This is the Packet Pushers podcast: a place where more than 30 years of networking hasn’t gathered any dust, just a pile of unpaid technical debt, while we try to work out if the creditors are coming to collect this quarter.
Today’s show is the latest in our Future of Networking series, where we peer over the horizon to speculate about what the future will hold.
Our guest is Geoff Huston, Chief Scientist at APNIC, which serves IP addresses for the Asia-Pacific region. He’s been in computer science and networking since the 1980s, including ten years in the telecom trenches.
Join us for a far-ranging and often contrarian conversation on a variety of topics, including why we may not need IPv6 after all; instead, we should focus on the use of DNS and the routing of names instead of IP Addresses.
“If we really needed v6 like we need water, we would’ve died of thirst years ago,” says Huston. He argues that IPv4 and NAT are serving us just fine, and could serve us well for another couple of decades. There is no quick way out of the mess because what we thought we needed 20 years ago has now changed completely.
Network operators are working to pack functionality into the network instead of working to deploy IPv6. There is little incentive for providers or users to deploy it. In fact, deploying middle boxes such as CDN and CGNs are removing the need to adopt the protocol.
We also get into a detailed discussion of DNSSEC and how its single, rooted hierarchy improves on trust flaws in the current certificate system.
Finally, Geoff has a message for engineers just starting out: “Most of what we play with is not right. It was the best guess of the day. You should willing and prepared to question stuff. The things people tell you is best is often based on mythology. The first thought is often not the best thing to implement.”
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