[AusNOG] IPv6 - What Should an Engineer Address when 'Selling' IPv6 to Executives?

Paul Gear ausnog at libertysys.com.au
Wed Mar 6 11:11:23 EST 2013

Respectfully, Robert - you have not addressed Don's question.  You've 
made an excellent case for what /not/ to do (and i wholeheartedly 
agree), but nothing on the side of the case for what to /do/.

I'd really be interested in hearing the group's take on the actual 
benefits of IPv6 /now/.  The only one i can think of is:

  * reduced network complexity and support costs due to the elimination
    of NAT

I expect that this benefit would be eliminated many times over by the 
cost of:

  * implementing IPv6 operationally on the network
  * retraining staff (I can't even get the help desk folks to stop using
    IPv4 addresses when DNS is already set up and working!)
  * re-implementing firewalls to eliminate NAT
  * (for small multi-homed organisations):
      o applying for provider-independent address space
      o implementing BGP (including acquiring the hardware and
        skills/partners to roll it out)

All the other benefits of IPv6 that i can think of are future:

  * ability to grow the network beyond the present limits imposed by
    IPv4 addressing
  * not being subject to the increased cost of acquiring more than a /22
    of IPv4 address space
  * competitive advantage over competitors who have neglected to plan
    for the future
  * not being subject to the exhaustion of IPv4
  * not being cut off from customers who have already fallen victim to
    the exhaustion and are IPv6 only

It would be a foolish manager who ignored that big list of future 
benefits (especially the last two), but i can very much understand him 
or her continuing to defer it until next year's budget, or at least 
pushing the project down the priority queue until bitten.

IPv6 is a technical /must //do/,//and i continue to be wracked with 
professional guilt that i didn't start sooner, invest more learning 
time, and build up more practical experience with it, but i haven't 
managed to find a silver bullet for convincing management.  Some of the 
best Internet minds in the Asia-Pacific region are on this list.  If 
they can't come up with some good sells for the benefits of IPv6 now, 
what hope does the average IP professional have?


On 03/06/2013 07:22 AM, Robert Hudson wrote:
> I am a manager, albeit a technical one. :)
> Presently, the case for iPv6 is seen by many managers (particularly 
> non-technical ones) as the next Y2K. And while I was actively involved 
> in Y2K projects at multiple levels, and I believe they were valuable 
> to business beyond simple risk mitigation, they were all sold to 
> business based on a "if you don't do this, the world as you know it 
> will end" basis.
> And that's exactly how IPv6 is often being sold to business. "Prepare 
> for the end of the (IPv4) world" is generally the catch-cry. And 
> whether this is right or not, we are suffering for the success of the 
> Y2K effort - we put so much planning and effort into Y2K that we 
> almost entirely prevented the problem from occurring - to the point 
> where business became (and still is) suspicious that we concocted the 
> whole problem just to get money for shiny new toys.
> So - what I would propose is that any presentation done on IPv6 to 
> management (particularly non-technical management) focuses not only on 
> what is broken and will break with IPv4, but also what benefits IPv6 
> offers to a business in a simple "choose IPv4 or IPv6" context (yes, I 
> know it isn't currently one or the other).
> We need to get out of the habit of just selling projects and changes 
> to business based on risk mitigation. I suspect if a car salesman 
> tried to sell you a new car by saying "Your current car gets terrible 
> economy, and you know we've reached peak oil, right? And your current 
> car isn't as safe as this new model, you might die if you don't buy 
> this new car!", then he wouldn't sell many cars - and yet that's 
> exactly what we do when we sell IT to business, and we wonder why 
> they're resistant to give us the money we need...
> On 06/03/2013 7:19 AM, "Don Gould" <don at bowenvale.co.nz 
> <mailto:don at bowenvale.co.nz>> wrote:
>     This showed up on the NANog list over night.
>     Very helpful resource for the SMB space...
>     http://mailman.nanog.org/pipermail/nanog/2013-March/056602.html
>     Mukom Akong T. Tue Mar 5 17:55:14 UTC 2013 writes...
>     Dear experts,
>     I've found myself thinking about what ground an engineer needs to
>     cover in
>     order to convince the executives to approve and commit to an IPv6
>     Deployment project.
>     ...

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