Failed Expectations: 40 years of network history

June 07, 2023

In this episode of PING, APNIC’s Chief Scientist Geoff Huston discusses the major themes from his recent blog on “Failed Expectations”

In a trip down memory lane, the podcast ranges over the 40 year plus history of how we came to have the current Internet as we know it, and some of the “road not taken” alternates which were under consideration at the time. In this context. “Failed” doesn’t have to mean “failed to work” -it can mean the technology simply wasn’t chosen, or it can be the “failure” to turn off something which was believed to be at best temporary!

In part, the story of IPv6 deployment is part of this mismatch of expectations and reality, because nobody sought the outcome we’re now living through, of a 20 plus year transition from 32 bit addresses to a world of 128 bit addressing. IPv6 was designed with an eye to the needs of addressing at scale, but the emergence of a transfer model, and continued improvement in NAT (and deployment of Carrier-grade NAT or CGN) at scale, worldwide has perpetuated a 32 bit address and routing world. IPv4 Internet is the “little network which could” and refuses to go away quietly.

The views expressed by the featured speakers are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC.