior planning for the specific connection.

IPv6 support in our network products can enable such connectivity while helping to improve the configurability and security of those connections.

In the European Union's 6NET project, IBM works with 35 other industrial and research partners. In this important IPv6 deployment project, IBM leads the work on middleware and application trials, which will include the use of both IBM WebSphere(r) and the Open Grid Services Architecture over a native IPv6 network. IBM Global Services, IBM Systems Group, and IBM Software Group are all involved in this project.

IBM is engaged in efforts to consolidate its operating system support for IPv6 and to extend support to cover all relevant software products. While product plans are subject to change, work has been done to identify requirements across all IBM software products. Key products and technologies have already been enabled, with additional product plans to deliver IPv6 support in 2004 and 2005. The timing of product enhancements will depend on individual product release schedules and marketplace need. IBM will continue to build on these foundations to help ensure that the benefits of IPv6 connectivity become available to all our customers.

For the complete text of IBM's vision for IPv6 in the era of e-business on demand, see:
© Copyright International Business Machines Corporation 2003. All rights reserved.

AIX, IBM, iSeries, pSeries, WebSphere, xSeries and zSeries are trademarks or registered trademarks of IBM Corporation in the United States and other countries.
UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other countries.
Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.
All statements regarding IBM's future direction or intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only.
IBM Vision for IPv6 IBM®

The IPv6 Revolution Are You Ready?

IPv6 is coming. European and Asian networks have already deployed IPv6 within their infrastructures. The Department of Defense will be based upon IPv6 by the year 2008. And mobile phone users (all of us!) will have IPv6 addresses within the next few years. When IPv6 arrives en masse it will bring many exciting new elements to the field of networking. Security, quality of service, auto-configuration and a truly massive address space will be available to all network users.
IPv6 promises a lot. And IPv6 will fulfill its promises. However, the technology and equipment still need time to catch up to the IPv6 vision. IPv6 brings so many new concepts to networking that it is truly revolutionary. Therefore, new hardware, protocols and network architectures are likely to be developed specifically for the IPv6 paradigm - but this will require time and validation. After all, IPv4 has had two decades to get to its present mature stage. The networking community needs to plan for the IPv6 revolution, as well as a period of coexistence between the present and future versions of the Internet Protocol.
Address Space: It is a sizeable understatement to say that IPv6 increases the available Internet Protocol address space. The growth from 232 to 2128 addresses is much more than exponential - it's colossal! The implications associated with this change must be considered. First of all, routers and switches could conceivably have huge routing tables - millions or even billions of routes. Parsing a destination address for the "longest match" could add significant latency to the forwarding process. Furthermore, each individual IPv6 address is four times as large as its predecessors; therefore routers must reserve at least four times as much memory per address. Most modern network devices have highly optimized silicon-based packet forwarding engines. These chips were designed for traditional 32-bit addresses; 128-bit addresses are a whole new challenge.
The largest IPv6 networks in the world currently have about 1000 unique address prefixes. For comparison purposes, the Internet routing tables typically contain about 140,000 IPv4 addresses. Although IPv6 is designed for scalability, these gigantic networks have not yet materialized. Therefore, real-world experience with the issues related to IPv6 scalability is non-existent. Scalability can only be tested in labs - so thorough network emulation and testing is critical in order to determine the limits and performance associated with large networks.
Routing Protocols: The familiar IPv4 routing protocols all have extensions to support IPv6. Each of the conventional routing protocols has a suffix appended to its name to indicate IPv6 support: BGP4+, ISISv6, RIPng and OSPFv3. These modifications were afterthoughts, not integral parts of the protocols. This evolutionary approach is appealing for transitional networks and convenient for operators. However, it is hardly optimal for the revolutionary new routing paradigms made possible by IPv6. Although IPv6 addresses can be carried by these modified protocols, important extensions such as auto-configuration, security, etc. cannot be natively accommodated. Also, the performance and scalability of these IPv4 routing protocols in large IPv6 networks is wholly unproven. Once again, extensive lab testing and emulation is necessary.
Other Features: Many of the promises of IPv6 are based upon its extensions. However, most of these value-added features (auto-configuration, security or QoS) have not yet been implemented by router vendors, so they do not exist in live networks. When these features become available, the power of IPv6 will be fully realized. The networking community has yet to decide how these features will operate in production networks, so they too must be tested in labs prior to deployment.
Conclusions: The age of IPv6 is dawning. It is coming faster than most of us realize. IPv6 offers the networking world many new advantages including scalability, manageability, ease-of-use and security. Additional features are being introduced by some of the creative thinkers in standards bodies and forums throughout the Internet neighborhood. Network equipment manufacturers and service providers have not been able to keep pace with all of the IPv6 developments. Accordingly, IPv6 deployment has been rather limited. Therefore, there are many unknowns associated with this promising new protocol.
We are all IPv6 pioneers. This is an exciting new era for networking professionals. However, like any new technology, IPv6 must be fully tested before converting any critical network applications to this new architecture. Conformance testing must be conducted to ensure that devices comply with the evolving IPv6 standards. Performance testing is necessary to determine devices' scalability and throughput in the IPv6 world. And finally, functional testing is critical to validate the protocol implementations and transitional mechanisms associated with IPv6.
Spirent Communications has over three years of experience testing IPv6. Many of Spirent's IPv6 implementations (OSPFv3, for example) pre-date those of the equipment vendors. A full journal of IPv6 test methodologies is available on Spirent's web site at http://www.spirentcom.com/ipv6. Let the IPv6 experts help you stage and test your IPv6 implementation and migration strategy.

