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UK Organization Set Up To Encourage IPv6 Adoption Closes

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the giving-up-the-hexadecimal-ghost dept.

Networking 100

New submitter Sesostris III writes "In April 2010, with £20,000 of government money, 6uk was set up to encourage the adoption of the IPv6 protocol in the UK. In December 2012 the board resigned en-masse in protest at official indifference to its work. 'The biggest organization we needed to join 6UK was the government,' the former director, Philip Sheldrake, is quoted as saying. Without government support, 'there's no material incentive for any organization to go for IPv6.' Government interest can be gauged by the fact that no government website currently sat on an IPv6 address. The UK is among the nations that have done the least to move to IPv6, and lags behind other nations in adopting the new protocol. In contrast, governments like that in the U.S. are encouraging adoption of the new protocol by mandating IPv6 compliance in contracts."

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100 comments

The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (5, Informative)

BirdParrot (2790575) | about a year ago | (#42220513)

I come from an Asian country with mostly shared ip address space. The divitation was never honest. It was first-come-first-serve. Both US and UK have lots of ip addresses to use, and it's wrong. Asia has much larger population too! I don't expect any new change to it, but just stating the facts.

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (-1, Flamebait)

xiando (770382) | about a year ago | (#42220589)

yeah so civilized people didn't invent the internet resulting in the civilized part of the world not having large ipv4 blocks. so what? deal with it

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (0)

BirdParrot (2790575) | about a year ago | (#42220637)

Yeah civilized people would have got it right in the first time.

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42221749)

Then why didn't you invent it?

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (4, Insightful)

thue (121682) | about a year ago | (#42220769)

Asia got all the address it asked for, until the pool ran out. Unless the address sharing stated in the last year (after the IANA pool ran dry), it was your own choice to use shared IP space.

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (3, Interesting)

BirdParrot (2790575) | about a year ago | (#42220787)

There's a large cultural difference. Many guys and girls on asia use web cafes. When they later get own connection theres not usually enough ip's. You're talking about billions of people. Not everyone is going to have their own ip address from that pool.

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42223507)

So? You could have gotten them while they were available. Mind you, you couldn't reserve them, you only got what you were actually going to use, but if you had a use for them, there was nothing stopping you from getting IPv4 addresses.

Now there aren't any IPv4 addresses left except the ones which are set aside for transitioning methods, but of course now you can get as many IPv6 addresses as you want. With IPv6 you're even encouraged to get as many as you're ever going to need right away, to reduce address space fragmentation.

In other news, German Telekom, Unitymedia and other internet providers have started the IPv6 rollout in Germany, so expect to see a lot more IPv6 in active use over the course of 2013.

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (0)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year ago | (#42224151)

Then maybe you should have invested in condoms rather than fibre optics.

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (2)

jgrahn (181062) | about a year ago | (#42224683)

There's a large cultural difference. Many guys and girls on asia use web cafes. When they later get own connection theres not usually enough ip's. You're talking about billions of people. Not everyone is going to have their own ip address from that pool.

Which brings us back on topic: IPv6 ... I have two IPv4 addresses, four computers, and 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 IPv6 addresses ... all that's missing is for the people who run servers to get their shit straight.

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (1)

MangoCats (2757129) | about a year ago | (#42222079)

>With £20,000 of government money

Tells you right there how much the UK cares about IPV6 - they've got plenty of IP4 to carry them through the next election cycle and more, why should they care?

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222467)

they've got plenty of IP4 to carry them through the next election cycle and more, why should they care?

Clearly spoken by someone who hasn't experienced the changes in ISP policies in the UK....

Some service providers who whould have happily given you a /26 without a thought 2-3 years ago, will now only grudgingly let you have a /29.

Although the £20k amount just smells fishy in this story - especially for an organisation that I've never heard of - and if they were ever noticeably active in this space I would hope I whould have at least heard of them.

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | about a year ago | (#42224569)

Tells you right there how much the UK cares about IPV6

Their business is golden as long as resources are very limited and controlled by them. When they adopt IPv6 it's like forefeit investment. v4 becomes obsolete and address pools turn into... So it's like "let's spend some money making our wealth into nothing."

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42221163)

According to Hurricane Electric [he.net] Asia (APNIC) has 18M addresses left while Europe (RIPE) has 17M. I will grant you that the US (ARIN) has nearly 100M, but we also have the largest use which explains the big allocation. And yet we're doing something about migrating to IPv6...

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#42221651)

According to Hurricane Electric [he.net] Asia (APNIC) has 18M addresses left while Europe (RIPE) has 17M. I will grant you that the US (ARIN) has nearly 100M, but we also have the largest use which explains the big allocation. And yet we're doing something about migrating to IPv6...

Yeap, free them as soon as possible... :) and sell them while they still have value :)

'US' IPv4 allocation? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42228431)

How many of them are general use, as opposed to entire blocks locked up by companies who received them early? I'll bet you that the overwhelming majority of them belong to a handful of companies, which are not ISPs, and so that number for US is really bloated once one looks at the internals.

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42221319)

Both US and UK have lots of ip addresses to use,

That's true to some degree, but they're going to hit the ceiling in a few years [wikipedia.org] anyway. Hooray for exponential growth.
In the long run we have enough IPv6 addresses for everyone and enough IPv4 addresses for no one.

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#42221583)

Google's statistics on the IPv6 adoption [google.com].

