Summary

This chapter reminds us, if not reveals some new aspects, of IP's importance in our lives and our organizations. It presents the many aspects of IP communications that subconsciously or unknowingly we include in the now ubiquitous term "Internet." It highlights how much our business and our economy depends on reliable IP communications and how this dependence will continue to increase over time. Through a few simple examples, the IP infrastructure clearly comes across as a strategic asset that a business uses to support existent services and processes, to build new ones, to differentiate itself from competition, and to compete and operate in the global market.

In our daily lives, failures of the IP infrastructure or restrictions on its capabilities to support the worldwide economy are not any more acceptable. And we must be able to leverage IP infrastructures further to provide for more productive services. Although we are past the times when IT had to prove its costs, we still have yet to invest enough in it to leverage the economies of scale on most existent services. And then there are all those services, feasible with today's technology, that just wait for the infrastructure to support them. The demand for IP services is evident, so the only ingredient required for its growth and success is the business or economic model developed by the decision makers.

As more and more decision makers think about new business-enhancing services in the context of an IP converged world, their ideas, and the development of IP Next Generation Networks (NGN's), will demand additional resources from IP. These new ideas will stretch the capabilities of the hardware and software development community, and IP as we know it today. Some visionaries have already started to realize, as have many decision makers, that to achieve their business visions, a new version of IP, one with more address resources, is required. This chapter's review of the significant business and personal dependence on IP-based communications in our lives and economy positions us for exploring the business and economic implications of continued IP evolution.

CHAPTER 2

IPv4 or IPv6 Myths and Realities

The year is 1977. Earth's population has not yet reached 4.5 billion. One hundred and eleven interconnected computing machines make up the ARPANET, a research network.

Thirty years later, in 2008, Earth's population peaks at 6.6 billion and the Internet, with a population of 1.3 billion, has yet to reach 22 percent penetration rate, the threshold that qualifies it as a massively adopted technology. While arguing about the lifetime scope of the available IPv4 address space, the Internet community aggressively pursues a massive convergence of communication technologies (audio, data, video, and voice) over IP. The community is still debating the urgency of an upgrade to IPv6.

In the year 2030, Earth's population is expected to be over 8 billion, adding nearly 75 million people every year, or twice the population of the state of California. The Internet is an integral part of the worldwide economy and everybody's life. The old IPv4 versus IPv6 debate is now history.

NOTE For more information on the history of the Internet, visit http:// www.isoc.org/internet/history/brief.shtml.

Statistics related to the Earth's population and Internet adoption were collected from, respectively:

http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/idb/worldpopinfo.html

http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

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