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Last Days For Central IPv4 Address Pool

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the like-the-debt-clock-in-reverse dept.

The Internet 376

jibjibjib writes "According to projections by APNIC Chief Scientist Geoff Huston, IANA's central IPv4 address pool is expected to run out any day now, leaving the internet with a very limited remaining supply of addresses. APNIC will probably request two /8s (33 million addresses) within the next few weeks. This will leave five /8s available, which will be immediately distributed to the five Regional Internet Registries in accordance with IANA policy. It's expected that APNIC's own address pool will run low during 2011, making ISPs and businesses in the Asia-Pacific region the first to feel the effects of IPv4 exhaustion. The long-term solution to IP address exhaustion is provided by IPv6, the next version of the Internet Protocol. IPv6 has been an internet standard for over a decade, but is still unsupported on many networks and makes up an almost negligible fraction of Internet traffic. Unless ISPs dramatically accelerate the pace of IPv6 deployment, users in some regions will be stuck on IPv4-only connections while ISPs in other regions run out of public IPv4 addresses, leading to a fragmented Internet without the universal connectivity we've previously taken for granted."

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376 comments

Time to look at your own desk... (4, Interesting)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963868)

I'm running IPv6 via tunnels since 2001. I'm running native IPv6 since my ISP [on.net] did their first try-out via ADSL.
Come on guys, it is not that difficult. Why is slashdot.org still not accessible via IPv6?

Re:Time to look at your own desk... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964116)

i'm on node have they sorted out the unmetered content issue with ipv6 offering yet?

Re:Time to look at your own desk... (1)

Netshroud (1856624) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964242)

I'm on Optus and they don't give me IPv6 at all. Unless it's a router/modem issue, but given Optus's reputation I doubt it.

How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963872)

Older software that does not support IPv6 adresses ?
I know multiplayer many games, still played today, that do not support ipv6 adresses in their networking code...

Re:How about... (5, Informative)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963880)

It's called "tunneling." If you're playing those on a modern system capable of IPv6, the system can make the game see an IPv4 connection. It doesn't have to know the IPv4 connection is wrapped inside a v6 connection.

Re:How about... (1, Redundant)

pyalot (1197273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963890)

That's a nice idea, of course when the game expects to resolve (or get) an IPv4 address, it'll balk at seeing an IPV6 address string.

Re:How about... (4, Informative)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963908)

*points above*

That was the entire point of my post. You can give the game its own little network world. It sees IPv4, and the host does the translation to and from. When configured correctly, as with any app that no longer conforms to current technology standards, the app has its own little bubble where everything works as expected even though the rest of the world has moved on.

Re:How about... (3, Informative)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964098)

it won't see an IPv6 address 'string'. That's the whole point.

NAT has been a solved problem for over a decade. an IPv4 network NATted behind an IPv6 network is not hard.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964166)

I suppose ISPs will be doing this for their users as part of their service? That way it shouldn't be a problem unless a user specifically requests to have an IPv6 address on their end. At least this approach would make dealing with modems, routers, and all that crap as seamless as possible. Nor does the typical end user have the desire or money to upgrade their home networks if everything has been working just fine until this point.

Re:How about... (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964216)

Wrapping IPV4 ain't the problem, it is the elephants in the room that have been allowed to grow too massive and are gonna be hell to deal with, if they even can on a timely basis.

One elephant in the room is the MASSIVE amount of eWaste that is gonna be generated. Hell a good 90% of the under $100 routers being sold right now don't support IPV6, and that don't count all of the routers, switches, cable and DSL modems, etc that are simply not gonna work with IPV6 and gonna have to be shitcanned. Imagine a good 85% of all the home routers thrown in the garbage at the same time, along with probably 50% or more of the cable and DSL modems. That is a serious amount of garbage that is gonna be hitting the landfills all at once.

The other elephant is thanks to corps lowballing IT for years there has been a SERIOUS brain drain with very few going into IT so you have a ton of older workers who aren't up to speed and are gonna be expected to get fluent with a totally new way of networking in...oh right about now. Thanks to the shitty hours and constantly being expected to do ever more with ever less resources many of the good IT guys I knew have already left or are looking to get out, so what you have left in many of the flyover states is the bottom of the IT barrel and problems that would take an hour or two at most with IPV4 will end up taking days or weeks with IPV6 simply because the guys you have left are old, don't have the skills, haven't kept up, and have based their troubleshooting steps on tools and techniques that simply don't work anymore.

So anyway you look at it IPV6 is gonna be a serious clusterfuck. The idiot that made IPV6 without designing backwards compatibility really needs to be shot because instead of a slow ramp up we are gonna end up in a "ZOMG we are fucked! SWITCH IT NOW!" kind of situation and we simply don't have the manpower or skillsets required to do a countrywide or even a regional switchover ATM. All the years of corporations lowballing their IT and the ISPs paying crappy money for managers and IT staff is gonna come back and bite them in the ass, and bite them HARD. Between the eWaste, the lack of manpower with the relevant skillsets, the massive understaffing at most ISPs compared to the job at hand, it is just gonna be a giant fucking mess.

Their fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964252)

It's their own damn fault. ISPs knew this was eventually coming, if they didn't plant for it its their fault for not addressing the migration in their business plans. Customers have also heard about this IPv6 thing and most diss it as something they don't care about or just another scare. Their own fault too if they choose to buy outdated routers.

IPv6 is the stupidity test.

