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The exhaustion of IPv4 address space

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the the-sky-is-falling-the-sky-is-falling dept.

Networking 589

FireFury03 writes "Cisco has an interesting article talking about estimates for the exhaustion of the IPv4 address space, and the inevitable move to IPv6. It predicts that the IPv4 address space will be exhausted in 2 - 10 years and suggests that it isn't worth trying to reclaim old allocations. With the mainstream use of IPv6 now potentially within the ROI period of many products the manufacturers need to start including support, but will the ISPs roll out native IPv6 networks before they absolutely have to? IMHO, ISPs providing native IPv6 support would be a Good Thing since it opens up the door for peer-to-peer technologies such as SIP without needing nasty NAT traversal hacks, but a major stumbling block seems to be a complete lack of IPv6 support on current consumer-grade DSL routers (tunneling over IPv4 is an option but requires more technical know-how from the end user)." Of course, Cisco may have some vested interest in driving up the IPv6-compatible router sales *cough*, but the bottom line is that the transition will have to happen at some point in the near future.

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Interesting (4, Funny)

Legendof_Pedro (900265) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809883)

Interesting, but is 2 - 10 years as precise as they can be?
8 years seems to be a long time, to me...

Re:Interesting (1)

sanyasi (900484) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809904)

thats what the coders thought in 1990 when they contemplated y2k as well...

Re:Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13809921)

Do you hear something buzzing over your head? That is the sound of the joke flying over really really (not just once) fast.

Re:Interesting (2, Funny)

'nother poster (700681) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809940)

And nobody did a thing about it until about 1997.

Re:Interesting (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13810042)

The REAL question is whether IP drilling operations in ANWR, Alaska will buy us any time. What about our strategic reserves? I believe our goal should be to reduce dependence on foriegn address space.

Re:Interesting (2, Funny)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810110)

Just imagine a world where all the address space is shared and free... we could go back to not thinking about Alaska *EVER*.

Re:Interesting (2, Informative)

Psiolent (160884) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809910)

is 2 - 10 years as precise as they can be

In the article, this range comes from the fact that the data can be fitted to different curves, resulting in a different timescale. Some of the curve fitting I saw in the article used polynomials, exponentials, and linear functions.

Re:Interesting (2, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809920)

Good eye. That's a huge range. When you're talking about small numbers it makes a bigger difference too. When they say 2-10 years, that's much more fuzzy than a prediction of, for example, 102-110 years.

It's almost like me saying that any random new car model from Detroit will get between 20 and 100 miles per gallon. We all know how fuzzy EPA figures are, but even those are more precise than Cisco is here.

Re:Interesting (5, Funny)

kihjin (866070) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809926)

2 - 10 would be -8 years. So this already happened, 8 years ago.

Welcome to Slashdot.

Re:Interesting (3, Interesting)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809995)

yup, 8 years ago they were saying the ip4 space would be exhausted in next 5 years. Heck, I sat at a presentation on IPng in 1994 where that was said. At least such a statement is more true now than it was then, but I'll bet reclaiming old absurdly huge allocations of IP space could push this out beyond 10-12 years.

Re:Interestingly precise (2, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809932)

2-12 years is as precise an answer as Rummy can give about the Iraq insurgency lasting. If it's good enough for the main stream media, it's good enough for average joe six pack me.

Dick "Netcraft" Cheney: I think IPv4 is in its last throes.

Re:Interesting (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13809939)

Maybe they were just being obtuse. 2 - 10 = -8, so what they really mean is that we needed IPv6 eight years ago.

Bad Math (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13810018)

Well, if you had done your math correctly (2 - 10) you would notice that -8 years is not long away at all.

Already rolled... (5, Insightful)

jamesgamble (917138) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809893)

Most of the major ISPs have already rolled support for IPv6. They started the rollout about five years ago when the lack of IP address began to be a problem. I know for a fact that Sprint is ready to roll it, they are just waiting for other networks to support it. T-Mobile is also ready to roll it as is AOL. It's not really a big deal. It's already been done. Everyone is just waiting to push the big red button and turn on the support. Hell, even Windows supports it.

In keeping with tradition (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809952)

they'll flip the switch on June 14th.

Re:Already rolled... (5, Informative)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810009)

Everyone is just waiting to push the big red button and turn on the support

Why do you need to wait to turn it on? IPv4 and v6 can run side by side. I've been running v6 for a few years using 6to4 tunnelling to provide connectivity since my ISP doesn't do native IPv6... infact I haven't seen *any* ISP (in the UK) offering IPv6 connectivity over DSL. Just providing a 6to4 anycast gateway on their core network would be a start.

Re:Already rolled... (2)

jamesgamble (917138) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810025)

Of course they can run side by side, but why turn it on now when it isn't absolutly necessary? We can still use IPv4 until it reaches critical mass. There's really no point in causing more headaches for support groups it's really needed. Right now, companies really don't need to. They can still wait a year or two to perfect their infrastructure.

