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IPv6 Essentials

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the we-fear-change dept.

266

Carla Schroder writes "IPv6 is halfway here, so network administrators need to learn their way around it whether they want to or not. Adoption has been slower in the United States because we possess the lion's share of IPv4 addresses, but even so, someday IPv4 is going away for good. And, there is more to it than just increasing the pool of available addresses. IPv6 has enough improvements over IPv4 to make it worth the change even if we weren't running out of IPV4 addresses, such as built-in IPSec, simplified routing and administration, and scalability that IPv4 simply can't support. We're moving into gigabyte and multi-gigabyte backbones, and high-demand real-time services like voice-over-IP and streaming audio and video that require sophisticated QoS (quality of service) and bandwidth prioritization. IPv6 can handle these, IPv4 can't." Read on for the rest of Carla's review.

IPv6 Essentials, 2nd edition, by Silvia Hagen, released in May 2006, is a well-written, clear, up-to-date guide to understanding IPv6 in-depth. This is a real accomplishment, because computer networking protocols are completely abstract, and translating all of these abstractions into understandable language is a noteworthy feat. The book explains how it all works to a very practical depth, so that the reader will be well-prepared to begin implementation.

What it does not cover is the specifics of configuring network devices, such as routers, switches, and interface cards, and this is not a flaw, because those things are platform- and vendor-dependent. Having a solid understanding of the protocol itself is more important, and something that is sadly lacking even in today's IPv4 world. The Internet would be a better place if more network admins would take the time to learn IP fundamentals.

Ms. Hagen does a nice job of covering the following topics: Strengths and advantages, such as auto-configuration, and good-bye to NAT, The structure of the protocol itself, including header format, Improved security, Real genuine QoS, Simplified routing, Co-existence with IPv4, Painless mobile networking, and Addressing. Addressing is one of the scariest parts. When you're used to slinging around something like 192.168.1.100 with ease, coming eye-to-eye with something like this, 3ffe:ffff:1001:0000:2300:6eff:fe04:d9ff, is a bit disconcerting.

But fear not, for Ms. Hagen dissects IPv6 addresses clearly and in detail, showing that they have a logical, consistent, understandable structure. For example, the first quad (3ffe) tells you that this is a 6bone.net address, so it is already obsolete because the 6bone closed down in June 2006. Other prefixes tell you if it is a private address, link-local, site-local, and so on. The book lays this all out in tables, and explains what each one is for.

How would you like to retire your DHCP servers permanently? No problem. IPv6 auto-configures hosts all by itself, or you may exercise as much control as you like. Ms. Hagen explains the various options- link-local, site-local, stateful, stateless, neighbor discovery, and so forth, and what you can do with them. For example, with IPv6 you can whip up an ad-hoc LAN with hardly any effort, and without needing special servers or client software.

Security is built-in to IPv6, instead of bolted-on as it is for IPv4. However, IPSec (IP Security) is still largely untested and unproven on a number of levels, so the book discusses both the pros and cons.

The book covers the problems, hassles, and compromises that come with using NAT (network address translation). We're used to it now, but sometime down the road we're going to look back and think "Wow, that was one big fat pain. Good thing it's gone."

The chapter on Mobile IPv6 is almost worth the price of the book by itself. IPv6 supports both wired and wireless mobile users in an elegant, hassle-free way. Say good-bye to setting up multiple profiles, or hassling with scripts. Roaming users can keep the same IP as they travel — across different networks, wired to wireless- anywhere they go. This little bit of magic occurs because IPv6 assigns them multiple IPs. One is the home address, which is permanent. A second address is the care-of address, which changes as the user moves around. Of course there is a lot more to it that just having multiple addresses, and like everything else in this book, Ms. Hagen explains how it works clearly and understandably.

The book is abundantly illustrated in the usual quality O'Reilly fashion, and the illustrations are invaluable for understanding the material.

We're at the stage where IPv6 support is pretty much universal- you can count on both network hardware and software supporting it. So the network administrator only needs to focus on learning the ins and outs of implementation. I recommend IPv6 Essentials as an essential reference, and a great starting point for mastering IPv6.


You can purchase IPv6 Essentials, 2nd Edition from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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266 comments

IPv6 is halfway here (4, Funny)

El Royo (907295) | more than 7 years ago | (#16282599)

So, does that mean we're using IPv5 now?

Re:IPv6 is halfway here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16282771)

*clap*

*clap*

*clap*

Though in your rush to first post you forgot that halfway from zero to 6 is 3.

Re:IPv6 is halfway here (1)

bogado (25959) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283307)

In your rush to criticize other you forgot the the halfway between 4 and 6 is indeed 5.

Re:IPv6 is halfway here (1)

SlashPrompt (806270) | more than 7 years ago | (#16282955)

IPv4. [quote] from the IPv6 FAQ 5: is reserved for the Stream Protocol (which never really made it to the public) [/quote]

Re:IPv6 is halfway here (0)

l0b0 (803611) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283711)

Dude, where did you learn your arithmetics? 6/2=3, dammit.

This message was brought to you by the CTO.

And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16282607)

IPv4 is still going strong.

Re:And... (1, Troll)

mrsbrisby (60242) | more than 7 years ago | (#16282859)

I know you're joking, but you're completely correct. Not only is IPv6 _not here_, it's not even halfway here. Not by anyone's measure that would make any more sense than (for example) "IPV6 is halfway here in the same way that the PS6 is halfway here."