Putting together other two [wikipedia.org] lists [wikipedia.org], one can see that
* UK - 63 mils population, IPV4/population=1.958, IPV4/internet users=2.342 - 0.21% IPv6 adoption
* US - 313 mils population, IPv4/population=4.911, IPv4/internet users=6.28 - 1.97% IPv6 adoption

In UK's case, the IPV6 adoption may have little to do with the need - as countries with lower need (higher IPV4 availability) adopted IPv6 in higher percentage?

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (4, Insightful)

jiadran (1198763) | about a year ago | (#42223811)

I am from Europe and I think that Asian countries have a huge advantage. You are forced to adopt IPv6, so while the rest of the world still hesitates and waits, you gain lots of experience and get plenty of people trained in a new technology that will eventually become essential. Once the rest of the world wakes up to the reality, you are ready. This actually worries me for my own country...

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#42224669)

Pardon me for saying so, but what's so vitally important or different about IPv6? Is the Internet going to change in some way once we're all on IPv6? My impression is that it's more like the Y2K problem, a bunch of people have to work on a bunch of code to fix all the places it assumes an IP is a dotted quad and fits in 32 bits, but when all is said and done nobody is really going to notice the difference, except that it continues to work and scale. I don't really think you got "lots of experience and training" by fixing the Y2K problem in 1995, any more than you got implementing IPv6 in 2005 or 2010. For most software your IP is just an opaque identifier they can try connecting to, nothing more or less. On the network side, you still have the same basic configuration of subnets and gateways. Maybe a few high end network jobs will change in some way, but that is all.

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42227407)

The only devices in need of an IPv6 address are Internet-facing devices. Every other device could use IPv4 internally behind the edge-connections to the Internet. ISPs should be migrating to IPv6 since they have a captive subscriber base in terms of the device connecting the ISP's clients to the Internet are using ISP-issued routers/modems. For me it would not affect my internal network if I had to swap out the current ISP-provided router (IPv4) for a new ISP-provided router (IPv6), and the only work on my end would be adding the port forwarding rules to the new router/modem.

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42228519)

First, I agree w/ the GP. The Asian countries that have been forced to adapt IPv6 early have an advantage here.

That's the tough sell - the internet by itself is not gonna change - you won't see better websites, more shiny boxes. But to use the standard /. car analogy, if you had a V6 engine in a Subaru Tribeca replaced w/ a V8, would you notice any difference in the exterior? It's when you drive it on the I-5 that you'll notice a difference. It's the same w/ IPv6.

One of the biggest places I can see an advantage is in IP telephony, where it's usually recommended to use routable addresses for each phone. Any organization that needs a whole bunch of IP phones would need to, in this scenario, procure a whole bunch of addresses, which, for IPv4, will become more expensive as they get rarer. But w/ IPv6, organizations will get at least a /64 link, which will cover all their needs for the foreseeable future. Only reason they would need more links is if they have different switches going into different rooms or buildings, or requiring separate switches for the computers.

Aside from that, the other big change will be in Mobile IP, which currently is crippled by NAT. With IPv6, a whole bunch of new concepts in Mobile IP make it a lot easier to manage when a subscriber is going out of their home zones to other zones.

But yeah, as I noted above, none of the differences will be superficial, but internally, it will change a great deal of stuff.

Re:The IP Class diviation was never honest anyway (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42228403)

It wasn't a class 'deviation' as such. There are quite a few factors to note about IPv4:

  1. a. It was an experimental protocol initially for DoD purposes only, and the scope of their coverage was really limited - for DoD, and arguably for NATO purposes. It was never meant for the general population at large. Since the major tech companies at the time - IBM, DEC, HP, AT&T, GE, Ford, et al were doing business w/ the DoD, they too got entire /24s from Jon Postel, who was the only guy distributing them. There was no ICANN, IETF, IANA, much less the RIRs
  2. b. At that time, the number of computers were few and far between, and the world's population was less than a billion. So coming up w/ a protocol that topped off at 4 billion was reasonable. Since there was never a goal that this should be out to the general population, it was not a bad assumption
  3. c. There was never a plan to release IPv4 to the general public as the internet standard - it was always experimental. IPv6 - then known as IPng - was what they were planning to release, and once they realized the scope of what the Internet Protocol would have to cover, they started working on it.

As universities and other educational institutions started to deal more w/ the DoD, they too started getting them, and that made its popularity escalate (Although today, some like Stanford have returned a whole bunch of IP blocks). Result of these was what we see today - companies like IBM, HP, Sun having all those addresses, while countries like China & India are strapped for them. But China & India was nowhere in the development plans of the internet when IPv4 was being developed.

There is nothing 'right' or 'wrong' about the number of IP addresses that are there for the US (it's far fewer for the UK). Also, to say 'US' is misleading here - it only applies if one happens to be a part of the original companies that were given entire Class A blocks. If you are somebody from Podunk, there's no way you'll get a bonanza of IP addresses just for the asking, as the above statement implies. It's just that companies like IBM, HP, et al have 16 million addresses under them, but as has been discussed on /, before, getting them to break them up into smaller blocks and release what they ain't using is not practical, since their networking topology would need a massive overhaul.

Instead, what needs to happen is a mass migration of everybody to IPv6. Already, all OSs (XP not counted) support IPv6, so the claims that there will be customer issues is doohickey. Once ISPs get into the act, that part too won't be a problem. Main issue is the majority of websites being IPv4 only - unless that changes, migrating to IPv6 will look like a downgrade. Yeah, people talk about dual stack as a transition, but that's not an option if they are running out of IP addresses.

