Unbuckling the narrow waist of IP: Addressing Agility for Names and Web Services

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At large operational scales, IP addressing stifles innovation in network- and web-oriented services. For every architectural change, and certainly when starting to design new systems, the first set of questions we are forced to ask are:

Which block of IP addresses do or can we use?Do we have enough in IPv4? If not, where or how can we get them?How do we use IPv6 addresses, and does this affect other uses of IPv6?Oh, and what careful plan, checks, time, and people do we need for migration?

Having to stop and worry about IP addresses costs time, money, resources. This may sound surprising, given the visionary and resilient advent of IP, 40+ years ago. By their very design, IP addresses should be the last thing that any network has to think about. However, if the Internet has laid anything bare, it’s that small or seemingly unimportant weaknesses — often invisible or impossible to see at design time — always show up at sufficient scale.

One thing we do know:

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