See, there's this thing called The Internet, and Google, and AOL, and CNN are all on it. We all agree that that thing is called the Internet.

On IPV6, there's nobody.

IPV6 is just a misnomer. It should be called "Really big addresses" or something like that.

By calling it IPV6 they've managed to convince a large number of people that it's somehow better than what we've presently got. It's not. The Internet is useful because of who is on it and who uses it, not because of how many addresses it has (or doesn't have)- after all, we could use IPX- which has more addresses than IPV4 and just come up with a new routing scheme and it'd still be just as complicated to deploy.

No, see, there _was_ no IPV4 before IPV6 come out, and that should be your first clue that we're doomed.

The designers and advocates of IPV6 really need to just pull their collective heads from their collective asses and answer the one question people like me have been asking from the beginning:

You say we're 75% out of addresses? Okay, how are you going to convince 3 billion people that they need to stop using the Internet and start using your new toy?

Stop insulting our intelligence and show us a single roadmap that fixes this problem you describe. Stop making crap up, and trying to convince us that more radical steps are necessary than actually are. Just Stop.

Re:And... (3, Informative)

mph (7675) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283085)

No, see, there _was_ no IPV4 before IPV6 come out, and that should be your first clue that we're doomed
WTF? See section 3.1 (specifically the "version" field) of RFC 791 [faqs.org].

Re:And... (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283387)

Stop bring logic and facts to our pissing contest!

Seriously though the amount of terms and knowledge lost in RFC's and ignored by the self appointed "gurus of the internet" is sad.

At least the IPv6 is ready for the day we run out of IPs which will be upon us sooner than some zealots say. But the simple fact is you never need to go to V6 unless you want an IP that's v6. The theory is v6 will still remain mostly v4 compliant. The infastructure is being update for the switch over and that's all that matters. If you want to remain ignorant or believe v4 will be here forever you're welcome to and it should be for the most part. But v6 will also start being used when it's time (I have yet to hear one legit complaint about it other then we don't need it "now".)

Re:And... (1)

mrsbrisby (60242) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284353)

At least the IPv6 is ready for the day we run out of IPs which will be upon us sooner than some zealots say. But the simple fact is you never need to go to V6 unless you want an IP that's v6. The theory is v6 will still remain mostly v4 compliant. The infastructure is being update for the switch over and that's all that matters. If you want to remain ignorant or believe v4 will be here forever you're welcome to and it should be for the most part. But v6 will also start being used when it's time (I have yet to hear one legit complaint about it other then we don't need it "now".)
Okay, here's a legitimate complaint: How are you going to convince the 3 billion people to switch?

Here's another one: How are you going to change all that software?

Here's another one: Why would you even try to do either of those things while there's a much simpler option?

You can cry about how nobody ever told you about the real problems with IPV6, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. If you were part of the IPNG working group and didn't know about the mailing lists being censored to hide dissent, you're an idiot too. If you're not part of the IPNG working group, then why the hell would you expect to know about all the goings-on with IPV6?

Re:And... (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284605)

Here's another one: How are you going to change all that software?
Changing software is easy. The problem is, who'll have to go round digging up all those obsolete tubes?

Re:And... (1)

mrsbrisby (60242) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284297)

WTF? See section 3.1 (specifically the "version" field) of RFC 791.
I'm sorry, you weren't there. RFC 791 nor IEN 21 mention IPV4 or IPV3 respectively.

RFC 791 refers to a interface that was _also_ the on-wire format in many situations. The "Version 4" is about as version-foury as 802.11 is "version 11 of link protocol 802".

Nevertheless, DARPA's Internet program isn't what we're using. We're using The Internet, this thing that people promise is running out of addresses. Calling it an extension of TCP Version 3 is not only just plain silly, but missing the point.

You are completely retarded. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283185)

Yes, IPv6 is better. Security, QoS, transparent roaming, autoconfiguration, etc, etc. Its not just more numbers. And IPv6 can interoperate with IPv4. All the sites on the internet would still be accessible to you if you were using an IPv6 ISP instead of an IPv4 ISP. Nobody needs to stop using the internet, we just need to transition over to a new protocol ON THE INTERNET. Its like saying paved roads were stupid because everyone was already using dirt roads and all the stores were on dirt roads, so it would be impossible to convince people to move off of the existing roads, and onto the paved ones where nothing was. Nobody is making new roads, just paving the existing ones dumbass.

Re:You are completely retarded. (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283529)

Yes, IPv6 is better. Security, QoS, transparent roaming, autoconfiguration, etc, etc. Its not just more numbers. And IPv6 can interoperate with IPv4.
Yuk. Security, transparent roaming, buzzwords. And QoS? That acronym always brings me out in a rash.

Simple fact is that no one cares that IPv6 is better, or that some people think it's better. My ISP isn't using it, neither is any other ISP I know and I know of no one who is using an IPv6 supporting device like an access point or something and I know of no hardware manufacturer really touting it. They're all interested in higher wireless speeds or something. No one cares, and everyone is not going to magically move to it over the next few years. Waving deadlines like 2008 in peoples' faces isn't going to make a blind bit of difference.

Re:You are completely retarded. (1)

ak_hepcat (468765) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283761)

Ermmm..

Yes. ISP's are looking at this. In fact, there's a conference this weekend that's all about how to create a migration strategy to IPv6.