Maybe they were totally inept... (2)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#42220549)

Perhaps it's best when government money isn't wasted on ineptitude. Heck, if more people thought like that in the USA we could eliminate the national debt in three years.

Sadly, most of the idiots out there still equate throwing government shekels at a problem with 'doing something.'

Next up, ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#42220567)

... they'll be asking us to drive on the wrong side of the road.

Bloody yanks!

Re:Next up, ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42221811)

Sorry, we drive on the RIGHT side.

I don't really care (3, Interesting)

xiando (770382) | about a year ago | (#42220569)

I've been using IPv6 for 8 years or so and I really don't care what other people do. The main value for me is that all boxen on the LAN have their own IPv6 IPs so I can ssh to them and scp stuff around. My websites all have IPv6 availability, but nobody uses that, so I see why people don't bother. But I personally think the benefits of having IPv6 on your own stuff makes learning and using it worth while.

Re:I don't really care (1)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year ago | (#42220707)

All my sites have ipv6 availability too, and i get a surprising number of hits from v6 users... Quite a few isps seem to provide v6 by default now, and the users are generally not even aware that they have it.

Re:I don't really care (2)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#42221733)

Not here in Canada.

The main ISPs all have done exactly the same thing for IPv6 day.

Last years ago, they made their home page available over IPv6 for that one day.

This year, they made their home page available over IPv6 and left it enabled.

They aren't even giving out routers that are IPv6 enabled [they MIGHT be capable with a firmware update].

Re:I don't really care (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42229373)

Actually, that's what IPv6 day was about - last year, it was only supposed to be left on for a day, whereas this year, it was supposed to be left on permanently. As for the equipment, yeah, they need to make sure that any new CPE equipment they issue, as well as core and edge routers are IPv6 optimized.

Interesting Or Load Of bullcrap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42220767)

That's really interesting or just a big load of bullcrap.

Looking around my home office at the various network attached devices, I see a fair few that still don't yet support IPv6, despite being purchased with the last three months. A network printer, a WiFi router, some network security cameras, a Gigabit switch(management interface), VoIP phone... None of them support IPv6. In fact, the only thing in this office that does properly support IPv6 is a few desktop PCs running Windows and Linux and an iPad.

So, what equipment are you running that allows you to use IPv6 on "all boxen on the LAN", let alone for 8 years? You also boast about using ssh and scp, is that internally or do you have your home LAN open to the internet?

Re:Interesting Or Load Of bullcrap? (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a year ago | (#42220823)

It's not that hard to read a product's description to determine if it has IPv6 support before you buy it.

Feel Free To Waste Your Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42221185)

It's not that hard to read a product's description to determine if it has IPv6 support before you buy it.

Oh I see! I should buy IPv6 support over things like print quality and speed in the printer, camera resolution and reliability, packet switching speed and MAC table capacity in the switch, pricing... /s

No! I buy products to perform a function. I do not buy products simply because they support a particular protocol or because they save energy or any other ancillary marketing come ons. I buy my devices to perform a function as well as possible for a decent price and it turns out there is precisely zero need for IPv6 to be involved.

Re:Feel Free To Waste Your Money (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about a year ago | (#42225247)

While I strongly advocate for IPv6 adoption/support at the ISP, large scale network, and datacenter levels, I believe you're totally correct on your basic premise. Until having native IPv6 connectivity for your LAN devices represents a value add in terms of functionality, IPv4 only capabilities are fine for them. IPv6 and IPv4 can and do comfortably coexist; in fact, this is how the Internet will look for many, many years to come.

Re:Feel Free To Waste Your Money (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42229393)

For a printer, IPv4 could well be adequate, except that computers are not gonna support 2 protocols forever - sooner or later, they'll drop IPv4. Rule of thumb - if a device is external facing, IPv6 ought to be mandatory, but that doesn't reduce the importance of the other things, be it camera resolution, packet switching speed, MAC table capacity and pricing.

Re:I don't really care (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#42221063)

Because people are generally used to IPv4 and can remember something like 192.168.0.1 or whatever, but when you get into IPv6 and use something like:
2001:0db8:0000:0000:0000:ff00:0042:8329
That's a bit harder... but oh, they made it easy because you can eliminate leading and consecutive 0's with colons or some shit so you end up with:
2001:db8::ff00:42:8329
But that doesn't make it easier... it's just totally fucking confusing. (Example stolen from Wikipedia)

Now, don't get me wrong, we need IPv6 and everyone should convert... yada yada yada... but I can certainly understand why people aren't jumping at the chance. IP addressing was always a pain in the ass for those of us without a Cisco cert, and IPv6 made it more of a pain in the ass.

Re:I don't really care (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year ago | (#42222705)

Right, because end users give a flying fuck about the length of an ip address they NEVER SEE.

Re:I don't really care (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year ago | (#42224167)

The point - which if you look, way, way up, you may be able to see - is that the issue is also hidden from bean counters and decision makers until things actually grind to a halt.

Pre-emptive switching relies on techies to push it proactively. As one such, I have to admit to being IPv6 phobic. I like the simple dotted IPv4 addresses, they're familiar, they're comfortable, they are memorable and communicable - ever tried shouting an IPv6 address to across the room to Alice?

