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Can Large Scale NAT Save IPv4?

Oct 07, 2010, 12:03 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeff Doyle)

"I've written previously that as we make the slow - and long overdue - transition from IPv4 to IPv6, we will soon be stuck with an awkward interim period in which the only new globally routable addresses we can get are IPv6, but most public content we want to reach is still IPv4. Large Scale NAT (LSN, also known as Carrier Grade NAT or CGN) is an essential tool for stretching a service provider's public IPv4 address space during this transitional period.

"I've yet to work an IPv6 project involving LSN in which someone does not eventually, with great hope in his eyes, say, "If LSN extends the life of our IPv4 space, why are we going to the pain and expense of deploying IPv6? Can't we just deploy LSN and forget about IPv6 for now? Perhaps until I retire?"

"A first look LSN does indeed seem to promise an extended lifetime for IPv4. Could it even mean that the Internet never has to transition to IPv6?

"This article looks beyond the mechanisms of LSN itself to examine the implications of LSN in a practical network, and why this useful technology should never be viewed as anything other than an interim solution."

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