And yes, I'm going. I've already got my IPv6 Essentails book, and my laptop is a nice dual-boot linux and winxp. I'll be able set up IPv6 in about 5 minutes, and run a test node happily.

And when I get back to work, I'm planning on setting up a nice test lab with a handful of routers and a couple of linux servers, just so the rest of the engineers and planners can poke their heads in and play.

Because, really, that's what it's all about. Giving us a new place to play.

Re:You are completely retarded. (0)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283605)

OK let's go over this one at a time:

1. Security. Not even the ipv6 zealots claim that ipv6 is somehow miraculously more secure.. you pulled that one out of your ass.
2. QoS. IPV4 has this. This is not 1970 (not that ISPs will *ever* let consumers control something like that - all major ISPs strip this information incoming from their customers and they will continue to do it with ipv6).
3. Transparent roaming. So what? This is exactly the *wrong* place to implement it. I move around with my IP enabled mobile phone all the time and have never felt the need for this, because it's implemented at the network level, where it should be.
4. Autoconfiguration. Never heard of DHCP? Don't start bleating about RA - like everything else about ipv6 they designed it without thinking properly about it. RA can't advertise DNS servers, time servers, wins servers, default domain search names, alternate routes, etc. etc. The kind of stuff you *need* to configure a machine. You still need to use DHCP for those - so just use that.. RA is pointless.

Re:You are completely retarded. (1)

mrsbrisby (60242) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284699)

1. Security. Not even the ipv6 zealots claim that ipv6 is somehow miraculously more secure.. you pulled that one out of your ass.
Actually, they do. They say it's because NAT is insecure, and because IPV6 doesn't need NAT, it's somehow better.

These people don't run network centers though- some people use NAT for good...

Re:You are completely retarded. (0)

mrsbrisby (60242) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284423)

Yes, IPv6 is better. Security, QoS, transparent roaming, autoconfiguration, etc, etc.
Err, transparent roaming doesn't make any sense. It's just tunneling that occurs at the link-level. autoconfiguration isn't now, nor was it ever really a problem with the Internet. IPV6's improvements to security aren't problems with security.

Its not just more numbers. And IPv6 can interoperate with IPv4. All the sites on the internet would still be accessible to you if you were using an IPv6 ISP instead of an IPv4 ISP.
Wrong. If I had an IPV6 ISP, I wouldn't be able to reach the Internet. I couldn't put http://www.google.com/ [google.com] into a web browser because there are no AAAA records for www.google.com and there isn't any mechanism for that IPV4 host to send packets back to me.

Nobody needs to stop using the internet, we just need to transition over to a new protocol ON THE INTERNET.
Okay, I nominate an application protocol. It's simpler, and allows incremental rollout without disturbing any existing infrastructure.

Now stop being a pansy about it.

Its like saying paved roads were stupid because everyone was already using dirt roads and all the stores were on dirt roads, so it would be impossible to convince people to move off of the existing roads, and onto the paved ones where nothing was. Nobody is making new roads, just paving the existing ones dumbass.
Wrong.

It's more like because we need a wider highway, somebody got the crazy idea that we should all switch to ethenol at the same time.

TCP-Wrappers had to be "rewritten". Postfix needed new configuration parsers and deep changes. Lots of programs needed to be rewritten or altered. People needed to update.

IPV6 isn't compatible with IPV4. They're about as compatible as IPX and IPv4.

Re:And... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283261)

I know you're joking, but you're completely correct. Not only is IPv6 _not here_, it's not even halfway here. Not by anyone's measure that would make any more sense than (for example) "IPV6 is halfway here in the same way that the PS6 is halfway here."

ipv6 seems to be going backwards in fact, with the closure of the vast majority of tunnel brokers & no sign of any ISPs planning adoption (and many (most?) not supporting the anycast address any more). If it's halfway there it's facing in the wrong direction...

US Govt wil be all IPV6 by 2008 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283505)

The OMB mandated all US Government agencies be on IPv6 by June of 2008. So I think it's much closer than many realize. And while few things in government meet deadlines, you can be sure this will be seen through. Just think of the joy of paying your taxes to the IRS over IPv6 in 2009 :0

Re:US Govt wil be all IPV6 by 2008 (1)

mrsbrisby (60242) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284475)

The OMB mandated all US Government agencies be on IPv6 by June of 2008. So I think it's much closer than many realize. And while few things in government meet deadlines, you can be sure this will be seen through. Just think of the joy of paying your taxes to the IRS over IPv6 in 2009 :0
Beware, the US Government also decided to ban NTSC over-the-air signals in 2007, so I don't really put that much faith in their intelligence on the matter either.

Re:And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283285)

IPv4 is still going strong.
In America.

QoS (Quality of Service or crap for customers?) (3, Insightful)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#16282623)

Everytime I see QoS mentioned I get a little feeling that we are being had. Based on the needs of customers, VOIP and streaming video should be prioritized ahead of non-time-sensative packets. Yet you know ISP's actually prioritize in reverse. They actually put hardware in place that throttles VOIP and Streaming Video traffic. I wish I could give ISP's a good figurative slap on the back of the head!

Re:QoS (Quality of Service or crap for customers?) (2, Funny)

manifoldronin (827401) | more than 7 years ago | (#16282879)

I wish I could give ISP's a good figurative slap on the back of the head!
So do I. And without the "figurative" part!