Re:Already rolled... (3, Interesting)

Spetiam (671180) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810035)

All I know is that if, once my broadband ISP serves up IPv6, they want to charge me extra for a static IP, I'll be pissed.

Re:Already rolled... (2, Informative)

jguthrie (57467) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810040)

What DSL routers or CableModems work with IPv6? It doesn't matter if I can buy a OC-512 with IPv6 if "Joe Sixpack" can't get it through his cablemodem. Sure I can get (and, in fact, have gotten) an IPv6 tunnel for my network, but that means that my IPv6 throughput sucks.

Since demand for addresses necessarily comes from the leaf nodes of the network (where the bulk of them are consumed) rather than the backbones, I think it is disingenuous (to say the least) to claim that IPv6 is already "rolled out" because it is available from various backbone providers when the reality is that it is not available directly to the end users.

Re:Already rolled... (0)

jamesgamble (917138) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810087)

There isn't any reason it needs to be avaliable to end users yet. The old scheme is still working. You don't replace a tire that is rated for 80k miles when it only has 40k on it...

Already Pushed Here. (1, Informative)

temojen (678985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810073)

Shaw Cable (In Western Canada) now assigns IPv6 and IPv4 addresses to all DHCP requests. Whether your home firewall does anything with the IPv6 address is another matter.

Oops, never mind. (2, Informative)

temojen (678985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810118)

That was my "link local ID"

I can't understand why... (3, Interesting)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809894)

Why don't more routers that are sold today tout their IPv6 compatibility? Are they not compatible with the new protocol? If not why not?

NATs at home can only hold IPv4 together for so much longer. Soon a killer ap will come out that just doesn't want to be NATted, and the whole Internet using public will demand direct addressing [at least they'll demand a solution that requires direct IP addressing].

Re:I can't understand why... (2, Insightful)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809983)

Why don't more routers that are sold today tout their IPv6 compatibility?

Because IPv6 isn't yet a buzzword that non-technical buyers are looking for. This will probably change in the next few years when the business world becomes concerned with it. Once a company CIO hears that his internet connection will die without IPv6 support, there will be a huge marketing effort on the part of Cisco and other router makers.

Re:I can't understand why... (1)

JoshDanziger (878933) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810036)

NATs at home can only hold IPv4 together for so much longer. Soon a killer ap will come out that just doesn't want to be NATted, and the whole Internet using public will demand direct addressing [at least they'll demand a solution that requires direct IP addressing].

I don't think that's really true. With the current state of uPnP aware routers, I can't imagine a scenario when this would be a problem. (Unless there is truly a need for a well defined service port, and even then I can imagine several workarounds). I know that Azeurus happily opens up a few ports on my router every time that I start it up. Whether this is a good idea security wise is another story...

2 - 10 years (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13809897)

What an accurate estimate?

Is NAT Better? (4, Interesting)

HugePedlar (900427) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809901)

I remember reading a while ago that NAT actually turned out to be better than IPv6 by virtue of it "solving" the limited number of addresses problem and simultaneously providing a defence against simple hacking attempts by hiding your real IP address.

Can anyone explain whether this is true or not and why?

Re:Is NAT Better? (2, Insightful)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809956)

There's no technical reason you can't 'NAT' your IPv6 address is there?

The majority in new IP address growth comes from all the future gadgets, your house, the washing machine, fridge, etc. So PCs can still 'hide' behind a NAT if they need protecting.

Re:Is NAT Better? (1)

FacePlant (19134) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809981)

NAT the gadgets!

Re:Is NAT Better? (4, Informative)

amalcon (472105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809971)

The one "benefit" of NAT over IPv6 is that you can't access ports which aren't forwarded to that computer. i.e. it basically acts like a firewall, but potentially a little weaker because it isn't designed to be a firewall. As IPv6 doesn't keep you from having a firewall, this is almost moot. It's not entirely moot because home users who have NAT would not always consider having firewalls. The benefits of IPv6 are numerous, however.

Re:Is NAT Better? (1)

stillmatic (874559) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809975)

A home DSL router with NAT turns your unpatched Windows XP box into a bastion of security compared to having it sit out in the open directly attached to your cable modem.

Re:Is NAT Better? (4, Informative)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809977)

NAT is not defense. The stateful firewall is defense. You can use stateful firewalls on IPV6 also and there is no reason that consumer grade routers would not include the firewall.

Re:Is NAT Better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13810028)

WTF? NAT is a great defense for home users.
I'm not saying it's ideal, or that more isn't needed, but it sure stops internet worms in their tracks.

Re:Is NAT Better? (1)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810029)

Care to explain how a statefull firewall makes one piss of difference to Grampa Pamade and Granny Goldbond over NAT? Either of those two needs to configure a proxy server to cache and control web sites accessed?

For a business or school, or advanced home networker sure... (Heck, I have never worked for a buisness that did anything beyond simple DMZ with their PIX, blocking outgoing traffic just isn't done.)

But the ordinary Linksys is a good enough hardware fireall via NAT for the average user.

So gimmie a break will ya? Start on a new pointless geek-detail. That one is old and tired.

Re:Is NAT Better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13809990)

It can be better for the computer-illiterate - the NAT acts as a hardware firewall for them.

What we'll need to see, instead, is routers that use IPv6 and tout a "easy-to-use" firewall.

Re:Is NAT Better? (5, Interesting)

fyonn (115426) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810039)

I remember reading a while ago that NAT actually turned out to be better than IPv6 by virtue of it "solving" the limited number of addresses problem and simultaneously providing a defence against simple hacking attempts by hiding your real IP address.

well, it's not "better" as such, just a different solution. NAT is not a golden bullet though. Yes, it does, by and large prevent random machines on the internet directly contacting your unpatched windows desktop at home, but a firewall will do that too, and virtually every dsl router has a firewall these days too. I would like to see home dsl routers supporting native ipv6 but I don't know of any.

I think that ipv6 is a good thing to go for, but it's not finished (but then, is ipv4? :). there's lots of advertised features for ipv6 (mandatory encryption, mobile ip etc) that are good on paper, but aren't all that in the real world.

Mandatory support for ipsec is great.. except how many of us would use it? as there is currently no support for mndatory ipsec encryption to unknown strangers. you've got to be pre-configured for crypto. I'd like to see something like ssh. if you know the key then great, if you don't then you can accept and save one and then while you may not have verified the destination, you're at least protected on the wire. yes, they also need to sort out authentication and perhaps some form of certificate distribution, but lets make a start on something useable.

mobile IP. sounds great! I can be using my ipv6 pda via my mobile phone and as I walk into my house, it picks up my wireless net and my downloads speed up instantly, all the while not dropping the voip call I'm making. or I'm using a laptop on the train and as it flits from hotspot to hotspot I don't lose any of my connections. sounds great! how does it work? you tell me, details are not easy to find. ots of talk, few working implementations (if I'm wrong, please tell me, I'm genuinely very interested).

working with networks as part of my job, I know how useful and really annoying NAT can be, and I really think it should be an option, not a requirement. I'd love to see ipv6 rolled out and see what changes it brings, but I also think it needs a fair amount of work still.


Re:Is NAT Better? (1)

Gilk180 (513755) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810044)

NAT is definitely NOT BETTER than IPv6. That is not to say that IPv6 is better. They are two different technologies that operate in two different ways and solve different (but intersecting) sets of problems.

However, it does mitigate the address space problems. Basically, the reason why it prevents attacks is that when home users put a NAT router between the internet and their machine, the nature of NAT means that they also have the equivalent of a sanely configured firewall there as well. Same goes for larger scale NAT, which is less common.

I may be wrong, but not having the real IP address is not where the real advantage comes in, it comes from the fact that internet hosts cannot connect to you without you contacting them first. Any well configured firewall (network or host) will do the same thing.

IPv6 provides many other benefits, and some drawbacks.

Re:Is NAT Better? (2, Informative)

theCSapprentice (921974) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810048)

It is true that NAT can hide your IP, but it depends on how it is configured. The whole point of using NAT is to route un-routable Ip addresses, like, on the internet. Depending on what you want and need, NAT can be done in three different ways:

STATIC: this is when the router assigns one routable address to one non-routable address. This 'hides' your IP address, but as the new address always points to your real one... Well you get the idea

DYNAMIC: this selects a random routable address from a 'pool'. The assignment is temporary and this will hide where your requests are coming from. But as the pool is a range of addresses given to you offically, it wouldn't be hard to find who was using them.

DYNAMIC-PORT: this uses only one routable IP, but translates all of the non-routable IPs onto different ports for each connection. The appearence is of one computer making many connections.

I hope this helps.

Re:Is NAT Better? (5, Interesting)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810053)

I remember reading a while ago that NAT actually turned out to be better than IPv6 by virtue of it "solving" the limited number of addresses problem and simultaneously providing a defence against simple hacking attempts by hiding your real IP address.

NAT in itself doesn't provide any extra security - the connection tracking needed by NAT is what provides the security (and you can do this equally well without using NAT). I wrote an article [] on this subject a while back.

Whiles NAT does to some extent "solve" the limited number of addresses problem, it also creates many more problems. The Internet was designed to be peer to peer but NAT turns it into a client/server model. Whilest client/server works fine for "traditional" applications such as web surfing, it's a major stumbling block for peer to peer services such as VoIP, which have to employ various hacks to trick NATs into letting the peer-to-peer traffic through (with varying degrees of success). The likes of Skype are designed to hijack the connections of random Skype users who don't have NAT and use them to route traffic between peers who do have NAT when the NAT traversal hacks fail.

Re:Is NAT Better? (1)

Parity (12797) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810076)

It's only 'sort of true'. Using private network address space and NAT means that your box is 'unreachable' from the point of view of any outside machines, even if you had no other firewall rules whatsoever. However, if you have a firewall that denies all incoming connections, you have the same protection that NAT gives you.

Also, of course, if you use a port redirect to have a server in your private ip space, you'll have a situation where you are -actually- reachable even though you -appear- unreachable, because the NAT is forwarding the packets to you. (It looks to the outside as if the NAT box is what is being reached).