Re:How about... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964260)

The idiot that made IPV6 without designing backwards compatibility really needs to be shot

Hairyfeet, let me introduce you to Pigeonhole Principle [wikipedia.org] . I'm sure you'll get along fabulously.

Re:How about... (4, Insightful)

Sique (173459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964266)

At least a good amount of them can be refitted for IPv6 due to installing OpenWRT or DD-WRT or any of the other distributions out there. Maybe it's a business opportunity, flashing home routers to use one of those and reconfigure them to the initial settings afterwards?

Re:How about... (1)

paul248 (536459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964138)

So, when everything's on IPv6, and you want to play an IPv4-only game, you'll first have to establish an IPv4 VPN between the players? I suppose that sounds feasible, but someone will have to write the software to make it easy.

Re:How about... (1)

Denihil (1208200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964158)

check out hamachi. it's sorta like that. 5 bucks say they're gonna develop a ipv6 version. considering it's already doing NAT translation, it's just a matter of doing a extra step of tunneling.

Re:How about... (1)

mcbridematt (544099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964176)

Are they still using the block within 5/8? They better get off it.. before actual hosts get addresses from it within the next few months.

Risk aversion (4, Insightful)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963876)

Business organizations, like politicians, are usually extraordinarily risk-averse. This touches both in many ways, across many countries. As a result, there won't be any serious pushes into IPv6 until organizations can clearly quantify the damages that will be done from dragging their feet further. Only a small percentage of organizations will fully commit to IPv6 until the guaranteed costs of waiting exceeds the projected costs of moving forward.

Nobody should have expected anything different once the internet became controlled predominantly by public political and private business interests.

Re:Risk aversion (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964368)

>>>once the internet became controlled predominantly by public political and private business interests.

Interesting statement. Has there ever been a time when the internet was Not controlled by either government or business? I can't think of any. First there was APRA control (public political), then it gradually moved towards private college and ARPA control, and now its current state. So bascially the internet has ALWAYS been controlled by "public political and business interests".

BTW the government didn't handle the Analog to Digital TV transition that great either.
It was supposed to happen in 2006, got pushed back to 2009, and then pushed back again for six more months (but only half the stations complied so that turned into a mess). The government screwed-up the AM to AM Stereo transition (consumers were confused which of 3 codecs to choose). And now it appears the AM/FM to HD Radio transition is not working either.

Re:Risk aversion (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964394)

I can't think of any. First there was APRA control (public political), then it gradually moved towards private college and ARPA control, and now its current state. So bascially the internet has ALWAYS been controlled by "public political and business interests".

No mod points but
+1 informative. and insightful

Re:Risk aversion (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964400)

To expand on your idea, our business has 5 IPs that aren't likely to be taken from us (We had 32 at one time, voluntarily dropped to only what we really need). The shortage of IP addresses isn't going to affect the business directly, we won't need more, and everyone that can connect, can connect to us using those IPs. It doesn't make sense to try to switch to IPv6 until we HAVE to. As a matter of fact, there is MORE risk in switching than in not switching, since what we have works and is a known quantity. I'm assuming we can still run the intranet on IPv4 and only the outfacing servers need to be reconfigured to IPv6, but not sure as I haven't really seen anyone simplify what is needed. Oh, and our business provider doesn't offer IPv6.....

Now I would gladly setup on IPv6 at home (if they offered it...) because the cost of downtime and problems is relatively cheap, just reconfigure and try again. It has to START with ALL internet providers offering IPv6 NOW as an option. So as it stands, it is impossible for me to even experiment with IPv6 either at work or at home. Once I am actually able to switch, I have over 30 boxen to switch over. It would be helpful if I could at least test it now.

We always knew that ipv6 adoption would be messy (4, Insightful)

pyalot (1197273) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963884)

People never do things en-masse because they thought it's a good idea. They do them because they're out of other options. No surprise there.

How many isp's do ip6? (3, Informative)

mgv (198488) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963888)

Most isp's don't give out ip6 addresses

Most home routers don't handle ip6 (apple is a notable exception here)

This is going to be a bit ugly for a while.

Re:How many isp's do ip6? (1)

ludwigf (1208730) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964114)

Most home routers don't handle ip6 (apple is a notable exception here)

I've never seen an apple router. But I know avm [www.avm.de] , one of the big home router producers here in germany does support IPv6. Sadly since my ISP does not I couldn't actually test it.

Re:How many isp's do ip6? (1)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964204)

AVM's FritzBox 7370 (i believe) is deployed by dutch provider Xs4all to provide IPv6 to endusers. Now if only they could deliver speeds above 4Mbps in my city (only the 3rd city of the country), i would seriously consider staying with them.

Re:How many isp's do ip6? (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964324)

Thats ok, from what i've seen, way to many ISP's are doing things so wrongly that when IPv6 comes out, you won't even notice, because they will kludge it into there network anyways. For example, My home router does not have to work with IPv6 as far as i can tell, because my DSL modem sets up an internal network. It is giving me 198.168.0.* addresses for my home computers, but addresses itself with a totally different block to the actual internet. what i'm saying is that home users are not going to be throwing away routers, they are going to be shipping back DSL modems when there shiny new IPv6 compatible one is delivered to them during a 'network upgrade' that will apear as a line item on their bill that month. And that's just the modems that can't learn to support IPv6 via a firmware update.

