anyway, what's the half-life of a piece of network equipment? 2-3 years?
In the consumer space, it's probably the life of the customer's
arrangement with the service provider. While turnover is high with dialup
ISPs, it is presumably lower with xDSL and Cable modems. So I would be
looking at more like 4-5 year lifetimes (roughly equal to a PC) without
upgrading the NAT code load (which means that even if IPv6 native support
were available, most customers would not do the upgrade).
existing NATs are going to be discarded, or at least upgraded, within a short
I wish that were true -- but in the consumer space, people just aren't
very interested in futzing with network equipment unless their provider
tells them to. So it is more realistic to assume that equipment stays in
place for a substantial period.
NATs are more entrenched in people's minds than they are in reality.
Today, NAT penetration among consumers isn't very high because networked
multi-PC homes are relatively rare. However, as multiple device homes
proliferate along with home networking, I would expect the majority of
consumer PCs to be behind NATs by 2005. Unless we start thinking now
about the minimal NAT functionality necessary to deploy IPv6, and get
this into shipping NATs soon, we will face very substantial barriers to
IPv6 adoption down the road.
It's being worked on. Watch the I-D directory.
I'm watching ;)