So in this sense NAT gives you nothing. OTOH, when you have a tremendously complicated firewall ruleset, NAT does provide a kind of safety net, in that in many cases opening up huge holes in the firewall will not create any exposure.

So whether or not NAT is 'better' from a security point of view depends on whether or not you are (or your sysadmin is) capable of putting a correct firewall ruleset in place.

Re:Is NAT Better? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13810090)

Thats like preventing STDs by amputating your penis. Effective, but there are better solutions available!

Love that quote (4, Insightful)

Matey-O (518004) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809907)

"and suggests that it isn't worth trying to reclaim old allocations."

Isn't worth it to whom?

Re:Love that quote (1)

convolvatron (176505) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809986)

certainly there are some old a and b allocations that might be worth it,
but the old /24 allocations (the swamp) are too fragmented to route
globally. even getting back those /8 assignments would be difficult,
there was no legal or contractual framework governing them. in fact there
was a somewhat notorious incident where the ex-head-administrator of
fix-west took an allocation with his name on it to a certain
ip-over-cable startup and solving their addressing problem in
one fell swoop.

Dupe. (5, Funny)

haeger (85819) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809911)

I know I've read this statement atleast yearly for the last 2-10 years.


Re:Dupe. (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809968)

Naaa, your just stuck in a while loop.

Re:Dupe. (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810069)

while (sleep 31536000); do echo IP addresses are going to run out; done

Re:Dupe. (1)

Black Cardinal (19996) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810115)

I was listening to some old Geeks in Space [] episodes last week and in one of the earlier ones Hemos and CmdrTaco had some funny comments about "The Great IP Crunch of 2010." This was back in 1999, I think.

Ah, here's a link to the CNN story from 1999: []

It's a race! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13809913)

Will *BSD die before the switchover to IPv6? Maybe a good Slashdot poll:

[ ] Yes
[ ] No
[ ] Microsoft
[ ] I don't know what IPv6 is, but I'll post anyway
[ ] Cowboy Neal encodes my packets

Re:It's a race! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13810016)

[ ] Depends on if Duke Nukem Forever supports IPv6

Re:It's a race! (2, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810057)

[] Profit!

Re:It's a race! (2, Funny)

aurb (674003) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810114)

[ ] Only if Netcraft confirms it.

Embedded? (1)

wlan0 (871397) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809917)

I don't think they included the fact that lots of devices are including internet conectivity, and looks like they could be TheNextBestThing, and would increase the rate IPv4 address space gets used up.

tunneling (1)

convolvatron (176505) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809929)

it wouldn't have to. all that needs to be configured is a v4 tunnel
endpoint address and after that you're all done. for nasty ethernet
bridged networks there are all sorts of discovery options (optional
dhcp fields, multicast announcments, etc).

if it were important enough and multi-hop support was a problem,
one could just burn a tiny snippet of global address space, not
route it in the default-free world and use it as a isp-specific
service anycast address for tunnel endpoints.

Re:tunneling (1)

David McBride (183571) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810047)

This has been done. is a magic address that should route towards the nearest 6to4 gateway.
See also: RFC3068 []

Re:tunneling (1)

Unlikely_Hero (900172) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810097)

I will give a cookie to anyone who explains wtf that means

concurrent operation of IPv4 and IPv6? (2, Insightful)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809930)

I'd say this is going to be a huge test of the internet and all the various pieces.

Can IPv4 and IPv6 coexist? When do the root servers transfer over? (have they already?) If they can co-exist, what's the motivation for *everyone* to switch?

What happens to smaller countries that don't have the resources to make hardware changes to keep up to date.

From a laymen's perspetive this seems a lot like Y2K in terms of the scope of changes required.

This is NOT a technology problem (2, Informative)

glengineer (697939) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809933)

It's a bureaucratic one. The manufacturers aren't going to spend time and money to make their products until it either makes business sense (Cisco, Microsoft) or they are forced to (TV stations that are having to support HDTV).

Re:This is NOT a technology problem (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810070)

"The manufacturers aren't going to spend time and money to make their products until it either makes business sense (Cisco, Microsoft) or they are forced to (TV stations that are having to support HDTV)."

Technology and economics are intertwined. Sure, the tech is available -- but if it is not cost-effective, then it won't be utilized. So, is the problem then technological (the tech is expensive) or is it economic (there's not enough of a profit incentive to change over)? Probably both.

In both your situations, the answer is economic. "Making business sense" = profitable (Cisco, MS). "Being forced to" = unprofitable not to (TV stations). But better tech could mean that the tech is less expensive to implement, thereby changing the point at which changeover becomes profitable.

Black Cat are a UK ISP that do native v6... (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809936)

">Black Cat Networks in the UK provide native IPv6. Of course, as most ADSL routers don't yet support it, you'd have to put a ADSL card in a Linux/BSD/Windows box. Yay Black Cat!
I don't work for them, but I have used their services....
I emailed my current ISP and asked about IPv6. They said they didn't support it. I said why not? They said because no-one was asking for it. I said: How do you know no-one wants it until you offer it?