There's no such things as shortages... (1, Troll)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963892)

I keep seeing this fear of the IPv4 address pool disappearing, but I thought there was no such things as shortages in a free market? So then what's going on here? Clearly the IANA is refusing to allow the prices (and therefore costs) of IPv4 addresses to rise to reflect the true scarcity of them. I think the ANIPC goes as far to say you don't own your IP address to sell. Prices aren't just arbitrary things, they reflect information about scarcity, and if IPv6 addresses were cheaper to adopt than IPv4 addresses, certainly it could only help spread adoption, while still letting the people who most urgently demand IPv4 addresses get one.

The last blocks ought to be auctioned or raffled off right now, and traded between the owners, with the regional registries only registering who owns an IP address range, no different than what happens on a stock exchange floor.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (-1, Flamebait)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963912)

I keep seeing this fear of the IPv4 address pool disappearing, but I thought there was no such things as shortages in a free market? So then what's going on here? Clearly the IANA is refusing to allow the prices (and therefore costs) of IPv4 addresses to rise to reflect the true scarcity of them. I think the ANIPC goes as far to say you don't own your IP address to sell. Prices aren't just arbitrary things, they reflect information about scarcity, and if IPv6 addresses were cheaper to adopt than IPv4 addresses, certainly it could only help spread adoption, while still letting the people who most urgently demand IPv4 addresses get one.

The last blocks ought to be auctioned or raffled off right now, and traded between the owners, with the regional registries only registering who owns an IP address range, no different than what happens on a stock exchange floor.

IPs don't correspond with any physical good or product and have an inherent value of zero dollars. You can't own numbers. Therefore you are crazy and have been sipping Enron's cool-aid.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963946)

Next thing you tell me you can't own domain names or email addresses either? Of course you can't own numbers, but you can own IPv4 addresses, and there's a big difference, owning an IPv4 address means it's routed to where the you the owner want it to go, therefore yes, it does correspond with a physical good and/or product. Newsflash: Shares of a company, FM radio frequencies in a geographical area, and most US dollars are not physical at all, either, but people still own them, and rightfully so.

I mean seriously, we do all of this with domain names already, why not IPs? It would be easier if anything because IP address blocks are homogeneous like shares of a company, all you are dealing with is the size of the address block/the CIDR.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (5, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963966)

Next thing you tell me you can't own domain names or email addresses either? Of course you can't own numbers, but you can own IPv4 addresses

You can't own an IPv4 address. That's been the policy for over a decade.

And no, you can't own a domain name either. If you don't pay the renewal fee, and anyone can register it after it lapses - so you're just licensing or leasing it.

And since email addresses are connected to domain names, you don't own them either.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964032)

I don't use "can" to mean "may" I use it as "it would not be impossible."

Ownership of domain names is good enough to call it that for economic purposes... You have full control over what happens to it, what DNS records are kept with it, who to trade it with, for all intents/purposes you own it.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964160)

I don't use "can" to mean "may" I use it as "it would not be impossible."

Ownership of domain names is good enough to call it that for economic purposes... You have full control over what happens to it, what DNS records are kept with it, who to trade it with, for all intents/purposes you own it.

Again, you're factually wrong. As I pointed out, you cannot, contrary to your original assertion, own an IP address. Ditto with a domain name. You only lease/license them.

If you stop paying your car license plates, you still own your car - you just can't drive it on public roads. You stop paying your domain registration, you lose it. Same thing with "ownership" or an IP address or domain.

ARIN reserves the right to revoke IP address allocations at any time and without prior notice. So much for your "ownership" theory.

Real Estate (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964424)

>>Again, you're factually wrong. As I pointed out, you cannot, contrary to your original assertion, own an IP address. Ditto with a domain name. You only lease/license them.

By that argument, you don't actually own your house, because if you stop paying property taxes, the government will take it away from you.

talking without thinking is not communication (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964180)

You can't own an IPv4 address. That's been the policy for over a decade.

The policy of the organization that OWNS them.

And no, you can't own a domain name either...so you're just licensing or leasing it.

licensing it from the organization that OWNS them.

Your ideas have no logical origin. What angle are you coming from? (who do you work for?)

Re:talking without thinking is not communication (3, Informative)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964376)

You can't own an IPv4 address. That's been the policy for over a decade.

The policy of the organization that OWNS them.

The problem is that the central orgs that assign IP address spaces reserve the right to revoke them at any time, for any reason (or no reason). So unless you're IANA or APNIC or RIPE or one of the other regional authorities, forget it.

Also, even they don't "own" the numbers - they just administer them. Nobody "owns" them. You can't "own" a number.

There's nothing to stop you from creating your own network, and using the same set of 4 billion numbers.

There's nothing to stop me from setting up a lilypad of wireless networked machines using the same set of numbers, running my own DNS server, and serving up my own domain system to whoever adds those servers to their /etc/resolv.conf file. Since it wouldn't be "The" Internet, just an "internet", it would be a good way for municipalities to neatly sidestep the incumbents attacks on municipal free access. Let individuals provide the gateways to the "real" internet.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964212)

Well, no, not really. You could own a domain if you created the whole TLD that it was under.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964304)

The OP was claiming that you could own an IP address. IP addresses are revokable at any time for any reason, or no reason at all. So their original argument is invalid.

Then you have the problem with "owning" a TLD that you create. Even that is subject to annual costs. Don't pay the costs, and you drop off the Internet. Your TLD ceases to exist.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964042)

I mean seriously, we do all of this with domain names already, why not IPs?

Because domain names aren't routable.

