Dear Syslog, regarding NAT & #VFD3 Day 0

Dear Syslog,

It seems like only yesterday that I was listening to Tom Hollingsworth discuss IPV6 on some podcast or other. It went something like this:

Host: So with v6, we’re free of *insert nasty habit tacked onto v4 that we all came to think of as normal, but which is really not normal*

Hollingsworth: Yes. It’s the internet the way it was meant to be.

Me: *kernel panic/bsod/head explodes* 


Syslog, how crazy is it that I was only listening to such debates over recorded podcasts a few months ago until last night, at the #VFD3 kick-off dinner, where I participated in one? And it was In Silicon Valley itself, not the technology sticks of Los Angeles!

Yeah, it’s great Syslog. Hollingsworth held forth on v6 for what felt like a good hour or two, and we #VFD3 delegates, all of us comfortable with our v4 subnetting, our 192.168s and our 10.10s and 172.16s and the whole RFC-1918 spec and our NATs, were at turns skeptical, outraged, excited, amused, or confused by Hollingsworth and we let him have it.

I have to say syslog, I’m convinced. I’m ready to make the leap. And no I’m not talking about Microsoft Direct Access (finally understood the proper context of Teredo tunneling last night syslog), or other half-measures, no….syslog, I want the real v6…I want full 128 bit routable addresses…yeah that’s it. 128 bit routable IP addresses on everything!

Yeah I know I’ve flirted with v6 in the past. Felt cool and 1337 when I hooked up a tunnel to But then I turned it off not knowing what to do with it, fearing the unknown.

Now syslog, regarding NAT…it strikes me that Network Address Translation is not to be hated or despised, but rather, understood in the proper context of the development of the internet. All us #VFD3 guys were struggling for metaphors last night as we contemplated v6 in our own enterprises, but after sleeping on it, I think I’ve figured it out.

This is NAT + IPV4:


This is v6:

The Cannibal, Eddy Merckx
The Cannibal, Eddy Merckx

ergo syslog, NAT+IPV4 = learning to bicycle with training wheels, dad’s steady hand on your back and his encouraging voice in your ears.

ipv6 = Eddy Merckx demolishing a 7% grade somewhere in the Pyrennes during a Tour de France, no helmet, no training wheels, just poise, power and determination. Full of Win.

And so it goes in technology, syslog. NAT had its place and its time, it delayed the onset of Peak IP/v4 address exhaustion, and it let us all get comfortable in this new, hyper-connected world.

But we should have removed those rickety, rusting training wheels long ago and used the internet as it was meant to be used syslog. Instead, we’re inventing all sorts of contraptions and strange tools just to keep the training wheels on indefinitely.

Syslog, the lesson from #VFD3 Day 0 is this: There is no Eddy Merckx destroying his opponents and the mountain until we take the training wheels off. Or, to go all Biblical on you syslog:

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me

Sincerely, Agnostic Node 1

In other news, packed day ahead with #VFD3 events. Follow the Twitter tag #VFD3, or maybe you want to tune into the live-stream, in which case I’ve ctrl-c’d/ctrl-v’d the feed below:

Check back later for more!

Author: Jeff Wilson

20 yr Enterprise IT Pro | Master of Public Admin | BA in History | GSEC #42816 | Blogging on technology & trust topics at our workplaces, at our homes, and the spaces in between.

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