Re:QoS (Quality of Service or crap for customers?) (2, Interesting)

Daemonstar (84116) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283001)

Being a former network admin for a small ISP in Texas, throttling back on "bandwidth intensive" applications was pretty much a requirement. With low funds for backbone connections and having several wireless customers, just a few users could drain the entire uplink.

That being said, we were a local area ISP. Now for big providers, as long as you pay for it (and the service contract covers it), you should receive your bandwidth, IMHO; I do agree that they probably do the same thing in order to conserve bandwidth and the allmighty dollar. Otherwise, if they don't limit UserA's bandwidth (along with probably UserB, C and D), you, being UserZ, wouldn't be able to get much done in a day.

I think QoS comes more into play within the corporate intranet where you have video conferencing, etc, like we do at my current job. Besides, you don't have to use different (or even the same ISP) to connect 2 sites; you can always get (or make) your own private link. :)

Re:QoS (Quality of Service or crap for customers?) (1)

bigpat (158134) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284203)

That being said, we were a local area ISP. Now for big providers, as long as you pay for it (and the service contract covers it), you should receive your bandwidth, IMHO; I do agree that they probably do the same thing in order to conserve bandwidth and the allmighty dollar. Otherwise, if they don't limit UserA's bandwidth (along with probably UserB, C and D), you, being UserZ, wouldn't be able to get much done in a day.

Unfortuneately, once you have effective QoS with differentiated services that will mean that instead of paying for the value of the bandwidth you will be paying for the value of the service to you. It creates an artificial scarcity taylored to demand for certain services. Instead of everyone just getting video communications based on the amount of bandwidth they pay for or use, it will be something you pay for seperately. ISPs have already started doing this and it will only get worse without effective regulation. Instead of paying for the bandwidth we use, we get charged based on the type of use. Even now look at Verizon FiOS service, they currently charge 6 times as much for the same bandwidth just for unblocking port 80 and giving you a static IP address. They are looking for ever more ways to weed out the rich from the poor and to get as much money as they can from each group. Sure the bandwidth relates to capacity and you can't just charge everyone the same rate for infinite bandwidth. But bandwidth throttling based on overall use is one thing, but using QoS to give your ISP the power to decide which types of Internet services you can use and how much latency they will have is going to be a money losing proposition for the public and will mean the least common service to greatest number of people. It simply becomes a matter of supply and demand when the telecoms can artificially reduce supply at the flip of a switch.

Re:QoS (Quality of Service or crap for customers?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283027)

QoS is only relevant if a link is at capacity. It's completely unnecessary. Why?

With all the bandwidth gained from compressing and packetizing voice, carriers should have no reason to oversubscribe backbone links. There should always be enough available bandwidth. In short, the greedy bastards have done it anyway, and implemented "QoS" as a solution.

Re:QoS (Quality of Service or crap for customers?) (5, Informative)

screevo (701820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283411)

You are describing an inherant flaw in Vonage/Sunrocket/Etc. style VoIP services.

As a cable company, their traffic looks no different then Jo Shmoe next door torrenting the latest Back Door Betty DVD. So we CAN'T apply QOS to that traffic. We don't throttle it down OR up. We just let it go, and rely on the subscriber to know how to set up QOS on their equipment to maximize problems caused by their INTERNAL network.

However, VoIP services such as those offered by Time Warner, Comcast, and actual ISPs CAN be prioritized because the MTA in the customer's home gets it's own IP address, and we know all traffic from that block of addresses is VoIP, and thus gets priority!

Full Disclosure: Time Warner Cable Tier 3 Technician here.

Re:QoS (Quality of Service or crap for customers?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283653)

Erm, since when does VoIP traffic look identical to torrent traffic? Different ports, different protocols, different quantities, etc. If my $50 Linksys router can tell the difference, and you can't, well at least I know not to become a Time Warner customer.

Re:QoS (Quality of Service or crap for customers?) (2, Informative)

screevo (701820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284023)

Your linksys router monitors all of your trafic to do proper routing. Do you want your ISP to monitor all your packets and their content and see if thats porn or vonage coming in and out of your house? Learn how TCP/IP packets are built. Till then, you're just rambling. SM

Re:QoS (Quality of Service or crap for customers?) (2, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284673)

There are already accepted standards for how to do flag packets has having higher priority. From the IP spec:

Type of Service

The type of service (TOS) is for internet service quality selection.
The type of service is specified along the abstract parameters
precedence, delay, throughput, and reliability. These abstract
parameters are to be mapped into the actual service parameters of
the particular networks the datagram traverses.

Precedence. An independent measure of the importance of this
datagram.

Delay. Prompt delivery is important for datagrams with this indication.

Throughput. High data rate is important for datagrams with this
indication.

So there are already flags in the IP header, which if honored consistently, would allow for consistent routing of time-sensitive packets like audio in the presence of bulk data. Since introspection of the IP header is required for routing anyway, if the ISP is already doing QoS by IP range, the penalty for an additional check of these IP header flags for traffic from a different IP range is negligible. Any ISP that says differently is trying to sell their own overpriced VoIP service.

Re:QoS (Quality of Service or crap for customers?) (1)

screevo (701820) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284959)

Seeing as my neighbor and I both pay the same for internet service, why should his traffic take priority over mine, regardless of what he is doing? A person who knows how everything works could rig up a way to flag all his World of Warcraft packets has high priority, thus screwing the whole pooch. Also, most cable internet services (the residential variety) are entertainment only, and no mission-critical or life or death services should depend on them.