Re:Black Cat are a UK ISP that do native v6... (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809950) [] was the URL before I fuffed it.

for anyone who can't tell wtf is going on (3, Interesting)

s388 (910768) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809942)

TFA didn't help me get much of a clue. I tried reading it, and I said to myself: "aren't there one trillion possible IP addresses, available in principle? (minus 1)" just because of the 12-digit IP addresses i'm used to.

"The IPv4 address space has 32 bits, limiting it to an absolute maximum of 232 (roughly 4.3 billion) possible addresses. For both administrative and technical reasons (the latter in large part being related to routing), IPv4 addresses are allocated in blocks which are restricted to sizes which are powers of 2; this leads to many addresses being unused at any given time. In addition to this, substantial parts of the IP address space are not easily usable because of early technical decisions reserving them for private network use, loopback addresses, multicast, and unspecified future uses, which has resulted in some of these limitations being programmed into devices; working around these limitations will require substantial amounts of re-engineering to increase the amount of available address space. Finally, some of the IPv4 address allocations made early in the development of the Internet (in the 1970s), when only blocks of 224 possible addresses (called a /8 in IPv4 address terminology) were supported, led to some institutions that were involved in the development of the Internet having disproportionally large allocations. MIT, for example, has an entire /8 block allocated to it (224 addresses, about 0.39% of the whole internet address space) and various US Department of Defense agencies have several such blocks."

THANK YOU wikipedia.

Explanation requested (2, Insightful)

dubdays (410710) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809946)

Besides the huge amount of fully routable IP addresses IPv6 will open up, what are the benefits to the average end-user? I mean, will anyone accessing a 4 Mb cable connection through NAT really notice any difference by upgrading? Even large corporations, who also use private IP address space, (as far as I know) don't need fully routable addresses for every machine. So, what exactly is the major benefit? Just asking...

Re:Explanation requested (5, Insightful)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810071)

I've been looking forward to a time when everyone gets at least one fixed IP address. Want to run a server of any sort? No? How about a mail server built in to your cable modem? Or do you like your email getting stored at your ISP? Then there are any number of handy p2p type apps that will benefit. VOIP comes to mind - without needing to subscribe to a directory service. Fire up gnome-meeting or whatever and enter your friends IP (well the software could remember it for you) - the same IP they have every time. Actually, fixed IPs for everyone reduces the role of the ISP to simply being a network connection like they should be. Also, it takes effort from developers to get software working through NAT, so the burden on them should be reduced.

Re:Explanation requested (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810082)

Not NEEDING a NAT would be nice and a benefit.

New Allocation Schedule (2, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809954)

It will be interesting (and perhaps this has already been all worked out, I haven't looked into it much) how they allocate the IPv6 addresses. It seems fairly clear now that the life of the v4 address space was definitely shortened -- although by how much is not clear -- because of the very large chunks of space that were handed out and never fully utilized. (Class A allocations; IIRC IBM had a massive one and I'm not sure ever used much of it, and I'm sure they're not the only one.) Of course this wasn't viewed as a problem at the time because there were so many more addresses than anyone imagined there would ever be devices.

I just wonder how we're going to resist the temptation to do the same thing again, now that we have another glut of address space. On one hand we don't want to end up with vacant blocks of addresses, but we don't want to be too niggardly about it either, or else individual static addresses won't ever 'trickle down' to end users and we'll be stuck with the same mess of NAT traversals and subnets that we have now.

I'm sure that this issue has been addressed (or will be addressed) but I'm just curious how the IANA will find the 'balance point' between assigning enough high-level blocks to make sure end users can get static global addresses, while not overassigning. Perhaps there should be some sort of a periodic review process for high-level address block assignments to see how fully utilized they are, and either assign an entity more addresses or reallocate underutilized resources.

Examples (2, Interesting)

overshoot (39700) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810054)

$FORMER_EMPLOYER has several Class B address spaces but keeps the entire internal network behind proxies and doesn't even support internet DNS lookups for machines in the intranet. Net result is that the entire company could present less than a Class C to the internet at large.

In general, corporate networks today are so completely firewalled that they might as well be behind NAT, and some (bless 'em) are -- Intel for one uses nonroutable addresses internally.

Cisco has only the best interests in mind... (1)

kenshaw (889403) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809955)

Cisco has an interesting article talking about estimates for the exhaustion of the IPv4 address space, and the inevitable move to IPv6. It predicts that the IPv4 address space will be exhausted in 2 - 10 years and suggests that it isn't worth trying to reclaim old allocations.

And I'm sure Cisco would be happy to provide the new equipment necessary for such an upgrade, for a small fee of course.

As far as I can tell, there are more than enough IPv4 addresses to go around -- I'm sorry but no matter how much the average slashdotter wants it to happen, my toaster does not need its own IP on the network. I haven't seen any good examples of why IPv6 is needed. As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Anyone who adds that "well IPv4 is inherently broke.." will get a swift kick in the ass.