Re:I don't really care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42235751)

Okay, disclaimer this is an April Fools Day wind-up, however I really do not understand why something such as what is described here http://packetlife.net/blog/2011/apr/1/alternative-ipv6-works/ could not be considered? Familiarity with what all us Network Guys know in the workings of IPv4 subnetting and such. This would give 256 "Internets" as we know it now. The existing IPv4 range could use the first 0.x.x.x.x subnet as backwards compatibility. The remaining 1-255.x.x.x.x could be deployed as goeographic prefixes, every nation getting at least one set of 4 billion addresses.

I always suspect the reason the mass uptake of IPv6 hasn't happened is because the actual people, the Network Guys, cannot get their heads around the nonsense of hex and colons longer than most proprietry license keys.

Re:I don't really care (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year ago | (#42239965)

How long do you think 40 bit adresses would last before we ran out of those as well? When they designed IPv6, they considered 64bit addresses, but decided that it was a better idea to go straight to 128 and only have to do the transition ONCE instead of every 50 years.

Re:I don't really care (2)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#42224449)

Right, because end users give a flying fuck about the length of an ip address they NEVER SEE.

Im sorry. I wasnt aware it was end users implementing and deploying IPv6.
As an Admin I refuse to deal with this long shit while IPv4 works just fine. I will NAT the crap out of it if I have to just to ignore IPv6 longer.

Re:I don't really care (2)

jgrahn (181062) | about a year ago | (#42224737)

As an Admin I refuse to deal with this long shit while IPv4 works just fine. I will NAT the crap out of it if I have to just to ignore IPv6 longer.

And I hope it's *real* issue which is preventing me from using IPv6 today, and not this kind of pettiness (or job security, or whatever psychology is behind the anti-IPv6 attitudes you encounter on Slashdot).

Re:I don't really care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42226155)

The real world is full of people like him.You can hope all you want and make remarks about pettiness, but the rest of us have to try get stuff done with or without his cooperation.

Re:I don't really care (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#42221125)

I've been using IPv6 for 8 years or so and I really don't care what other people do. The main value for me is that all boxen on the LAN have their own IPv6 IPs so I can ssh to them and scp stuff around.

Really, that was it? What was wrong with giving them a 192.168.x.x or even 10.x.x.x IPv4 address, you have over 16 million "boxen" on your network so you ran out?

Re:I don't really care (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about a year ago | (#42221677)

The answer to that was in the part you quoted. "so I can ssh to them and scp stuff around." Presumably, he didn't mean "while I'm sitting in my house". And NAT is a bitch for something like that.

Re:I don't really care (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#42221863)

The answer to that was in the part you quoted. "so I can ssh to them and scp stuff around." Presumably, he didn't mean "while I'm sitting in my house"

And how exactly would he have been doing that for the last 8 years when "the rest of the world" for the most part haven't used IPv6, so none of his boxes could be reached? If you need to connect to an IPv4/IPv6 bridge then you could have just as easily done a port forward instead.

Re:I don't really care (1)

fa2k (881632) | about a year ago | (#42224375)

Absolutely agree, I do the same for home use. Only trouble is that when I get proper native IPv6 my addresses are going to change around all the time (Some DNS update script will fix that though). Another good thing is to use transport mode IPSec, so all connections between the computers are encrypted, and only allow minimal stuff like SSH without IPSec. There's nothing like browsing my 8 TB share from anywhere on my Windows laptop, or watching MythTV (well there *is* something like that called a Slingbox, but you get the idea) . And "anywhere" means anywhere that allow an IPv6 tunnel, since I haven't been to a place which has native IPv6 yet.

So the paren'ts example is easier and more stable than a VPN, my example is a bloody pain to set up, but IPv6 can do both..

Re:I don't really care (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42231769)

Why will your IPv6 address change all the time? If you get a /64 link, from your CPE, you should be able to adjust whether your addresses are static or dynamic. Hopefully, your CPE supports DHCP6, which should allow you to set it whichever way you prefer. And if one knows the DHCP6 scripting, one should be able to assign both static and dynamic addresses here, since in IPv6, interfaces are allowed to have multiple addresses.

Re:I don't really care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42239829)

Pick a ULA (unique local address) prefix (in fd00::/8), and advertise that and all your computers will have an unchanging address. This is akin to an IPv4 private address.

Lasted A Lot Longer Than Expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42220617)

They lasted a lot longer than I expected. £20,000 is a really small amount of money so for it to last over two years is impressive.

Indifference to IPv6 seems to be global.

Re:Lasted A Lot Longer Than Expected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42220669)

Indifference to IPv6 seems to be global.

Most people are of the mindset "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" once IPv4 becomes too broken to use, like Facebook and Google going exclusively IPv6, maybe they'll then realise they are on board a sinking ship and convert to IPv6, in the case of the average layman, he'd probably contact his ISP to fix it.

Re:Lasted A Lot Longer Than Expected (3, Insightful)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#42221043)

They lasted a lot longer than I expected. £20,000 is a really small amount of money so for it to last over two years is impressive.

£20,000 isn't a "really" small amount of money. £20,000 is an absurdly small amount of money. :-O

I notice that the website describes it as "seed funding". Realistically, I'd have thought that £20,000 was very low even for that purpose. That would about cover the pay of a *single* person for *one* year at less than average UK wages. And that wouldn't leave anything over for expenses.

At any rate, I was going to comment something along the lines of...