Update on the link (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16282731)

The review links to B & N, but I see that Amazon has it cheaper [amazon.com] through their third-party sellers. One wonders why Slashdot keeps linking to B & N if it's always more expensive than other options.

gigabyte and multi-gigabyte? (1)

abandonment (739466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16282751)

isn't it gigabit and multi-gigabit backbones?

gigabytes and gigabit are two completely different things

Re:gigabyte and multi-gigabyte? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16282829)

Well, it's either one, really -- but never trust a source that measures bandwidth in bytes. ;)

Re:gigabyte and multi-gigabyte? (1)

jascat (602034) | more than 7 years ago | (#16282847)

isn't it gigabit and multi-gigabit backbones?

Yes. That was the first thing I noticed in the summary.

Re:gigabyte and multi-gigabyte? (1)

Ididerus (898803) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284751)

Well, in theory poster is right. We already have gigabit backbones (OC-24+), so the natural progression is to multi-gigbyte(8 gigabits per second). But the truth is, I'm waiting for my FIOS Tb/s connection to my home. That way I can download my three dimensional, holographic, tactile Pr0n in .00025 ms.

[Shivers]"Real genuine QoS" [/Shivers] (O/T) (0, Offtopic)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 7 years ago | (#16282833)

Am I the only one that cringes whenever you see the word "genuine".
I guess it's another word that has lost it's intended meaning.
thank you m$.

Re:[Shivers]"Real genuine QoS" [/Shivers] (O/T) (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284201)

In that case, how about some authentic bona fide literal trusted QoS?

HTH.HAND.

Only things mising: blood, sweat, tears, and $$$$ (2, Insightful)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 7 years ago | (#16282869)

It's nice to sit in some aitr-conditioned office and write a book about how easy it is to get into IPV6.

And someday Britney will learn to sing and parent, and all rappers will go sign up as sunday-school superintendents.

In the meantime, the folks at the end of the ISP wires will have to spend kilo to megabucks on hardware and software upgrades, not to mention training themsleves, and training the users. Think of the millions of linksys home routers and wireless access points that will haev to be tossed out or reflashed! THink of all the books with xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx ip addresses that will be obsoleted! Lots of frustrated human-hours, even if the IP6 world will run as smoothly as the book suggests.

Re:Only things mising: blood, sweat, tears, and $$ (2, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283641)

I think back 8 years or so ago during the boom years, there was some apprehension about "running out" of IPv4 addresses, which I think drove a lot of the desire for IPv6.

I think it probably solves other weaknesses in IPv4 -- spoofing and some other cracker-ish issues that are difficult to mitigate against in IPv4.

I think, though, that it's a little like alternative fuels -- we know they're good for us, but nobody wants to bother with them until we have to.

my linksys is going nowhere... :) (1)

rmallico (831443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284405)

shameless plug for dd-wrt open source firmware... (its got IPv6 support built in)

Who said you can't use Slashdot for FUD? (0, Troll)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 7 years ago | (#16282947)

IPv6 is halfway here, so network administrators need to learn their way around it whether they want to or not
...and who said you can't use Slashdot to spread FUD?

so uh (1)

brndn (998670) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283009)

what are the most obvious benefits of ipv6? will it offer improvements on stuff like latency? is that even related to the protocol? is it even a protocol?!

Riiight... (1, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283075)

"IPv6 is halfway here,"

Will it be here before or after viable fusion? What about DNF?

Re:Riiight... (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284259)

> Will it be here before or after viable fusion? What about DNF?

After Perl6, Emacs 23, room-temperature superconductors, cold fusion, and maybe even Vista, but before DNF.

HTH.HAND.

Am I just being overly simplistic... (1)

KC7GR (473279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283129)

...Or could the problem of supposedly running out of addresses be 'addressed' (sorry) simply by adding another octet to IPv4? If I've done my math right, this would result in a 40-bit address instead of 32.

Example: 192.168.1.2.3

Or is the goal to try and push IPv6 simply because it's "better?"

I will say that V6 certainly seems to have its advantages, but I've tried (and failed) to learn its structure based on reading Lord only knows how many existing FAQs and white papers.

As far as the time frame goes: I'm self-hosted, meaning my ISP gives me a data pipe and six static addresses, and I do the rest (including DNS). When the day comes that said ISP calls me up to tell me "Hey, we're changing over to IPv6 at the end of the month (or year, or whatever), so you need to be ready for it," THEN I will start worrying about how to implement it.

Until then, V4 and NAT are working perfectly well for me, thanks.

Keep the peace(es).

Re:Am I just being overly simplistic... (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283379)

Let's call your idea "IPv4.1". It would still be incompatible with IPv4. It would, in fact, require just as much effort to roll out as IPv6 would... but it wouldn't make any other fundamental improvements. Same cost, less benefit. What's the point?

Re:Am I just being overly simplistic... (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283393)

I always thought that could work... use an extra octet or two to reference the machines behind the NAT.

eg. you have 1.2.3.4, use a NAT router, and 'ipv4++' you get 1.2.3.4.0.0

The advantage is nobody needs to learn a new addressing scheme, the routers don't need to be changed (you keep the packets compatible) so it's dirt cheap to implement.. That's the big problem with ipv6 - no sane transition plan.. everyone needs to upgrade their routers overnight and it just aint gonna happen (you cannot buy a consumer off the shelf router that supports ipv6, and 'you can reflash a linksys' is not an answer that is going to work).