If there is a shortage in China, you can't just get together a bunch of non-contiguous /24's from Africa, Oceania, and South America and sell them to those who need them in Asia -- routing table sizes would explode, and the Internet would pretty much fall apart. Subnets are aggregated into supernets to aggregate routes, and you can't start busting up the supernets without negatively impacting routability.

So even if you could buy and sell any sized block of IPs, you'd only be able to do so to someone who wanted to use your network provider. If your provider isn't where a potential buyer wants their data and services physically located, then there is no sale. Indeed, anything much lower than a /8 will most probably only be sellable to someone willing to connect to the same upstream provider as you, limiting the sale possibilities immensely. More importantly, as IP address blocks aren't entirely fungible due to the restriction of not being able to reasonably break up supernets, geographical areas with demand won't be able (or even want) to buy from regions where there is supply, doing nothing to alleviate the current IPv4 exhaustion.

Fortunately, the market has responded by making a huge number of IPv6 addresses available.

Yaz.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1, Informative)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963970)

Rules for buying/selling of IPv4-addresses has already been put in place at the regional internet registries (RIPE, ARIN, APNIC, etc.) as far as I know.

Not that that is really all that important, if people just deploy IPv6 already.

It just helps to make IPv4 more expensive to run, which will just be one of many reasons to deploy IPv6.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964026)

Let me correct that, for the spelling nazis and why ever else wants to complain:

A transfer fee agreed between 2 providers for something they do not own

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964144)

IPs don't correspond with any physical good or product and have an inherent value of zero dollars. You can't own numbers. Therefore you are crazy and have been sipping Enron's cool-aid.

You don't own the address, you own the use of the address, and the right to announce control of that address to other ISP's within the network which we call "The Internet".

You're correct, those numbers can't be owned. You're perfectly capable of starting your own "Internet" and assign those same addresses however you please, and nobody can stop you. But if you're going to play in the one everyone else is playing on, you're going to have to play by the rules.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964334)

IPs don't correspond with any physical good or product and have an inherent value of zero dollars. You can't own numbers. Therefore you are crazy and have been sipping Enron's cool-aid.

The above is what happens when people are allowed to escape out of school without ever having to take any course in basic economics.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963922)

Except it's not so simple. If you have network hardware and software that don't support IPv6, you have a lot of cost involved to upgrade. Gateway devices, DSL and cable modems, routers... all need to support the protocol. Not to mention OS's and the software running on top of the network infrastructure.

You make it sound like we can all switch overnight to IPv6 based purely on the cost of the addresses, when there are a LOT more things to consider than simply addressing.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963962)

So... what's your point? No one is claiming the switch would be made overnight, but the fact there is no profit and loss mechanism to drive us in the direction of adoption cannot be helpful at all, and people who most urgently demand IPv4 addresses (the people who are willing to pay lots of money because not having an IPv4 address is a massive cost) would be excluded from getting them, while companies like Apple and such have /8 blocks they have no chance of selling off portions of.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (3, Insightful)

AGMW (594303) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963992)

What I don't get is why the people who came up with IPv6 didn't make the upgrade path easier? Obviously I'm missing something, but what if (for the sake of argument) they had decided that the first 'n' IPv6 addresses would correspond to the complete set of IPv4 addresses, and all IPv6 routers, etc, would understand that one of the first IPv6 addresses meant 'route the traffic to the corresponding IPv4 address'. Could that have been done?
If so, then people could have been upgrading to IPv6 over the last 10 years as opportunities arose (ie as old equipment needed replacing they'd have replaced with the IPv6 option) and still have been able to see the IPv4 world. As more w/s moved to IPv6 only there would be a compelling reason for more people to follow suit ...

Once all traffic was using IPv6 there could be an update to free up those first 'n' address for use in IPv6, though there's so many addresses that might not be required for quite some time, so the natural upgrading of equipment would see them made available over the next 5 or 10 years without needing any big splash upgrades.

Or am I completely missing something that would have made this impossible?

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

kbg (241421) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964078)

Yes it seems to me that the creators of IPv6 either intentionally made the upgrade path unnecessary hard for whatever reason or they were complete idiots.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (4, Informative)

Wizarth (785742) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964082)

You're overlooking that an IPv4 only host can't RESPOND to an IPv6 address. Instead you get IP6to4 NAT, which has to be a service provided by someone, that connects the IPv6 network to the IPv4 network, so the IPv4 destination sees the request originating from an IPv4 address.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (5, Informative)

bbn (172659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964384)

What I don't get is why the people who came up with IPv6 didn't make the upgrade path easier? Obviously I'm missing something, but what if (for the sake of argument) they had decided that the first 'n' IPv6 addresses would correspond to the complete set of IPv4 addresses, and all IPv6 routers, etc, would understand that one of the first IPv6 addresses meant 'route the traffic to the corresponding IPv4 address'. Could that have been done?

This is the way it is. The first 4 billion IPv6 addresses maps to the entire IPv4 address space.

If so, then people could have been upgrading to IPv6 over the last 10 years as opportunities arose (ie as old equipment needed replacing they'd have replaced with the IPv6 option) and still have been able to see the IPv4 world. As more w/s moved to IPv6 only there would be a compelling reason for more people to follow suit ...

People could have been doing that but they didn't. So here we are.

Or am I completely missing something that would have made this impossible?

Yes, just mapping between IPv4 and IPv6 using this mechanism does not make it possible for your old IPv4 host to communicate with a IPv6 host using an address outside the 4 billion address space supported by IPv4. So what you describe is not actually backwards compability.