April 2010 - Labour gives government support to new body 6uk.
May 2010 - Labour kicked out of power, David Cameron and his Etonian chums, er... the Conservatives come in to power. Somewhat indifferent to Labour-supported project. Hmm.

Re:Lasted A Lot Longer Than Expected (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#42221119)

Additional; for non-UK readers, at today's exchange rates £20,000 = US $32,078.

Age of Austerity (2)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year ago | (#42220649)

I hate to say it, but I think IPv6 is at the bottom of the priority queue of David Cameron. Anything that drive up the cost should be avoided. This includes the cost of equipment upgrade, and the cost of hiring sensible contractor...

I think the government is a bit too thick to see that mandating IPv6 is a business opportunity for the private sectors...

Re:Age of Austerity (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year ago | (#42220881)

if you think you have to upgrade to do IPv6, you're either foolhardy or not buying the right equipment in the first place. If you buy the right stuff no upgrades should be required for IPv6 functionality, including hiring people.

Re:Age of Austerity (2)

fufufang (2603203) | about a year ago | (#42221363)

if you think you have to upgrade to do IPv6, you're either foolhardy or not buying the right equipment in the first place. If you buy the right stuff no upgrades should be required for IPv6 functionality, including hiring people.

They have loads of outdated equipment in the government.

Re:Age of Austerity (2)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about a year ago | (#42221551)

Even if all your hardware supports IPv6 out of the box (which most of the major stuff does these days), there is still plenty that goes wrong in the software world. Tons of fucked up protocols out there, like SIP, that the devices and software doesn't handle IPv6 quite right to this day. I've seen plenty of stuff that stored IPs in databases using fields that v6 addresses wouldn't fit in. Both the App has to be upgraded and DB schematic changed. There are still plenty of expensive messes from the past that need fixed, and not a lot of money out there to fix them.

Re:Age of Austerity (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about a year ago | (#42221643)

Right, so the best course of action is to buy new stuff so the government doesn't have to buy new stuff to get ip6 working.

News flash: governments probably have shit from the 1990s sitting around, quietly humming away at some critical task, forgotten in a closet somewhere. It works, it's fine, and leave it alone, that's the attitude.

A lot of this gear probably predates the RFCs, let alone the actual devices that support ip6.

Re:Age of Austerity (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about a year ago | (#42221673)

A lot of government computers are still running NT4, and the software doesn't work on later versions of Windows.

Re:Age of Austerity (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year ago | (#42224179)

I could (but won't, because I signed That Act) mention a few safety critical applications that are still running on NT 3.51 and will be until they can no longer source hardware on which it will run.

Re:Age of Austerity (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year ago | (#42222427)

if you think you have to upgrade to do IPv6, you're either foolhardy or not buying the right equipment in the first place.

Or you have just had the equipment for a while. Proper routers that can route IP packets in hardware are expensive so companies generally only replace them when they have to.

AIUI there are plenty of older routers out there that do v4 in hardware but do v6 in software. So you can bring up IPv6 on them and everything is fine until people start really using it then you have problems and the only solutions are to either turn off IPv6 or do a forklift upgrade. For some ISPs the forklift upgrades were needed anyway to cope with increased demand but for others that won't have been the case.

including hiring people.

Running dual stack means that all IP related configuration (interface addressing, routing rules, firewall rules, DNS entries etc) needs to be duplicated. That is a fair bit of extra work that someone has to do. It can also make troubleshooting a lot harder.

The fact is important servers will remain available on IPv4 for the forseeable future (even if it means taking away public IPs from end users), end users will be provided with some method of accessing IPv4 only resources and for most companies/organisations* there are more than enough private IPv4 addresess to address internal systems.

I support IPv6 where possible in services I run because I believe that doing so is a sign of support for an open internet but there isn't really much justification for doing so beyond that.

* Yes I am aware that there are a handful of companies for which this is not the case.

Re:Age of Austerity (1)

fche (36607) | about a year ago | (#42220917)

"mandating IPv6 is a business opportunity for the private sectors"

Sounds like the Broken Window Fallacy.

Re:Age of Austerity (1)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about a year ago | (#42221579)

And moving critical infrastructure away from the shoreline also is a business opportunity for the private sectors, but if you decide to stay where you'll be flooded in 10 years that's your own fault.

Re:Age of Austerity (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year ago | (#42224183)

Of course it's Broken Window. Government says "job creation", all I hear is "paid for by your taxes, chump".

Re:Age of Austerity (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year ago | (#42221693)

If it doesn't enrich his soggy-biscuit mates somehow, 'Call Me Dave' isn't interested.

Re:Age of Austerity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42226625)

If it doesn't enrich his soggy-biscuit mates somehow, 'Call Me Dave' isn't interested.

Dave's very much in touch with the common man. Just last year, on safari in Kenya, his butler told me that Dave didn't lay a finger upon the footman who had misplaced Dave's midday monocle. The lad was of course dismissed on returning home, yet for the duration of the trip he was allowed to sleep indoors most nights.

Re:Age of Austerity (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year ago | (#42221813)

Cameron is a conservative. He and his business constituency are only interesting in making money right now and have no interest in the future except for their own personal fortunes. This is true of conservatives all over the world. This is why the infrastructure in the US and Japan is falling apart: "No new taxes". Wall Street is not a source of capital for innovations, it is a rigged casino that fleeces investors and governments for insider profits. It is much more lucrative to run scams like high frequency trading then to make money the old fashioned way by lending it out.

