[AusNOG] IPv6: "Objections to sale"

Jared Hirst jared.hirst at serversaustralia.com.au
Wed Mar 6 23:06:26 EST 2013

Hahaha spot on there!

*From:* ausnog-bounces at lists.ausnog.net [mailto:
ausnog-bounces at lists.ausnog.net] *On Behalf Of *Bevan Slattery
*Sent:* Wednesday, March 06, 2013 10:41 PM
*To:* Mark Newton
*Cc:* ausnog at lists.ausnog.net
*Subject:* Re: [AusNOG] IPv6: "Objections to sale"

I think IPV6 is more like the 5 stages of grief.


I skipped steps 3 & 4 :)


Sent from my iPhone

On 06/03/2013, at 6:51 PM, Mark Newton <newton at atdot.dotat.org> wrote:

Sales people go through a series of stages to convince a customer to buy.

The first stage is to establish a rapport, so that the salesperson is seen
as a
trustworthy and credible voice.  Pretty much impossible to sell anything
if you can't do that.  So that's why salespeople have big expense accounts,
a lot of time at expensive restaurants, invite customers to golf courses,
and hand
out promotional toys:  It's all about setting themselves up as your friend.

In the process of doing that, they gain enough info to move on to the
second stage,
which is to identify specific problems you have and products in their
which could solve them.  Thus begins the pitch...

Even if the pitch is successful, and they've convinced you that they have a
that you ought to buy, you're not going to sign on the dotted line until
you've been
through the third stage, which is overcoming your "objections to sale."

Perhaps you don't like the price; the salesperson will negotiate on that.
Maybe there's
a feature $competitor has which you like; the salesperson will either show
you their
equivalent features, or try to convince you that $competitor's feature is
buggy or
unnecessary.  Maybe you don't have budget the salesperson either comes back
you're working out next FY, or gives you an offer you can't refuse to
induce you to
buy immediately.It's an iterative process, where one by one the reasons
you'd have for
not spending money are worn down.

At the end you have an identified need, a product to fill it, no reason not
to buy
the product, and a natural human inclination to want to make your friend
All the psychological boxes ticked, you make the sale.  The magic of

The good salespeople execute the stages in parallel, but even then you can
the progression if you're looking for it.  They're basically coin-operated
all running variants of the same software :-)

We're all going through something similar with IPv6.  The first stage is
straightforward, it was accommodated years ago by people like Geoff Huston
the drum (it was his RIPE talk about IPv4 allocations increasing in
geometric time
instead of exponential time that got Internode into the game.  I think I
have the email message I sent to Simon about it sitting in my sent folder!)

The second stage is pretty straightforward too:  IPv4 disappearing.  Some of
you don't believe it is disappearing half as quickly as everyone has made
it out
to be, but even those people would be dishonest if they didn't at least
the legitimacy of the case.  No IPv4 + availability of IPv6 = problem +

So now we're up to stage 3:  Objections to sale.

Back in 2003, people said things like, "Router support is terrible and
buggy." Then
the router vendors basically fixed that one, and it's now next to
impossible to buy
business-oriented routing hardware that doesn't do reliable IPv6, and even
of the cheap consumer gear is doing it now too.  Tick the box, move on.

Back in 2005, there were policy objections: "I can't get PI space from my
or, "This is stupid, am I seriously supposed to give 4 billion times more
than the entire IPv4 Internet to every Ethernet segment?"  The RIRs came to
party with that one, policies were changed, education was delivered.
 Perhaps the
IPv6 Forum played a part here, but so did "buzz."

In 2007 it was, "I can't get IPv6 from my upstream."  Solved.  In almost any
geography on the planet you can now buy native dual-stack transit from lots

In 2008 we had objections like, "My load balancers don't support it."  "My
firewalls don't support it."  None of them were good reasons to do nothing
at all,
they were merely good reasons to leave the bits behind the firewalls and
balancers on IPv4.  Solved problem now, lots of options, if your vendor
doesn't do what
you need or tries to charge extra for v6 you can just tell them that you'll
buy another thing from them again for as long as your company lives unless
deliver, and make purchasing decisions appropriately thereafter.