The real compability is called "dual stack" meaning all IPv6 hosts also have IPv4. As we are running out of IPv4 this might be using NAT to conserve addresses. People have been doing dual stack for a decade now, but just not enough. It is said about 0.5% of the traffic is on IPv6.

Your ISP was supposed to give you an IPv6 address along with your IPv4 address 10 years ago. But they didn't.

Your OS provider was supposed to make your OS support dual stack 10 years ago. They actually did.

Your router provider was supposed to make your router dual stack capable 10 years ago. They didn't.

Your software provider was supposed to implement dual stack support 10 years ago. To a large extend they did, but some programs are still lacking here.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963930)

Don't be ridiculous. There have been shortages in free markets for as long as there have been free markets in places suffering drought. When something is sufficiently necessary and scarce, prices are irrelevant because people will take it by force.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963986)

Crack open an Econ textbook, scarcity is not the same as a shortage. Scarcity means there isn't enough of the good for the cost of acquisition to be free (pretty much everything except air). Shortage means there isn't enough for anyone to acquire even if you wanted to pay for it, and in a market only happens with a bad prediction of anticipated prices, and only in the short term -- Or in the case of IPv4 addresses, when there's no way of trading blocks of addresses.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964046)

Or you could forget the humpty-dumpty words mean whatever economists want them to mean bit and if you have a point you could actually expresss it in English.

So what is your point?

Lack of IP addresses due to limitations of IPv4, coupled with peoiple not moving off of IPv4, will mean that IPv4 addresses can command a higher price and that if you're rich enough then you'll be able to get one? Just like if you're rich enough then you can probably get the food and medicine you need even if there isn't enough to go around; is that what you were trying to say? Do you think there's any chance at all that there's anyone who didn't realise that already?

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964202)

In that sense, IPv4 addresses aren't just scarce, there's also a shortage of them and the market can only change that by switching to a protocol with more addresses, because there isn't a way to make more IPv4 addresses. You can use IPv6 now, without first inflating the cost of IPv4 networks by funneling money to whoever hogged more IPv4 addresses than they needed in the past.

The medium-term value of IPv4 addresses is not what you think it is, because the way forward is IPv6 and that means that very soon new users will not (or only through fragile multi-level NAT constructs) be able to talk to IPv4-only hosts.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963940)

I thought there was no such things as shortages in a free market

You need to stop using the source from which you got that definition. Nobody, pro- or anti- free market, also having two or more brain cells to rub together, would ever state a free market is supposed (or is claimed) to be free of shortages. There are various claims about how free markets affect short supplies vis-à-vis allocation and price, but not the they can turn a supply from limited to limitless. Any such claim is absurd.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964006)

In fact it is a commonly claimed feature of a market, there's even a term for it: the market clearing mechanism [wikipedia.org] . There is no reason that an entrepreneur would want to sell a good at a lower price than would cause a shortage, if they could instead sell to the highest bidders, so they do not occur in a free market, at least not in the short run (before mistakes are corrected). That is to say, selling at a price that causes a shortage has an opportunity cost for both the buyers and the seller.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963998)

but I thought there was no such things as shortages in a free market?

Whatever you were doing when you came up with that, I'm not sure it qualifies as "thought". If there isn't enough food for everyone to eat then there's a shortage of food. A free market doesn't make that impossible. Higher prices will encourage people to produce more if they can in order to get excess profits, but it would be absurd to suggest that shortages can't arise.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964012)

but I thought there was no such things as shortages in a free market?

      Where do you see a free market? There is no free market, everything is regulated, certain corporations are protected by law, and One Big Agency is assigned the duty of handing out IP addresses. That's not a free market. And by the way, it answers your question: since it's not a free market this is why there are problems.

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964016)

I thought there was no such things as shortages in a free market?

Huh? Price elasticity in a free market is defined exclusively as a function of availability. The free market is defined by shortages!

So then what's going on here? Clearly the IANA is refusing to allow the prices (and therefore costs) of IPv4 addresses to rise to reflect the true scarcity of them.

Maybe it's not a free market, and never was? The RIRs are local monopolies (and I thought NFP organizations, but not sure about that).

Prices aren't just arbitrary things, they reflect information about scarcity,

That's a very narrow definition. And they are still arbitrary: any manufacturer can choose any price as long as they can reach break-even at that price-point.

and if IPv6 addresses were cheaper to adopt than IPv4 addresses, certainly it could only help spread adoption

Except that they already are. Massively so. For the price of a single IPv4 address, you can buy 2^64 IPv6 addresses with most providers.

The last blocks ought to be auctioned or raffled off right now, and traded between the owners, with the regional registries only registering who owns an IP address range, no different than what happens on a stock exchange floor.

Heh. Stocks have only one function: trade. IP addresses are not used for trade, they are used for communication. And the reason for non-tradeability has nothing to do with ownership, it has to do with routing: if you allow individuals to trade addresses among themselves, who is going to pay for the administration that makes those addresses reachable af the new owner's location?

Re:There's no such things as shortages... (1)

diamondmagic (877411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964064)

Huh? Price elasticity in a free market is defined exclusively as a function of availability. The free market is defined by shortages!

That's scarcity. Shortage means completely unavailable goods/services even to willing buyers.

That's a very narrow definition. And they are still arbitrary: any manufacturer can choose any price as long as they can reach break-even at that price-point.