This is what conservative politics means today: avoid or rewrite the rules to make as much money as you can, and screw as many people as you can when you do it.

If you have no need, why do this now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42220667)

Why spend money (and a lot) on a new technology which isn't needed (yet) by UK citizens.
That would be as useful as maintaining a website for every government department, in 1980.

Re:If you have no need, why do this now? (2)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a year ago | (#42220757)

"Why evacuate now? The hurricane is still 10 miles away."

Re:If you have no need, why do this now? (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#42220865)

Exactly, the incentive is icing on the cake, the cake however is switch to IPv6 or get off the internet grid. It does cost business man-hours and carries a potential of downtime, but every business IT team is competent enough to do this right? :)

UKs "new" Government Network is IPv4 (4, Interesting)

pacman on prozac (448607) | about a year ago | (#42220773)

The UK is currently in the process of developing & deploying a network for government agencies to use called the PSN [cabinetoffice.gov.uk] (public services network). It's sort of a replacement for the GSI [wikipedia.org]. It runs on IPv4, most likely using the DWP address space discussed here [slashdot.org].

Pretty much all the UK telcos & several global network manufacturers are involved with the PSN so it's a real missed opportunity that they didn't go with IPv6 for it.

No more IPv4 addresses for you! (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#42220909)

OK, no more IPv4 addresses for the UK.

(I've been at this too long. I remember when the ARPANET went from 8-bit to 16-bit IMP addresses. I ordered one of the first class B networks in the early 1980s, [128.5.xxx.xxx]. I considered ordering a class C, but there was no charge for a class B, and we thought we might exceed 256 hosts some day.)

Re:No more IPv4 addresses for you! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42221249)

There are no more anyway.. RIPE ran out in September.

In the future ISPs and Government are going to have to go ipv6 or have everyone dealing with cgnat (which will be 'fun').

I was so excited reading the headline until... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42220913)

I got to the last word, then all hope was lost.

I've now been in a mental institution for 5 years.

Compare with Global Warming response... (2, Interesting)

bertok (226922) | about a year ago | (#42221085)

I like to observe the ineptitude of governments around the world in driving IPv6 adoption and compare it with their similarly inept response to Global Warming.

In both cases, a slow but steady change is going to cause inevitable disaster. Foresight and planning is required, and government incentives or lawmaking is basically a must, because in both cases no individual benefits from saving the world, so why spend the money?

The difference is that the IP address shortage is a trivial problem to foresee and solve. It's like a toy version of Global Warming. A mock disaster to test the government's mettle. For example, unlike Global Warming, the IP address shortage is trivially predicted. We knew what month the last block was going to run out something like two years ahead of time! It's simple maths. There's no theory. There's no complex feedback cycles. There's no doubt. We have a fixed, unchangeable amount of something, we're using it faster and faster, there's still a huge number of potential users. It's going to run out.

Similarly, the fix is also trivial compared to Global Warming. Had, say, the EU made a new law that all imported electronics that can be connected to the Internet have mandatory IPv6 support enabled by default, that alone would have been sufficient. That's it. A piece of legislation, requiring some talking and a few pieces of paper. The cost of some electronics might have gone up an average of 50c or somesuch, but the problem would have been solved practically overnight! No manufacturer with a global market could afford to neglect IPv6 support. Common software platforms would have resulted in IPv6 everywhere, for everyone, because of one change in one law in one place.

Instead, what do we get? Half-solutions like NAT. Various groups with no teeth that can "encourage" and "assist" the adoption of IPv6. Piecemeal adoption that means that nobody can go IPv6-only any time soon. Meetings with "industry experts", half of which work for corporations that still have an IPv4-only Internet presence. Conferences. Studies. Wastes of time and money.

I bet 90% of legislators around the world haven't even heard of IPv6, or still don't know what it's all about.

Meanwhile, think about it: in the Western world and increasingly everywhere else, Internet access is now basically an "essential human right", much like clean drinking water, transport, electricity, or health care. I mean seriously, would YOU buy a house in a location where you could get water and electricity, but not the Internet? Exactly.

Now go back to the legislators. This -- now essential -- service is breaking in a trivially predictable way, and they haven't even fucking bothered to do the simplest things to actually fix the problem.

Instead what we're going to see is parasitic rent-seeking: the value of IPv4 addresses will skyrocket. Full, bi-directional Internet access will become a privilege, concentrated into the hands of corporations. Their investments in addresses will appreciate over time, hence predictably they will have a vested interest in maintaining and growing this wealth. Expect to see dirty tactics and corruption used to block IPv6 adoption to prevent a devaluation of IPv4 address "property". This might get bad enough that IPv6 will never be adopted, because there will be significant pressure against it!

Now think about how much worse Global Warming is going to be! It's far off into the future. Decades at least until serious effects are felt anywhere. The science is complex, and difficult for laymen to understand. There are already vested interests to deny it, to the tune of trillions of dollars. The fix -- if any -- wouldn't be 50c per purchase, it might be more like 50%!

Why the fuck do we keep voting these people into power?

Re:Compare with Global Warming response... (1)

Sesostris III (730910) | about a year ago | (#42221517)

Why the fuck do we keep voting these people into power?

Oh, various reasons, ranging from party-tribalism, PR (advertising that speaks to our emotions rather than to our reason), short-termism (individually and collectively), a biased press, and even the electoral system. Talking of which, we had the opportunity recently (in the UK) to try and improve (albeit slightly) our electoral system, and in a referendum, it was rejected - and rejected by a large margin - by the voters. I've really never quite understood why.