Re:Cisco has only the best interests in mind... (1)

sgar (859603) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810052)

Well IPv4 is inerently broken. (Notice the 'n') :)

Re:Cisco has only the best interests in mind... (1)

jsailor (255868) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810058)

Cisco's routers have supported v6 for a very, very long time now - at least 4 years, but probably longer. This includes their software routers as well as those that make extensive use of ASICs. Even merchant silicon includes IP v6 support.

Please stop assuming everyone is out to get you.

Has anyone been denied a number yet? (1)

Puls4r (724907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809961)

No? Well then, there you go. You see, the world is driven by the dollar. Simply saying something is a good idea for the future will not make it change. Want proof? Recyling. Gas Mileage. And of course the US moving to the larger european and olympic size hockey rinks. When it becomes NECESSARY, through inconvenience or cost, to move to 6, we'll move to 6. You're wasting your breath arguing otherwise.

I predict that... (3, Funny)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809964)

in 2 to 10 years lots of things will happen. some people will die, some will be born...

aw, c'mon...

in a month europe, brasil and a few other nations will force a global netsplit, so we'll have 2 "internets". double the address space for the same price, so this prediction is not only imprecise, it's useless!

my R$0,02.

All I know is (5, Funny)

Hershmire (41460) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809969)

I have my IPv4 address. Why should I worry? Perhaps I can even sell mine to the highest bidder when the shite hits the fan.

Hell, maybe the address shortage will create this crazy new "Road Warrior" world where IP addresses are a rare commodity and people have to fight each other with mad overclocked computers just to get some packets routed. And then Mel Gibson can play an ex-help-desk-guy-turned-hero whose Mac was killed by software pirates in the movie version.

All I know is, I'm training my kids how to catch sharp boomerangs.

Nasty NAT hacks (2, Funny)

overshoot (39700) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809976)

Hmmm -- I wonder how many machines have been saved from being owned precisely because of NAT?

I'd love to know the zombienet operators' take on the conversion to IPV6.

Home routers (3, Interesting)

bozojoe (102606) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809980)

Perhaps this is an AskSlashdot, but who is making a decent(affordable) IPv6 router for the home? And where can one locate documents on SIP/RTP in IPv6 land?

Simple stages (1)

mikael (484) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809982)

Cisco may have some vested interest in driving up the IPv6-compatible router sales *cough*, but the bottom line is that the transtion will have to happen at some point in the near future.

If they want this to happen, then it should be possible to do the transition in simple stages, rather than in one "Big Bang". Telephone services switched to digital, first by upgrading the trunk likes transparently to the user, then giving individual customers to the choice to switch from analog to digital.

But from other comments, it seems like the cable-network supply companies are trying to maintain a monopoly on the supply of components.

The 800lb Gorilla in the room (1)

jhines (82154) | more than 8 years ago | (#13809997) 05.pdf [] Google found this, the US DOD review of IPv6 from Feb 2005. Once the US military switches over, a lot of others will fall in behind them.

My cold, dead hands (5, Interesting)

BJZQ8 (644168) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810004)

Until I absolutely HAVE to switch to IPV6, I will keep my much easier-to-remember addresses. Try to remember something like these:




I mean, DNS goes a long way towards turning that hex into something memorable, but as a sysadmin it does NOT make my life easier. Let's reclaim some of those /8 blocks allocated to people that barely use them, first. Does E.I duPont REALLY need 0.39% of the internet address space? Does Eli Lily? That is 16777216 addresses, for what? Does Eli Lily even have 16 million adressable devices? It seems to me that we have plenty of IPV4's, it's just the allocation stinks.

No Market = No Action (1)

Smarty2120 (776415) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810005)

Unfortunately, I can't see companies taking on expensive solutions until the address space is effectively exhausted. IP addresses don't work like commodities at the moment, they are rationed by a regulatory agency at a fixed price. When they start getting rare, I for one, would start allocating as many IPs as possible to sublease to the highest bidders. As long as companies can allocate as many IPs as they want a the fixed price, they have no incentive to migrate (save the other, less immediately useful features of IPv6). Maybe we need to set it up so as IPs get more scarce, they get more expensive. We'd then have a smooth (relatively) transition to IPv6 just like the way increasing gas prices will eventually force alternative fuel usage.

Spelling error (0, Troll)

dmuth (14143) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810008)

> Of course, Cicsco may have some vested interest in driving up the IPv6-compatible router
> sales


Um, shouldn't that be "Cisco"? Unless the editor was trying to compare them to SCO somehow...

What about Honeypots (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810014)

What about some of the large unused spaces currently used as Honeypots? Is this the best use of these spaces now?

reclaimation (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810021)

It predicts that the IPv4 address space will be exhausted in 2 - 10 years and suggests that it isn't worth trying to reclaim old allocations

In a related story, Conhugeco Amalgamated Logging industries announced that trying to replant logged forests is a "waste of time."