In 2009 the big message was, "Can't do it, it's expensive."  Well, no.  It
It might be under a pretty small number of specific deployment modes, but
shows there are plenty of other deployment modes where it doesn't need to be
expensive at all, even for networks larger than yours. Totally optional
you get to choose whether or not it applies to you, if you think this is
just choose differently and get happy.  We've all known this for years,
conferences have been held to emphasise it.

In 2010 it was, "I can't connect my eyeballs."  I like to think Internode
a none-too-small part in solving that one.  Vendor support is there, the
are available at both the BRAS end and the CPE end for anyone who wants
them.  Done
and dusted.

So let's look at where we are today:

One by one, reasons for not doing IPv6 have been knocked down.  The
original reasons
for doing it still exist.  They're actually worse now because APNIC has run
and new addresses are expensive on the open market.  All the predictions
are coming

But there are still objections to sale.

The difference between the previous objections and the current ones, though
the triviality of the latter.

We're actually down to, "I'm not doing IPv6 because I can't make the phones
without IPv4."

Seriously?  Is that it?

We geeks like to see technical solutions to problems, and that's the way
approached this so far.  Each technical objection to sale has been beaten
to death
by technical hammers, the state of play is so much better than it was ten
years ago
that it's not funny.  Anyone who patiently explained why they weren't
proceeding in
2003 has certainly had every single last one of their issues dealt with in
intervening decade.

But we geeks are also sometimes blind to non-technical issues, and I think
starting to see what's going on here.  I think there is actually a major
non-technical reason holding back progress in this area:

You don't want to do it.

That's it.  It's that simple.  It explains why you aren't messing around
with it
at home like you did with Linux boxes in the late 1990's.  It explains why
so much butthurt about the price of IPv4, given that you aren't visualizing
a future
when IPv4 is considered obsolete.  It explains why you so desperately want
believe that it's hard and expensive and mysterious and impossible, despite
availability of so many people who've actually done it and tell you the
opposite.  It explains why someone like Don can say, "[complexity] is
the stuff that's driving SMB geeks away," even though a defining attribute
of being
a geek ever since Michelangelo dreamed of helicopters has been that they'll
energised and turned on my complexity.  It's why when the phones work on
you'll say you still can't deploy it because the MIT CoffeeCam is still on
It's why it's 2013 and you haven't even deployed in in the lab. It's why
will donate $50k on training, and at the end of it half of you will use
newfound expertise and insight to figure out new reasons to not do it[1].

You just don't want to do it.

Now, I'm not being judgmental about that choice.  It's as valid as any
other.  We
all place limitations in our lives around the things we want to get
involved in and
the things we don't, it's normal human behavior.

But I think we need to stop crapping on about technology and complexity,
perhaps be a bit honest about what's going on here.  The technical
that are being raised are proxies for something more fundamental and
We can play whack-a-mole with them for as long as we like and it won't
the reason underlying all of it:  There are some people on this list who,
varying extents, have adopted v6 already, and there are others here who,
consciously or otherwise, will try every trick in the book to avoid doing

We eat, sleep, live and breath complexity.  We use all manner of scripting
languages, databases, network devices, operating systems, routing protocols,
arcane stuff that the typical person in the street (or Whirlpool nick) can't
ever hope to understand.  A lot of what we do doesn't work very well, and
we apply effort towards making it work better.  Very few of us have ever
"The implementation sucks!" as a reason for not doing something that needed
be done.

We all earn our livelihoods from managing this complexity.

But not with IPv6.

Have any of you applied enough introspection to figure out why this
piece of internet technology, among all others, is the one that you don't
to want to touch?

 - mark

[1]  Thank you, Bevan -- the gesture is a worthy one regardless, even if
    for the remaining half who will benefit from it.

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