LCA: IP address exhaustion and the end of the open net
Feb 07, 2011, 14:32 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Corbet)
"Geoff Huston is the Chief Scientist at the Asia Pacific Network
Information Centre. His frank linux.conf.au 2011 keynote took a
rather different tack than Vint Cerf's talk did the day before.
According to Geoff, Vint is "a professional optimist." Geoff was
not even slightly optimistic; he sees a difficult period coming for
the net; unless things happen impossibly quickly, the open net that
we often take for granted may be gone forevermore.
"The net, Geoff said, is based on two "accidental technologies":
Unix and packet switching. Both were new at their time, and both
benefited from open-source reference implementations. That openness
created a network which was accessible, neutral, extensible, and
commercially exploitable. [Geoff Huston] As a result, proprietary
protocols and systems died, and we now have a "networking
monoculture" where TCP/IP dominates everything. Openness was the
key: IPv4 was as mediocre as any other networking technology at
that time. It won not through technical superiority, but because it
"But staying open can be a real problem. According to Geoff,
we're about to see "another fight of titans" over the future of the
net; it's not at all clear that we'll still have an open net five
years from now."