There's an awful lot of IP space out there, and reallocation can expand the life of IPv4 to a point where IPv6 transition will be a moot point. Until then we'll just keep repeating the same chicken and egg argument, as if the "transition" is going to involve a janitor throwing a giant breaker somewhere and *presto* the world is IPv6!

transport ready, management a hassle (3, Informative)

puzzled (12525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810022)

  I've been playing with IPv6 off and on since 2000. My current IPv6 plant incarnation is a Cisco 2610XM tunneling traffic from btexact (best tunnel broker if you want to play), a Cisco 1605 that is sometimes online, and a FreeBSD box. I don't have a site up this time, just taking it slow and playing, doing this mostly because the CCIE lab has started requiring IPv6.

  The transport works just fine, the application support is still a hassle. If its a barrier for me after five years of dinking and nothing left to do Cisco wise except complete my CCIE ... well ... Joe MCSE is probably going to get chewed up by it.

  Moving to IPv6 from IPv4 is as much a change in mindset as moving from IPX to IPv4 was ...

Didn't understand a word of that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13810027)

Have you tried woozling the NAT address matrix with your predefined IPV4 reclaimatron? No? Well I would try that.

Simple fix.. (2, Insightful)

MrJerryNormandinSir (197432) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810034)

Don't use real IP addresses after the gateway. I do IP
MASQUERADING. I get only 1 ip address from my provider.
I've got a wireless webcam, a zaurus wireless pda, company assigned laptop, my linux development desktop computer, my Apple G3 running LinuxPPC (my gateway, web, imap server),
My oldest son't room with a Linux based AMD 64bit server, a
mini mac, a sharp zaurus, my 2 youngest boys room and thier
computer and a laptop up in thier room, my hombrew robot,
a hacked compaq IA-1 that runs linux that I use to monitor my firewall, email, etc.. All these devices get to the outside world on 1 ip address. I have multiple servers that
are accessed by the outside world via port redirection as

My point is that we should be tighter with ip address allocation.

Home / SOHO Routers (2, Insightful)

Commander Spock (796626) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810046)

Most of them have flash firmware, and can probably be adapted to work with IPv6.

Paying extra for fixed IP (2, Interesting)

3770 (560838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810060)

So, today you have to pay extra to get a fixed IP. I can understand that, somewhat, because there is a limited number of IP-numbers.

Now, if we have an unlimited number of IP-numbers, then I will be pissed if they expect me to pay extra for a fixed IP. What is their explanation and motivation for a higher price for a Fixed IP?

So maybe one of the reasons that they are trying to delay the introduction of IPV6 is because they know they will no longer get the extra income from customers that are paying for a fixed IP.

Re:Paying extra for fixed IP (1)

Grey_14 (570901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810100)

Nope, Much more likely they will continue to charge for a static IP because... Why change in such a way that would reduce income, when they can continue unnecessarily charging consumers for silly reasons.

I think I got ipv6 already. (1)

jzono1 (772920) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810065)

My FTTH line, routed by my debian router, it has an ipv6 ip, and it gets its ip by dhcpcd, do my isp already support ipv6 then?

most Cisco routers support IPv6 (1)

puzzled (12525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810068)

  You'd be hard pressed to find a Cisco box that doesn't support IPv6. This is integrated into IOS 12.3 and that runs on everything clear back to the 2500s. The only thing I have that I want current code for is a 4700 I use as a frame relay switch, but that is archaic lab gear and you won't find many in production. It does have an IPv6 capable image available, it just lacks some of the new stuff like OSPF support that the 12.3 images provide.

One Giant Honking DHCP Server (4, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810077)

To make most efficient use of the 4.3 trillion possible IPv4 addresses, all we need is one giant honking DHCP server for the world to use. Of course, the USA should run it forever.

Waste (2, Insightful)

Ed Almos (584864) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810079)

If the IP 4 address space was properly allocated then we could probably get another ten years out of the system. We have for example BBN occupying three class A blocks and HP taking another two or three. Set against this is the continent of Africa which is assigned one block.

Ed Almos

All it means.. (1)

Sir Pallas (696783) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810084) that I'm going to have to re-purchase all the networking equipment that companies are going to refuse to update. That being said, I'm already using IPv6 tunneled through Hurricane Electric [] and Freenet6 [] . What's nice is the automatic DNS identification and the swimming turtle [] . Oh, and the price.

Not any time soon. (5, Insightful)

dills (102733) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810085)

I have worked in the internet service business for over a decade now. I have seen a lot of things come and go, and a lot of predictions about when we would run out of IP space.

The bottom line is that the only people who realy WANT a rollout of IPv6 is Cisco. Why? Because the vast majority of their existing installed routers will not support IPv6 with anywhere near the same feature set and packet rate as those routers can handle with IPv4. Thus, IPv6 means people upgrading equipment that isn't really deficient.

Most people have no concept of:

a) How much IP space we have left.
b) How extremely inefficent we have been with a large percentage of the address space.
c) How much assigned, announced, and routed space is completely unused.
d) How much the rate of growth has flattened.
e) How wrong every prediction about when we run out of IP space has been thus far.