I think that the whole process of politics is probably corrupting. A new MP (or whatever) may be visionary and idealistic, but the tribalism and power-mongering (for 'promotion' and 'ministerial office') seems to destroy this. It becomes a game - you against the opposition (or even against members of one's own party), and you'll do whatever it takes to keep you in your job, even if that may not be the best for the nation in the long term. Those who seem to keep their idealism and vision do not make progress or get promoted. They're not good for a political 'career'.

To some extent we the voters are complicit in allowing it to happen.

As to IPv6, I'm sure we'll get there after the US and the rest of Europe (and possibly the rest of the world) have been using it for some time. And all the while we'll be asking why the UK isn't managing to compete globally in new technologies.

And as to Global Warming, I think we're doomed. It's actually quite depressing. There is a part of me relieved that I don't have children.

Re:Compare with Global Warming response... (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year ago | (#42221527)

I like to observe the ineptitude of governments around the world in driving IPv6 adoption and compare it with their similarly inept response to Global Warming.

Yeah, and similar consequences?
http://penrose.uk6x.com/ [uk6x.com]

We're out of IPv4s, we've been out for ages. What has changed? Nothing. So what.

Re:Compare with Global Warming response... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year ago | (#42221789)

I like to observe the ineptitude of governments around the world in driving IPv6 adoption and compare it with their similarly inept response to Global Warming.

Yeah, and similar consequences? http://penrose.uk6x.com/ [uk6x.com]

We're out of IPv4s, we've been out for ages. What has changed? Nothing. So what.

UK still has almost two IPv4 addresses/each person [wikipedia.org].
If considering the Internet users only, UK has about 2.43 IPv4/each user (exaggerating a bit, you can say that each Internet user in UK can have one client and one server with their own IPv4).
If you throw into the picture the number of households [ons.gov.uk] (which can share a NAT-ing router) - it comes to 6.7 IPv4/household.

Re:Compare with Global Warming response... (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year ago | (#42221993)

UK still has almost two IPv4 addresses/each person [wikipedia.org].
If considering the Internet users only, UK has about 2.43 IPv4/each user (exaggerating a bit, you can say that each Internet user in UK can have one client and one server with their own IPv4).
If you throw into the picture the number of households [ons.gov.uk] (which can share a NAT-ing router) - it comes to 6.7 IPv4/household.

So the IPv4 expiry panic was overblown?

Re:Compare with Global Warming response... (2)

jimicus (737525) | about a year ago | (#42224181)

Kind of buggers up anyone wanting to run a hosting business in the UK.

Re:Compare with Global Warming response... (1)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | about a year ago | (#42221675)

I won't say it's completely 'trivial'. There's a lot of software out there that can and does bug out with IPv6, most of it's older, but not all of it. Always interesting when someone sticks the first 32-bits of of an IP6 in a database meant for IPv4. The cost of making sure any software that evaluates IP addresses compliance with v6 will be -very- expensive.

Other then that, people can be very bad at dealing with creeping problems.

Re:Compare with Global Warming response... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42225535)

Why does EVERYTHING on Slashdot lead to global warming references?

Re:Compare with Global Warming response... (1)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#42226223)

Full, bi-directional Internet access will become a privilege, concentrated into the hands of corporations

To them that's a benefit not a problem. Same goes for users not being able to P2P as well or run servers easily. Many corporations will be happy with that.

When USA-ians start rambling on about CCTV Cameras (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42221857)

...and a surveillance state in the UK, I always point out that the UK government is simply too incompetent at IT to make it work. This is a classic case-in-point.

hahahahahahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222043)

"In contrast, governments like that in the U.S. are encouraging adoption of the new protocol by mandating IPv6 compliance in contracts."

funniest thing I've heard all day...

IT in government (1)

starfishsystems (834319) | about a year ago | (#42222473)

I can say from having worked in both private and public sectors that government is predictably not a first adopter of emerging technology. There may be occasional small bursts of innovation here and there, but overnment culture is highly conservative by nature.

You don't get points for taking risk with taxpayers' money. You do, however, get points for showing an abundance of caution which typically leads to endless meetings, signoffs, prototypes that nobody can be bothered to evaluate and reams of documentation that nobody will ever read. And so, taxpayers' money is still wasted, but you see, it's being wasted accountably. And in some sense this is preferable to simply going off the rails because of insufficient oversight.

But you can see why something like IPv6 is not getting fast-tracked by government. Hey, I was the only one among some thirty Network Administrators in my group to have actually done any actual network engineering. Most of my colleagues wouldn't be able to tell you the difference between an IPv4 and an IPv6 address. That's no exaggeration, I assure you. It's not that they're not earnest and hard-working. They're pretty good people. But not given to pushing the envelope, I'd have to say.

Re:IT in government (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42229539)

This is exactly the thought that struck me. What made 6uk think that w/o government endorsement and support, they are doomed? Work on the rest of the industry - start w/ ISPs, then check out consumers and see how many are still on XP, as opposed to platforms that support IPv6, such as Windows 7, OS-X, Linux and BSD. Once that is done, work on getting ISPs to migrate to IPv6, have campaigns to get people support IPv6 first for their websites, and so on. Once the government sees that that's where everybody is, they too will join.