IPv6 Summits as the Engine for IPv6 Diffusion

I'm writing this from Beijing, where the China IPv6 Global Summit concluded yesterday. 2,500 people were registered and 25 sponsors (from the US, Canada, the EU, and Japan as well as China) showed the support for a boom in IPv6. China already has over 300 million mobile phone users, enough to use up every one of the remaining Internet addresses for IPv4 once they switch to the mobile Internet, as China seeks to leapfrog nearby Japan and Korea, which have nearly 80 million mobile Internet users between them. The diffusion of IPv6 is very different in each country.
In China it's driven by government-sponsored engineering research entities, with Huawei and domestic router companies belatedly buying software to catch up. No military person has ever attended a Chinese IPv6 summit (vs. hundreds from the Dept. of Defense for US summits). While much is made by Westerners about how China lack of IP addresses drives adoption, that's not the sense I got from the Beijing summit. For one thing, APNIC (the organization that hands out both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses) claims that all Chinese requests have been met. For another, several Chinese speakers emphasized (to the only applause of a very reserved audience) that China needed IPv6 to sell Chinese hardware and software for export.
In Japan, both Prime Minister Mori and continuing with Prime Minister Koizumi, have called for a national effort to be "the best IT nation" in part by being the best adopter of IPv6, and the IPv6 Promotion Council of Japan has hundreds of corporate members, and 4,000 attendees at its business summit. Prof. Jun Murai's prestige as Japan's "Father of the Internet" helped him get a breadth of support in Japan without compare in any other national context that has lasted, putting Japan as No. 1 IPv6 implementer. NTT Communications maintains the largest IPv6 network, with over 1,000 IPv6-enabled routers.Europe's implementations are driven by the European Commission, an entity with a $100 billion budget that has funded a number of multimillion dollar research projects that span several countries, and Luxembourg is the home of the IPv6 Forum, whose leader, Dr. Latif Ladid, has helped organize over 30 summits, starting with the very first IPv6 summit, in Paris. European companies, including big companies like Nokia and Ericsson, and start ups like France's 6Wind, show European leadership in IPv6 for wireless and an entrepreneurial quality uncommon in the IPv6 world, were established companies provide the advances.
In the US the market has been driven from 1999 by voluntary efforts and by leading Internet hardware companies like Cisco and Hewlett-Packard, whose employees have given generously to IPv6 community build on and off company time and, since June 2003, by the Department of Defense, which has mandated IPv6 for all systems that tie into the Global Information Grid since October 2002. America entrepreneurial efforts are particularly in training, where Native6, Sunset Learning, along with larger Spirent, get American engineers, managers, and soldiers up to speed on IPv6. So who will lead in IPv6 and what does it matter?
Americans are damn good at inventing and early adoption. Our Edisoneque track record of nearly 7 million patents is why the US, though only conducting recorded economic activity for about 300 years, has an $11.4 trillion/year economy, about ten times larger in dollar terms than China, which has been in business 2,000% longer and has over 400% more people. China "came within a hair's breadth" of industrializing in the 14th century AD, but stopped inventing and early adoption. The Internet is arguably America's greatest invention, and whether the US continues to lead in Internet-related reinvention, or passes the crown to China, will determine, as much as any other factor, whether the US maintains its lead in hundreds of other areas.
