My name is [REDACTED] and I am the Senior Manager of Global Networks for a multinational university system. My team of engineers is working to begin the roll-out of IPv6 to our employer's network infrastructure but we are faced with low interest and a miniscule adoption rate. One of the other daily challenges we face is streaming media's bandwidth consumption at our campuses and offices. This steadily-rising utilization has contributed substantially to ever-rising costs for connectivity into the Internet and between our campuses on the WAN.
You may be asking yourself how these two items are related. Well, as I roll out IPv6 it strikes me that I have an opportunity to use our current "problem" of bandwidth consumption as a way to advocate the progression of IPv6 within the university and perhaps on the Internet as well. You may know that June 6th of 2012 was World IPv6 Launch Day (learn more at http://www.worldipv6launch.org/ ) with many of the largest names in the Internet today taking part. Organizations such as Google, Netflix, Yahoo, Comcast, Sesame Street Cisco and Facebook -- just to name a few -- showed their commitment to this next-generation protocol by enabling their sites and services to be IPv6-accessable. Once Launch Day passed, these vendors left them enabled with the commitment to support them using the same vigor they have for the current IPv4 sites.
You might be interested to know that independent metrics show Netflix has already contributed greatly to a vast rise in the amount of traffic served via the IPv6 protocol (see http://www.betterbroadbandblog.com/2012/06/world-ipv6-daywe-have-liftoff/ for more interesting statistics)!
You may have guessed by now that I am hoping to use our challenge of overwhelming demand for streaming media as a sort of "carrot on a stick" towards solving the challenge of low interest for IPv6 adoption. The metrics above that surround Netflix lead me to believe that if you have a service that users want they will adopt any technology to utilize it. Right now in my organization we are tightening down on the use of streaming media services such as Netflix. We are spending steadily more time and resources to launch technology solutions, all of which are geared around the prevention of streaming media from entering or being used within the school system. At the same time, my users have limited-to-no interest in IPv6. This is silly! What makes greater sense to me is to flip things around. If I can make the announcement we have instituted a network policy that any media streamed or service used over IPv6 will not be subject to rate shaping, queuing or similar impairments? I am certain I will have the rapt and unblinking attention of my audience -- both students and faculty alike!
This is where you, at Pandora, enter the picture and can help me (as well as the world) the most.
Pandora is universally recognized as one of the leaders in streaming music services. The amount of time and effort put into the creation of a Web 2.0 suite for desktop users, the simplicity of your mobile apps for cellular users and the genius behind creating the Music Genome Product is widely understood. You may not know that there are over 5 BILLION mobile devices (cell phones, tablets, etc.) throughout the world today - and that is just mobile devices! There are many, many more home PCs, office desktops, laptops and Virtual Desktops in use today. These number are continuing to grow, which in turn means your potential market is likewise expanding. This is why IPv6 is important to Pandora. Without the expanded address range that IPv6 provides, the Internet can not sustain the almost-linear growth of connected devices at the pace we are experiencing today.
So I put it to you, Pandora: Will you commit to enabling your web, mobile app and other services on IPv6? My request is for a simple yes, or no. If you say yes, your work does not have to be immediate. It does not have to go live all at once. My team's experience has taught me that as a roll-out of migration and transition services of this type occurs, there are lessons to be learned and careful engineering decisions to be weighed. We all understand that your world-class level of availability and service must be retained. Still - what a shame it is that, right now, not even the www.pandora.com site is available via IPv6! A vast new market is waiting for you. With each day more potential customers are arriving. Further, there are many advocate administrators like myself who are willing to make concessions such as the one I detailed above in order to help drive the worldwide adoption of this important new protocol. With support like that, the game is entirely yours to win or lose.
Will you join the cause?
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Senior Manager, Global Networks
[university name redacted as this is being posted as an open letter to my blog at http://feren.dreamwidth.org and other locations]
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