No, breaking even still has an opportunity cost, the cost of what you could have made maximizing your profits. If prices don't reflect market prices they reflect how much the producer values their good themselves, so it's nor arbitrary.

Except that they already are. Massively so. For the price of a single IPv4 address, you can buy 2^64 IPv6 addresses with most providers.

Many people wouldn't take an IPv6 address if you paid them... I haven't seen the prices, but in any case it's still true that if a shortage is really imminent then they are too low.

Heh. Stocks have only one function: trade. IP addresses are not used for trade, they are used for communication. And the reason for non-tradeability has nothing to do with ownership, it has to do with routing: if you allow individuals to trade addresses among themselves, who is going to pay for the administration that makes those addresses reachable af the new owner's location?

Stocks represent a specific portion of ownership of capital, profits, and vote in corporate leadership, what value would they have if it was only a medium of exchange? It certainly wouldn't be a very good money if they remained as volatile as they are. There's no reason you couldn't trade IP addresses similar to trade ownership of capital resources.

We know (2)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963894)

We know already. Just about everyone on slashdot has setup IPv6 at home, and most likely given up on it later as there is little to access on it.

Until we pressure the ISP's to give everyone native IPv6 this thing isn't going to go anywhere. If the ISP's lead the big retailers will follow, other sites will follow them. The very last thing anyone wants is ISP level NAT but that is exactly what we are going to see if we don't fix the current mess.

Re:We know (1)

stryyker (573921) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963914)

And ISPs giving IPv6 addresses mean little if customers have no equipment that handles it. Why don't most CPE support it? Most makers don't write the full software suite. They tweak what the chipset providers write. Complain to Broadcom and others.

Re:We know (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963936)

And ISPs giving IPv6 addresses mean little if customers have no equipment that handles it.

Why don't most CPE support it? Most makers don't write the full software suite. They tweak what the chipset providers write. Complain to Broadcom and others.

If I complain to Broadcom they will ignore me. We need to get their customers, the ISPs, to complain to Broadcom.

You are right though. I was amazed that my super-cool do-everything fritz!box doesn't seem to do IPv6.

Re:We know (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964322)

Considering my cable modem is part of the contract with my ISP, that's still their problem.

Re:We know (2, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963916)

I have found two good things on IPv6: One is a public, high-retention public usenet server with binaries. The other is now defunct, but used to be one of the semi-mythical university pirate caches - vast deposits of copyright infringement hosted on academic high-bandwidth connections, accessible only via IPv6 where no enforcers are yet capable of looking.

I think the ISPs may want ISP level NAT. It would mean an end to the p2p software that has been placing such a high demand upon their networks, a barrier to VoIP that competes with the very profitable phone service and no more people running their own servers off a domestic connection when the ISP would like such things to be restricted to the more expensive business connections. They have no reason to move to IPv6, because most of their customers wouldn't be able to make the connection between deployment of ISP level NAT and the sudden breaking of their WoW updates and internet-phone software.

Re:We know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963950)

a barrier to VoIP that competes with the very profitable phone service

I'm guessing you're in America? In the UK, ISPs rarely run phone (or even TV) services, so this problem doesn't exist here.

I just wish there was a decent+cheap ADSL IPv6 capable router to buy.. The only router I've found that will definitely work is Ciscos £400+ 800 series, but considering the router I'm currently using cost me a whopping £30, I'm unlikely to buy that Cisco any time soon.

Re:We know (2)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964280)

In the UK, ISPs rarely run phone (or even TV) services, so this problem doesn't exist here.

Actually most of the major ISPs do run phone and media services. BT, Virgin, Talk Talk (who own more ISPs than you think and are quietly changing the names to Talk Talk) to name a few.

Re:We know (2)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964110)

That works until one ISP sees that there is a demand for non NATed access.

They provide that and gets piles of customers.

In norway all owners of copper need to let other companies rent said copper at a reasonable price. So on the copper pair entering my apartment I have an option of at least 20 different DSL providers. Works wonders for competition ;)

Re:We know (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964000)

The answer will be: whatever is cheaper. ISP's don't give a shit about the user or they would be constantly upgrading and improving their networks instead of running software to screw up people's access by throttling or shaping (Yeah we'll sell you x MB/s bandwidth but you're not allowed to use it).

They give a shit about profits though - so they won't let the whole network collapse - but only when they really really really have to. Ahh, monopolies. By the way, weren't we supposed to run out of IP's last year?

Re:We know (2)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964028)

I tried it last year, but I noticed some problems in getting my web and mail server to work properly, so I went back to IPv4. The problem with IPv6 is that there's no benefit to switching, only more trouble, so what's the point ? This isn't going to change anytime soon.

The very last thing anyone wants is ISP level NAT

They will have to anyway. The IPv6-only customers still want access to IPV4-only servers. This means there's no benefit to upgrade those servers to IPv6.

Re:We know (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964058)

Until we pressure the ISP's to give everyone native IPv6 this thing isn't going to go anywhere.

I would say, start with (part of the) content: the websites. Hosting companies should make their servers and hosted domains IPv6.

Why first the content? Because that is where the greater knowledge is available. Then later grandma will wonder why she can't go to site XYZ, call her provider and is sold a new type of connection.

Otherwise, why would grandma care? She does not care that she has a 10.X.X.X address and all of her city has as well, because that is what will happen.

Re:We know (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964068)

I would say, start with (part of the) content: the websites. Hosting companies should make their servers and hosted domains IPv6.