Of course shoehorning that data into ipv4 is a bit of a trick - TCP is easy (optional headers), but UDP I can't work out right now.

Re:Am I just being overly simplistic... (1)

zcsteele (924719) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284239)

Actually, it sounds like you just 'discovered' the basic functionality of IPv6. When the upper 96 bits are all zero, the resultant IPv6 address is handled exactly like an IPv4 address.

This also means that every IPv4 address is automatically a valid IPv6 address - the upper 96 zeroes have just been left off as a convenience. And if you think about it, that actually means that IPv6 has already been in use for years!

Re:Am I just being overly simplistic... (1)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284761)

Does that mean the whole IPv4 internet will be like a subnet of IPv6?

Re:Am I just being overly simplistic... (1)

paul248 (536459) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284917)

No, IPv4 can't be a subset of IPv6. Sure, it would have been possible to let an IPv6 address send packets to an IPv4 address, using regular IPv4 packets, but then how would the target host send back a reply? You can't have a subset; addressing needs to be 1-to-1 unless you throw logic like NAT in the middle.

Re:Am I just being overly simplistic... (0)

humankind (704050) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283633)

I agree with you.

V6 is not needed, and not wanted by most of us in the industry. PERIOD.

NAT works fine. It also encourages more responsibility and control over IP space.

V6 is unwelcome.

Re:Am I just being overly simplistic... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283899)

V6 is not needed, and not wanted by most of us in the industry. PERIOD.


All hail the official spoekesperson of "most of us in the industry"!

Re:Am I just being overly simplistic... (1)

BobSutan (467781) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283813)

A better solution would be to unlock the 127 network. Poof! A whole shitload of address for people to use, all with just the authoring of an RFC.

Re:Am I just being overly simplistic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283849)

so you just want to add more overhead to the existing system, address machines for the next maybe 5 years, more and more things are using the interwebs now.

NAT is not an option, its a poor patch that works in some cases, but as has been said, 2 machines both utilizing NAT in a P2P will not work effectivly. at that point even have 2 machines using it are to many.

There are many countries which are now getting massivly online ex: China and with that kind of boom we need to re-work the system which IPv6 does, we need to stop applying some poor hack to the existing system when it has prooved stable, but un-scaleable with a fair number of places to tweak it

Re:Am I just being overly simplistic... (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284279)


Example: 192.168.1.2.3

Or is the goal to try and push IPv6 simply because it's "better?"

As I understand it one of the main reasons IPV4 wasn't just extended in address space was because routing becomes too difficult with such a large address space, so you need to build routing into the protocol. There's also some very cool features of IPV6 like multi-casting that's been very poorly supported under IPV4. This would allow things like broadcasting internet based TV without multi-gigabyte connections.

When the day comes that said ISP calls me up to tell me "Hey, we're changing over to IPv6 at the end of the month (or year, or whatever), so you need to be ready for it," THEN I will start worrying about how to implement it.

That'll probbably never happen (or at least not for 20 years maybe). IPV4 isn't going away, what'll happen (someday) is your ISP will one day support IPV6 and you'll be able to get an IPV6 IP address. No one is going to call you up, you'll probbably have to call them up and ask if they're supporting it.

Until then, V4 and NAT are working perfectly well for me, thanks.


Well, I'm sure horse and buggy owners thought that horses were perfectly good transportation when the car first came out too. There weren't many paved roads, the things were expensive, and took special fuel to run them where horses just ran on oats. It's often hard to see the advantages of a new technology before it's hit the mainstream.

Re:Am I just being overly simplistic... (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284753)

Some providers are already supporting ipv6 and ipv4 together or you can connect through a ipv6overipv4 tunnel to some server that connects you to other ipv6-enabled networks etc.

ipv6 and ipv4 can co-exist without a problem. I currently use ipv6 on my network while the rest of the company doesn't really implement v6 yet. So ad-hoc, the Apple's are talking ipv6 while for other hosts, they'll have to talk v4. There is also support in IPv6 to encapsulate IPv4 traffic so basically, if a host talks v4 to a router or a switch for example, they could easily get it to v6 by just padding the address with a certain address space and de-padding it to give it back to the host (I don't know how exactly)

ipv6 is just a pain to remember. Extending v4 as grandparent mentioned was the original idea, so they thought: hey, why don't we add two spaces to it and start using really big hexadecimal addresses. The problem with v4 is not that the address space is not large enough nor is it that there is no support for decent multicasting, it's that some morons decided to buy multiple blocks containing totals of millions of addresses (IBM, DEC, HP,...) so that there was no space anymore left. They thought that giving someone 65,535 addresses was no problem, there was more than enough for the whole world because back then all networks combined consisted out of a mere 1000's of hosts. Would be the same as someone deciding to buy the 0000:-00ff: and the next company 00ff:-0fff: in ipv6 because we have billions of addresses anyway, I hope they learned their lessons.

Re:Am I just being overly simplistic... (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284367)

> Or could the problem of supposedly running out of addresses be 'addressed'
> (sorry) simply by adding another octet to IPv4?

Theoretically, but the result wouldn't be IPv4 and wouldn't be compatible with IPv4, so from a technical standpoint (in terms of hardware and software support and stuff) it's just as easy to move to IPv6.

