Mark Townsley opened the inaugural V6 World Congress 2011, a 3-day conference on IPv6 Internetworking, with a keynote discussion on the business case for IPv6. One of his key messages was to do with the fact that there is strength in numbers, according to the Network Effect. Thus critical mass is required for the transition to begin in earnest and for the eventual switch to IPv6 to come to true fruition.
Theodore Vail of Bell Telephone discovered and learned how to harness the powers of a mathematical equation that describes “The Network Effect” more than 100 years ago as evidenced by the world wide telephony network. In simple terms, the Network Effect states that the more connections (or people) working together in a network, the more robust and more valuable it becomes. Extrapolating this information to the modern day Internet and further the IPv6 Internet we, indeed, believe the future of the Internet is in our hands and it is up to us to join together as a network of participants to keep it going. Such was the spirit of the participants at V6 World Congress, one of realization in how they are all working together to ensure the continued growth and success of the Internet.
The heart of the Internet is technological growth. With IPv4 on the way out, this growth is prone to being stunted. The basis of a study by Dimitri Zenghelis from Cisco IBSG, finds that “network technology has the potential to boost economic growth, sustainably enriching poorer societies.” If the Internet lacks the ability to expand and grow, a likely outcome will be that the innovation we have come to expect will become more and more difficult to achieve, potentially causing the world economy to lose the monetary sustenance it derives from the Network Effect.
Last week, we introduced the new IP SLA Video Operation tool to assess the readiness of a network by generating synthetic traffic to mimic real applications. When you use IP SLA VO to generate simulated RTP traffic between two sites, you can use the medianet Performance Monitor feature to measure the performance of this synthetic traffic across the network. You can also use Mediatrace to discover the network elements on the paths between the two sites. For each network element discovered in the network path, Performance Monitor can collect metrics to detect potential capacity bottlenecks and proactively identify quality issues.
In addition to the obvious use for pre-deployment assessment, many enterprises understand that the network and applications are constantly changing so it is necessary to do continuous assessments. For example, after a major scheduled network maintenance or upgrade during non-business hours, you can use IP SLA VO to simulate real application traffic and assess the impact of the network changes to minimize potential business disruption or even downtime. Another example is prior to an important event, you can use IP SLA VO to stress test the network and verify that it can handle the rich media traffic without impacting existing application performance.
Whether you are doing an initial assessment for a new deployment, an expansion to an existing deployment, or ongoing operations, IPSLA VO, Performance Monitor and Mediatrace are effective tools to identify and proactively resolve rich media problems across the network. Put this handy tool in your toolbox and you will like it.
When faced with a life changing situation such as the depletion of the IPv4 address space, the emotional reaction tends to track the Kübler-Ross model, better known as The Five Stages of Grief.
DENIAL: There is no crisis! There are lots of IPv4 addresses; we just need to reclaim the ones that are not used.
The increasing consumption rate of IP addresses combined with the natural inefficiencies inherent in IPv4 subnetting makes complete exhaustion of the IPv4 address space inevitable. In October 2010, a return of a “/8 block” (16 million addresses) added only one month to the depletion date. As of April 2011, the Asia-Pacific region alone consumes two /8 network blocks every month. No amount of conservation or reclamation can solve the problem.
ANGER: What a stupid design! How could we run out of addresses?
Vint Cerf sends his most sincere apologies. Nobody imagined the phenomenal growth of the Internet when Vint and his team defined the 32-bit IPv4 address space back in 1977. The good news is that the problem has been recognized since the 1980s and the IETF has had the successor IPv6 protocol defined since 1998. You can take advantage of more than a decade of experience in navigating this transition.
With video increasingly becoming part of how you collaborate, you need to consider the impact of this incremental video on your network. Video brings many new challenges in order to meet user expectations for a flawless quality of experience. So is your network ready for rich media?
IP SLA video operation answers this question by synthetically generating traffic mimicking real application traffic. The ability to generate realistic RTP stream similar to real life Cisco TelePresence allow you to stress the network and assess the demands these applications will impose on your network. Each type of media application can be expressed for the synthetic media generation system by media application profiles that contain personalities which incorporate characteristics such as bit rate, burst sizes, inter-packet-gaps, etc. These application profiles allow, for example, a catalyst switch to simulate the video playout from multiple places in the network. There may be multiple personalities based on different software versions or configurations of the media application. Cisco will make a set of comprehensive media application profiles available for download. IP SLA video operation, an enhancement to IP SLA, was announced on April 6, 2011 at ISC West in Las Vegas and is first introduced in IOS 12.2(58) SE on Cisco Catalyst 3750 and 3560 series switches. Over time, more products will be implementing this new operation.