What's the benefit to them ? As long as 99.9% of the customers can still access their site by IPv4, there's no incentive.

The problem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963932)

IPv6 is great, but they could have solved the problem far more elegantly 10 years ago.

Add two octets to the front of v4. Solved after a firmware flash.
Any existing IP becomes 1.0.x.x.x.x
If a router encounters a x.x.x.x address, it just appends 1.0 to the front.
The old internet and the new internet would have run side by side - for the most part working fine until everyone had updated their firmware.

Sure, it's not the engineering solution v6 is, but it would have been in use long ago.

Re:The problem (1)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963994)

And just how would IPv4 clients reply to packets sent that way?

Re:The problem (5, Interesting)

bbn (172659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964466)

IPv6 is great, but they could have solved the problem far more elegantly 10 years ago.

Add two octets to the front of v4. Solved after a firmware flash.
Any existing IP becomes 1.0.x.x.x.x
If a router encounters a x.x.x.x address, it just appends 1.0 to the front.
The old internet and the new internet would have run side by side - for the most part working fine until everyone had updated their firmware.

Sure, it's not the engineering solution v6 is, but it would have been in use long ago.

They did this. Except they added 12 octets in front of v4 and mapped existing v4 addresses to 0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.x.x.x.x.

And the old and new internet runs side by side currently and we are just waiting for everyone to update their firmware.

And if you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34963958)

And if you rearrange the letters in APNIC you get what ISPs will do when the last IPs run out.

Re:And if you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964014)

And if you rearrange the letters in APNIC you get what ISPs will do when the last IPs run out.

a picnic?

Re:And if you... (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964156)

i c,... nap

huh? (1)

NoZart (961808) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963990)

"... leading to a fragmented Internet without the universal connectivity we've previously taken for granted."

Does the existing 'net suddenly start to rot away or what?

Apocalypse! (2)

dandart (1274360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34963996)

It's the apocalypse! Aaaaaaaah! We're doooooooomed! Now I've got that out of my system, get your arses in gear, ISPs and site owners. We're counting on you. We know you can do it.

Renting IP Addresses (4, Interesting)

Drew M. (5831) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964004)

There's a very simple solution to this. We should be renting IP addresses, not handing them out. Make publicly routable IP addresses cost $1 a month. Many class A owners would be dying to give back address space that they aren't using. Isn't that the answer to a limited supply of anything? Set a value to them so they aren't wasted.

Re:Renting IP Addresses (1)

Wizarth (785742) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964090)

This is what I see happening - IPv4 addresses will start being traded "privately".

Re:Renting IP Addresses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964256)

No, this is not what we will see - because what is the use of an IPv4 address unless traffic can be routed to it.

In order for the Internet Routing to work we need hierarchies in the system - no good to have 4 Billion routing entries in your home router!

Re:Renting IP Addresses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964130)

The number of IPv4 addresses is smaller than the number of addresses which will be in use at the same time in the near future. No amount of trickery that is less problematic than a protocol switchover can work around that. Besides, the IPv4 routing table is huge already, further fragmenting the address space by urging users to use allocations which don't take future growth into account would be counterproductive. This is probably going to happen anyway as the economic value of IPv4 addresses increases, but as IP address space "rentals" won't be official, the routing complexity will remain in subnets and be hidden from the global BGP.

IPv6 is going to be the Internet protocol. Stop wasting time figuring out how to do the impossible and start working on implementing the protocol that will replace IPv4.

Incentives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964050)

Perhaps establishing a policy of priorizing IPv6 traffic over IPv4 traffic would be enough incentive for ISP to move forward.

Re:Incentives (2)

paul248 (536459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964108)

You do realize that the ISPs would be the ones doing the prioritizing, right?

Running out! The End! erm, again... (-1, Troll)

ColdGrits (204506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964124)

Thing is, people (usually those with a vested interest in IPv6) have been saying this for at least the past 10 years. Periodically they announce "Oh Noes! We are about to run out of IPv4 space any minute now! Change to IPv6 immediately or we are all doomed!" Only, as we have seen every single time, it's been nonsense. Are there enough IPv4 addresses for everything? Clearly not. Is this a problem? Again, clearly not. IPv4 plus NAT (and DHCP) is a perfectly good solution, it requires not changes in hardware, we don't have to rush out and buy new gear from those touting the IPv4-mageddon, we just carry on as we are with more than enough address space for everyone and everything. Why does my internet-enabled toaster NEED a publicly accessible globally unique IP address, when it is more than happy sitting in my kitchen using my house's private NAT pool which combined uses but 1 single public IP address? It doesn't. IPv6 is an overly complexed solution to a problem which was eliminated yonks ago. The only reason we keep getting these chicken-licken pronouncements of impending doom is because those with a vested interest in trying to flog IPv6 gear find their sales are down. Nothing more.

Re:Running out! The End! erm, again... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964148)

You are what is wrong with this world.
Thanks to you we still have ipv4 everywhere.
People like you stop the innovation.

Re:Running out! The End! erm, again... (0)

ColdGrits (204506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964254)

Uh-hu. You mean people like me who get on with things knowing it is all working fine and we don't need to waste money on a non-solution? Sounds to me like you are the sort of person who is the problem - trying to brow-beat people into giving you money in exchange for something we don't actually need! I note that at no stage did you offer any counter-argument to any of my points, instead you just mouthed off anonymously - that tells everyone all they need to know about your position...