UK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42222807)

...lagging behind the rest of the technological world again.

Not even surprised by this.jpg

DD-WRT Replacement? (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | about a year ago | (#42223107)

Is there a DD-WRT replacement for my WRT-54GL?

Every once in a while I go looking. I know I can type some arcane commands into Linux, and make the router route IPv6. However, for any of my customers, I need either a GUI or a webpage based tool. The ease of configuration, the ability to set up a wireless bridge, and the configuration options on DNSMasq, keeps me coming back to DD-WRT.

Is there a more modern device with a Linux based kernel, at a reasonable price, that does IPv6 and is set up with a GUI and webpages?

Re:DD-WRT Replacement? (1)

jimicus (737525) | about a year ago | (#42224189)

Domestic or business customers? You could do a lot worse than pfSense for businesses, but it's overkill for domestic. I know
IPv6 support is planned for pfsense, if not actually complete.

Its BSD rather than Linux, don't know if that's a problem.

Re:IPv6 DD-WRT Replacement? (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | about a year ago | (#42225673)

Usually, I'm using DD-WRT in a small application. For instance, on a remote computer node that needs to connect to the office wirelessly. A small business or home network (less than 5 computers.) The home network of a business person that needs to connect to the office. etc.

Re:DD-WRT Replacement? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#42231483)

If it's overkill for domestic, then how is Monowall? It's had IPv6 support a lot longer, from what I can tell. Also, BSD has supported IPv6 a lot longer than Linux has, and also, while I'm not sure whether Linux has this or not, FreeBSD has an IPv6-only mode, which completely disables IPv4 and lets one test one's IPv6 connectivity w/o getting any fallback-based wrong signals. If you must have Linux, you might want to go w/ OpenWRT, although I'm not sure how superior the IPv6 support there is over IPv4.

Re:DD-WRT Replacement? (1)

jimicus (737525) | about a year ago | (#42233419)

The reason I say it's overkill for domestic is it has a list of features that goes on and on, but probably 95% of them would never be used in a domestic setting. It's also missing some features you would want in domestic - for instance, half-decent ADSL support and AIUI wireless support is somewhat lagging.

pfSense is a fork of m0n0wall - they forked some time ago so I'm not sure how far they've separated.

Mind you, ADSL and wireless support can be surprisingly poor in Linux router distributions - it's amazing how many DSL domestic routers run Linux and yet how poor Linux's own support for most DSL chipsets is.

Re:DD-WRT Replacement? (1)

ace123 (758107) | about a year ago | (#42232409)

It's been a while since i've used DD-WRT. Last I checked, it was still using the 2.4 kernel with the closed-source drvier on many broadcom devices. Linux 2.6 has been out for 9 years, and the open source broadcom drivers have stabilized much since then.

I highly recommend OpenWRT with its Luci configuration interface. You're going to find it a worthwhile replacement for DD-WRT, including native IPv6 support (provided you go with the broadcom-2.6 kernel). You don't need to know much about using the command line to get things to work (and even if you go this route, there are many people who can help).

I've been using OpenWRT Kamikaze without issue on my WRTSL54GS (very similar in hardware configuration to the WRT54GL), and all the computers in my house have native IPv6 (with "radvd" autoconfiguration) using a 6to4 tunnel on Comcast. If you need details on how I got it set up, just let me know or start a post on the forum. The openwrt community is very friendly with a lot of knowledgable folk. I've loved OpenWRT and not had any reason to look back.

Indifference? (1)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | about a year ago | (#42223699)

Of course Governments are indifferent, every large organisation resists change. You have to be like a wasp in their pocket, constantly giving them little stings. Blaming the UK Government for lack of IPv6 adoption is the lazy way out.

In contract the Irish IPv6 Task Force, devoid of any Government funding, frequently had Cabinet-level Ministers at its conferences and gave them an absolute grilling. Did you know that Irish procurement regulations require all IT equipment to be dual-stack capable out-of-the-box? That didn't happen as a result of a Board whining about inertia.

still on imperial and no plan to switch to metric (1)

johnrpenner (40054) | about a year ago | (#42224383)

comon - all of the U.K. is still on imperial and no plan to switch to metric - come to think of it - they still have a monarchy smack dab in the middle of their democracy - the british dont like change - and i dont think that'll change anytime soon..

2cents from toronto island
jp

Re:still on imperial and no plan to switch to metr (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#42224717)

comon - all of the U.K. is still on imperial and no plan to switch to metric

Err, no, you're thinking of the U.S, which not only uses arcane units like Fahrenheit in every day life, but actually use imperial figures in science and industry!

Re:still on imperial and no plan to switch to metr (1)

mikechant (729173) | about a year ago | (#42233607)

comon - all of the U.K. is still on imperial and no plan to switch to metric

I don't know why you state this so confidently when you are almost completely wrong.

Nearly all units in the UK are officially metric, with the official change having taken place many years ago (pre 1980) apart from a few very specific exceptions like road signs (miles/mph) beer (pints) milk (mostly pints, sometimes litres).

Informally, most people use a mishmash of imperial and metric, often switching between the two for convenience.

Some imperial measures have effectively died out completely (e.g. imperial spirit measures like the gill); others will die soon as older folks die (Fahrenheit use); a few are still used as the prime units and show no signs of dying.

This wikipedia article seems to give a very accurate version of the actual current state of UK units:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metrication_in_the_United_Kingdom [wikipedia.org]

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