If you search the nanog archives, you'll see posts by myself going back many years stating essentially "Somebody tell me why we need IPv6 again?"

Do not hold your breath. We're 10-15 years away from IPv6, because it will take an even larger gross expenditure for the service providers to upgrade to support IPv6 than it did for the broadcast industry to upgrade to HDTV.

This is what industries that rely on revenue growth do when their customer growth flattens. They invent a new widget, come up with reasons why everybody needs it, market it, and hopefully everybody buys the product all over again. IPv6 is admittedly a good bit different; it was created by geeks in attempt to solve a perceived problem. However, it was siezed upon by the router vendors as a future "upgrade when growth flattens" path.

Don't buy into the hype. IPv4 is here to stay for a long time. Even when IPv6 starts to have some decent degree of market penetration, you will always find most of the devices on the net are IPv4 behind IPv6 to IPv4 NATs.

How about this solution for ISPs? (1)

Kat0325 (804195) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810088)

After switching over, give everyone the new IPv6 addresses, since I assume most people have hardware that can support it. If people run into problems or want to keep IPv4, then they can request the IPv4 for free.

Network Operators thoughts on IPv6 (4, Interesting)

br00tus (528477) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810089)

I went to a NANOG [] meeting in 1997, at which were many of the bigshots of network operation - Van Jacobsen (author of traceroute and Van Jacobsen compression, which you may recall as a checkable option on Windows 3.x's Trumpet Winsock), Paul Vixie (of BIND and MAPS fame), Kim Hubbard (of ARIN), Mark Kosters (of Network Solutions) and that type.

Anyhow, I myself was curious about if/when IPv6 would be rolled out. One of the talks was about how to deal with IPv4 space running out, and a lot of the talk revolved around such things as multiple web sites running on the same IP (which was very uncommon then) and other ways to use less address space. Some audience members gave other suggestions for conserving IP space such as ways to use Network Address Translation to limit public IP use. I would say the feeling in the hall was that this was not a problem, and that people had to go the route of IP sharing, and aside from the need for more IP sharing, everyone pretty much liked the situation as it was, which was in contrast to the prevailing attitude in the world outside the hall. One audience member rose his hand and said, "What about IPv6?" The response to this was the entire audience broke into laughter - it was the funniest thing they had heard that week. After that I began thinking about IPv6 more along the lines of projects such as MBONE [] (anyone remember the hooplah over that years ago?). Not that IPv6 will never be implemented, but this story that IPv6 was needed straightaway could have been written 8 years ago. I haven't seen much headway in it in the past 8 years, except for products promising they were IPv6 compatible, just in case. Not that IPv6 will never be rolled out on a large scale, but I'm not holding my breath.

Of course cisco would say this (1)

Synn (6288) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810091)

IPv6 worldwide will require all old routers that don't support it to be replaced. Cisco sells routers.

UN's way of getting control (1)

randomErr (172078) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810092)

This rising problem maybe the best way for the UN to get full control of the internet. Create two competing IPv6 systems (US and the UN) that will collide until one ruling authority has been dedicated. They will not get control of the internet for several years, but it will eventually be there and much more effective then controlling DNS.

Cisco biased? Never. (1)

DysenteryInTheRanks (902824) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810096)

And of course, Cisco is the perfect firm to make such a prediction, because they are completely unbiased, because they do not stand to make any money selling IPv6 related equipment.

(Sarcasm detector explodes.)

Lack of IPv6 support on consumer-grade DSL routers (1)

tedric (8215) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810102)

What about OpenWRT [] , it runs on several consumer grade DSL routers [] and supports IPv6 ) [] ?

With nice Web frontends it's as easy to use (when successfully installed) as e.g. the Linksys Web frontend. Freifunk [] has a nice customized OpenWRT version (sorry, homepage is in German only).

NAT is about a lot more than low address reserves (3, Insightful)

jjeffrey (558890) | more than 8 years ago | (#13810106)

I don't think that IPv6 will see the end of NAT at all. NAT is a very quick and covenient technique for consumer DSL routers to use.

For a start, a lot of ISPs only offer one address, partly to encourage people to buy more expensive packages with multiple addresses, and NAT transparently solves that issue.

There is no reason to assume that increased avilability of addresses will cause ISPs to offer more addresses to consumers - after all if they anticipate 100,000 single PC broadband connections, they are going to find it hard to get approval for 800,000 addresses (to allow a /28), even with the increased address space. And even when you do have multiple addresses allocated, what about the users that have one more machine than usable addresses? Small company networks etc? Now matter how many addressed IPv6 supplies, we will run out eventually, and much sooner than we expect.

Also low end ADSL connections often force NAT upon a user, allowing the vendor to create a differentiator between it's commercial and domestic offerings.

In the end NAT offers security, independence of allocated IP space to available addresses, simplified network management with an excellent delineation point between vendor and consumer (the ISP dosen't have to worry about what is inside the end user network), and a reasonable form of security. It's great for a small internet connected network.
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