Re:Running out! The End! erm, again... (1)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964408)

I note that at no stage did you offer any counter-argument to any of my points, instead you just mouthed off anonymously - that tells everyone all they need to know about your position...

While I am not him, it speaks nothing of his position and moreso just a general "*sigh* not another misguided one" and lazyness of explanation.

First of all, carrier grade nat causes it's own problems and does _not_ scale, you can still only put so many active devices behind a nat before things start getting nasty (they kind of already are if you have to resort to it anyway though).

The primary problem though is in effect NAT turns the internet into a one-way affair, it destroys any service where you would want to be the one receiving an incoming message (say for instance VOIP or clicking 'host game' on your favourite game of choice).

While port forwarding is acceptable to those who only need one device doing a service when you have multiple that need to do the same service you are screwed.

ipv6 is the _proper_ solution, and the matter of fact is if you go with carrier grade nat you will _still_ wind up running out of addresses and hit the limits of what nat can do. At which point you would have seriously broken most if not all two-way internet connectivity.

Nat is quite evil.

The only reason we keep getting these chicken-licken pronouncements of impending doom is because those with a vested interest in trying to flog IPv6 gear find their sales are down. Nothing more.

Could it be because we are actually *gasp* running out of addresses? The moment we run out won't be complete doom and gloom but it will destroy and separate part of the architecture of the internet if everyone doesn't jump on the ipv6 bandwagon. Most people here don't want there to be two separate portions of the net inaccessible to each other.

Re:Running out! The End! erm, again... (3, Insightful)

NNKK (218503) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964302)

If you think NAT and DHCP solve the myriad problems associated with IPv4, you're not qualified to be speaking on the subject.

Re:Running out! The End! erm, again... (2)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964352)

Periodically they announce "Oh Noes! We are about to run out of IPv4 space any minute now!

No they don't. What has been said over and over again is that we will run out of IPv4 address space and the "when" hasn't really moved much, it's just that every time the warning come up the "32 bits is just fine besides I don't understand this new-fangled eye-pee-vee-SIX thing and new things scare me, also, we locked ourselves into IPv4-only network gear because we're idiots who don't really know what we're doing"-crowd start screaming that those trying to get IPv6 adoption going are just alarmists.

Unless you have no understanding of networking (or you're an ISP) you really really really don't want ISP-wide NAT.

Re:Running out! The End! erm, again... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964360)

We've been hearing about this for a long time because it's going to be a difficult transition requiring some coordination, and we'd all be better off if people had started years ago so we could actually have a connected IPv6 net now, instead of waiting until things start breaking. The problem is, the countermeasures require that everyone cooperate, not just those that are hit first by the exhaustion.
Your toaster may be fine, but both developing countries and mobile networks are facing the prospect of country-wide NATs, which is not a "perfectly good solution" by any definition except "well, I've got my IP address, it doesn't affect me".

Forget "flogging IPv6", the real scam artists are the ones still selling IPv4 only equipment.
That ISPs are still sending out home routers that doesn't support IPv6 at all is nothing less than shameful.

Re:Running out! The End! erm, again... (1)

rb12345 (1170423) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964456)

It's true that home users would not have to replace routers for IPv4+NAT. As a lot of these run Linux, though, these should be flash-upgradable to IPv6 too with little effort. I doubt any manufacturers will provide the updates for this, though, and DD-WRT etc. just aren't easy or reliable enough for general users in my experience.

On the ISP side, I can't see much difference either way, since they'll have to buy new IPv6-capable routers (with IPv4 NAT?) or carrier-grade NAT routers if they want to add any new customers to their networks. The router manufacturers (Cisco, Juniper etc.) get paid regardless!

Re:Running out! The End! erm, again... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964460)

NAT per household is definitively not enough. There are billions of families that will want to be connected in the future.

Carrier level NAT is evil, and for someone who says 'Governments should be afraid of their people', it's quite against it. Carrier level NAT destroys censorship protecting services like Tor and Freenet, any possible hope for P2P DNS, and makes the 'net much more controlled by government/big business.

May I be the first to say ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964150)

Huston, we have a problem!

Re:May I be the first to say ... (1)

Elbereth (58257) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964318)

Yeah. Angelica Huston's career isn't doing too well.

Re:May I be the first to say ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964328)

Huston, we have a problem!

I am quite sure that one has been said before, sorry.

The guide to IPv6 conversion (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964184)

Is there such a thing? (there must be) Where can one look to plan a conversion at home? At work?

Like just about everyone else, I have been pushing this off hoping for a "just push this button" solution to emerge. I haven't seen one yet.

Re:The guide to IPv6 conversion (1)

Dogers (446369) | more than 3 years ago | (#34964396)

If you're running a modern OS, it's fairly easy to set up a tunnel.

Register on either http://tunnelbroker.net/ [tunnelbroker.net] or http://www.sixxs.net/main/ [sixxs.net] and create a new tunnel for yourself. There are instructions on how to start the tunnel which will put that single machine on the IPv6 network.

From there, you can look into setting up RAdvD (if *nix) to act as an endpoint on your network, supplying IPv6 IPs to everything on it automatically.

The next step would be to have an ISP which supplies an IPv6 address to your router (which would need to support it, most cheap ones don't currently), which removes the need for a tunnel and RAdvD, but this step is going to be some time coming..

Who was the genius... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964240)

.. that didn't planned ipv6 to be backward compatible?

Great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34964378)

This gives me lot of hope for global warming!

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