The consistent, widespread government support for IPv6 from Europe and Asia (which are highly motivated to beat the US in economic competition, though their partisans say this in a way that is very subtle, and thus avoid triggering Sputnik-like headlines). This support contrasts with idiosyncratic nature of the government support for IPv6 in the US outside of the highly competent Dept. of Defense. A case in point: Richard Clarke, much in the headlines of late, was persuaded by key members of the IPv6 Forum to support IPv6 as part of improving Cybersecurity, and agreed to be a keynote speaker at our IPv6 Summit in San Diego, June 2003. Clarke quit and his successor as Cybersecurity Czar, Howard Schmidt also agreed to support IPv6 and to be the keynote for San Diego. Schmidt lasted just a few months, and was not replaced, leaving the US without an IPv6 champion. If John Stenbit and Director of Architecture and Interoperability John Osterholz had not stepped up to take leadership, the US government (and thus broad cross-industry/cross-government cooperation) would have been missing in action, even as thousands of very intelligent executives and politicians are investing billions in IPv6 leadership abroad.
I was not surprised to learn at the speaker's dinner during our Arlington IPv6 Summit that, right before making the decision to mandate IPv6 (announced, memorably, on Friday the 13th, just a weekend and a week before the San Diego IPv6 summit), Messrs. Stenbit and Osterholz looked at the corporate sponsorship list for the San Diego summit, and saw that several of the best and brightest American companies (as well as several from Asia and Europe) were supportive of IPv6. The Dept. of Defense mandate is now spreading around the world, leading to decisions in some countries (such as the Ministry of Defense in Germany) to also mandate IPv6 and to explorations in others. Canada, the Czech Republic, and the UK have sent representatives to US IPv6 summits to meet with DoD IPv6 experts.
The DoD participation has almost completely changed the color and smell of media coverage of IPv6, from dank and rank to bright and lip-licking appetizing. After the Ottawa IPv6 summit articles were written about the Foreign Internet and the majority of (unimaginative) tech reporters sniffed at the notion that the 30 year old TCP/IP Internet could be improved. The Pentagon's mandate (the first of any military) changed their tune, and other than a few odd pieces like the error-filled Technology Review opinion piece, coverage of IPv6 has had a positive tone. Mainstream press, including the New York Times, BBC, and the Wall Street Journal have started to cover IPv6, and the wonderful Network World has done great cover stories on IPv6 after the San Diego and Arlington IPv6 summits.
I get asked all the time by very smart people how the number of attendees of summits compare, both across time and around the world. People are looking for The Next Big Bandwagon to jump on, and rates of increase are tracked by executives like technical traders track the momentum or acceleration of Relative Strength of a public company's stock. The relative number of attendees and the number and reputations of the corporate sponsors are thus revealed as highly significant milestones and signifiers of a society's success in grasping what should seem blindingly obvious: the Internet is very important, and the early adopter of the next generation Internet has a head start in creating new opportunities for existing companies, as well as new industries. Your participation really matters. Your company's sponsorship of IPv6 summits really matters. At this point, the country to beat for participation is China, and, to paraphrase the pilot episode of television's Kung Fu (I am in China after all), when the the US has as many participants and sponsors as China), then, grasshopper, we will be ready to lead.
The IPv6 Summits are like the Olympics: they show the relative rankings of nations. While the Olympics get the attention, any reasonable analysis would show that IPv6 adoption is orders of magnitude more important in advancing the health, wealth, and wisdom of a society. So, make your stand, and join us in Santa Monica to show that you support a new Internet for a better country, and inspire and challenge a world that is watching the US to redouble their efforts. Good summits lead to get good press and good dealmaking, and industry rivalry. This leads to further government attention and funding, and to the very best sort of arms race, one that will eventually get all six billion people connected on the Internet, and thus make each of us part of all of us, for the very first time. Want to improve the world? Come to the IPv6 Summit and be counted.