From a user-retraining angle it would have been easier in the short term to keep things more similar to IPv4 (although I'd have said go with four sixteen-bit values, rather than five eight-bit values, partly because it means lots more addresses and partly because it keeps the x.x.x.x format, only x is allowed to be larger numbers). But if you've ever calculated the subnet mask for a network with a nonstandard number of host bits, you'd understand why they wanted to go with a system that expresses the addresses in hex rather than decimal. Five minutes of retraining there will save you much pain later. I imagine some of the other changes seemed similarly sensible, though I haven't studied the details.

"IPv4 is going away for good" (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283131)

Not in my daughter's lifetime. And she's 2.

Re:"IPv4 is going away for good" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16284237)

IPv4 will be with us for quite some time yet. There are millions of devices that do not and will not handle IPv6. The deployment mode for the foreseeable future is Dual Stack.

NAT is the IPv4 version of segmented memory (4, Interesting)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283151)

The subject line says it all, but the lameness filter would appreciate a few more words.

Back in the day, the 8080 architecture had 16-bit addresses, which limited you to 64 KB of memory. The 8086 used segement registers to allow 16-bit registers to address up to 1 MB of memory. But data structures were still limited to 64 KB unless you were willing to slow down your access time by a factor of four or more, and sharing data between code running in different segments required even more jumping through hoops. NAT allows more devices than IPv4 can address to communicate with central servers that aren't running NAT, but setting up P2P between systems that are both using NAT is damn near impossible.

Good-bye, IPv4, and good riddance.

Re:NAT is the IPv4 version of segmented memory (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283467)

The analogy doesn't work. Segmented memory was a pain because you had to implement special measures to access it (in fact now we go one step further - using virtual memory there is no way to access the memory of another process).

OTOH with network devices 99.99% of them simply do not need to be accessed remotely - NAT is fine for them, and presents zero issues.

IPV6 has NAT, btw. It's an essential part of network infrastructure and is not going away. It's required to hide the real addresses from the world which is a part of the security policy of many companies.

Re:NAT is the IPv4 version of segmented memory (1)

955301 (209856) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283909)

OTOH with network devices 99.99% of them simply do not need to be accessed remotely - NAT is fine for them, and presents zero issues.

I somewhat disagree with this for reasons you will see in the future. *Current* use of network devices do not require remote access, so to a degree, you're pointing to the symptom to justify the cause. Examples include appliances with health checking connections to the service departments, a personal authentication server which maintains the private info you might like to selectively share with outside entities, ip phones, yielding a 1 to 1 between your phone number and your phone's address, and other peer to peer uses. A lot of these things just don't happen to the degree that they will in the future post ipv6.

IPv6 won't do away with NAT... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283817)

...as long as Comcast & the telcos charge extra for additional IP addresses. And IPv6 won't stop them. NAT will still be used by people to avoid getting ripped off.

Re:NAT is the IPv4 version of segmented memory (1)

Sicnarf (529730) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283927)

how will ipv6 compare to our current situation with NAT? in medium to larger networks, won't the admins just block everything except http/s and email so certain users will continue to use use SSH/VPN for special ports? (yes i haven't read up on ipv6 yet)

Re:NAT is the IPv4 version of segmented memory (1)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284517)

but setting up P2P between systems that are both using NAT is damn near impossible.

Well that's kinda funny, because I'm doing it now - took all of 10 min. It must be the easiest impossible thing you can do in your life.

Hint:packet forwarding!

In other news... (3, Funny)

DeepCerulean (741098) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283153)

Duke Nukem Forever promises to support IPv6!

Re:In other news... (1)

jimjohnson (715479) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283507)

That's pretty optimistic to think that DNF will be out before IPv6 is obsolete. My money's on a combined launch of DNF and IPv8.

Re:In other news... (5, Funny)

hotdiggitydawg (881316) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284069)

Next Slashdot poll:

What will happen first?
  • IPv6 becomes more widely used than IPv4
  • Duke Nukem Forever released
  • Trusted Computing widely accepted
  • HURD released
  • Perl 6 released
  • PS3 launched
  • PS3 tanks
  • CowboyNeal elected President

IPv6 is not here (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283157)

IPv6 is not here and I will keep doing my part in ensuring that it will not be here for as long as humanly possible. I find IPv6 to be a technological dead-end, a solution in search of a problem. And I really do like my NAT - its a great way to hide my unique identity from all those servers out there. Can't say that for having to expose my MAC address and thus uniquely identify my host to all and sundry. Here goes privacy.

They can write books and have conferences, but as long as people like me work quietly together towards the common goal, we can keep IPv6 where it belongs - in the gutter.

QoS not needed or wanted on the Internet (4, Insightful)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283265)

The summary cites QoS as a motivating feature to adopt IPv6, and this is not a good thing. The very nature of the Internet (as an end to end best effort network) makes it impossible to guarantee any sort of service. As such, the only usage of prioritization is unfairly biasing some network resources at the expense of others. This is a direct affront on network neutrality.

The only place packet prioritization and traffic shaping should take place is on private networks, where QoS can be guaranteed. Services such as VOIP and IPTV would ideally be offered over these ISP local networks at an additional cost. This is not to say that VOIP over the Internet impossible, but it should not have an unfair advantage over other Internet traffic.

The only place where things break down is in the last mile, where ISPs are selling bandwidth that does not exist. In this case, something has to give, and so they must implement unfair prioritization schemes. The obvious solution is to honestly advertise minimum guaranteed rates instead. This makes it possible to prioritize a customers own traffic as the customer wishes without affecting others. (For example, if you want VOIP prioritized to the ISP local VOIP network.)

Of course, such a scheme would still allow different speed grades, and excess capacity to be utilized. It can not be emphasized enough though that prioritization has no place on the Internet itself.

Re:QoS not needed or wanted on the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16284555)

QOS (which means different things to different people) is only useful on links that gets saturated. If you are a carrier/ISP and have saturated links, you have a problem that no amount of QOS is going to get you or your customers out of.

Save yourself $7.65 by buying the book here!! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283327)

Save yourself $7.65 by buying the book here: IPv6 Essentials [amazon.com]. And if you use the "secret" A9.com discount [amazon.com], you can save an extra 1.57%!

At what cost? (0, Troll)

Jordan Catalano (915885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283383)

"IPv6 has enough improvements over IPv4 to make it worth the change even if we weren't running out of IPV4 addresses, such as built-in IPSec"

Why do I need IPSec on my home network? So I can give my embedded systems that extra encryption overhead? No thanks.

Re:At what cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283419)

I agree with you on this, but there's no requirement to run IPv6 on your home network at all. Just on one internet-facing machine of your choice. Heck, you don't even need to run IP on your home network, if you prefer something else.

Re:At what cost? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16285009)

Why do I need IPSec on my home network?

So you can bang your head into a wall after reading the howtos and specs thus creating jobs for people that repair walls. The cost will be about $8.50 an hour.

ipV6 is not here (1)

humankind (704050) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283591)

We will not switch to IPv6 until the spam problem is neutralized to a great degree. RBLs are the most effective method of stopping spam now. IPv6 would set anti-spam efforts back to the beginning almost. The larger amount of IP space would make stopping spamming exponentially more problemmatic. I urge other ISPs and networks to REJECT ipV6 until the industry cleans its own house, stops zombie PCs and spammers. Then and ONLY THEN should we consider ipV6.

No increased address space on the net until the rogue activity is controlled!!

Re:ipV6 is not here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283969)

RBLs are the most effective method of stopping spam now.

No. RBL's are the most COMMON method of stopping spam. And I'd argue they're far from effective, unless you don't consider it a problem that it's fairly easy for you to wind up blocking a significant amount of legitimate traffic by using one.

EFFECTIVE tools are things like checking if the sending IP is reverse DNS'able. Checking if it resolves to the hostname it's presenting in the HELO. Checking if the sender exists as an MX record on a viable domain, and perhaps attempting to connect to it toverify this. Checking for SPF records, and whether the sender is "allowed" to send mail for the domain in question.

Just looking the sender up and a list and giving a yes/no based on it is a really poor way to stop spam.

Re:ipV6 is not here (1)

Micah (278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284253)

Actually, the ipv4 to v6 change would be a freeking *EXCELLENT* time to dump SMTP for something better, like Bernstein's Internet Mail 2000.

The spam problem is probably solveable, but not with SMTP.

What is the "killer app" for IPv6? (4, Insightful)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 7 years ago | (#16283877)

I know, I used a 90's buzzword, but that is part of my point. The Internet with IPv4 was on a slow and steady expansion with gopher, ftp, and telnet. Then with HTTP and enough bandwidth to get .jpgs in with the page, it just exploded. Everyone HAD TO HAVE IT.

Until we have something that everyone wants and ONLY works with IPv6, we're not going to switch. That "thing" might be here today, but it seems we're all unaware what it is.

Sure, there may be things that are better, but I can do all of the things IPv6 can do with IPv4 and a slew of extra services that I'm already familar with (VLAN or service-based QoS, NAT, DNS, DHCP, etc).

I for one REALLY want IPv6 to get here, but the people who make my software and pay for my equipment won't change until they need to.

Re:What is the "killer app" for IPv6? (2, Funny)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284873)

Until we have something that everyone wants and ONLY works with IPv6, we're not going to switch. That "thing" might be here today, but it seems we're all unaware what it is.
If so, chances are it's some kind of pr0n.

ma8e (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283915)

log on Thien tHe

No thanks (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16283939)

IPv6 is halfway here

In other words, it's not here. Just as always.

so network administrators need to learn their way around it whether they want to or not.

I'm a system and network admin and I haven't needed to learn my way "around" it. Unless by that you mean, to "turn it off whenever possible". Which I do. Just upgraded some FreeBSD machines and made sure all the IPv6 stuff wasn't built.

Adoption has been slower in the United States because we possess the lion's share of IPv4 addresses, but even so, someday IPv4 is going away for good.

No, adoption is slower because IT SOLVES NO PROBLEM. Do you know how many customers we've had ask about IPv6? Exactly one. Because he read a post on slashdot like this one and wanted to know "if it was something he needed to know about". Guess what answer he got?

IPv6 has enough improvements over IPv4 to make it worth the change even if we weren't running out of IPV4 addresses

No, there is only one reason to switch to IPv6: if the sites you want to reach aren't on IPv4 any more. I assume since you are posting to slashdot (IPv4) you agree with me. (By "switch" I mean STOP using IPv4 completely. Otherwise you haven't "switched").

I'm going to treat IPv6 the same way I always have: as a sort of intellectual curiosity, and not something that affects my day-to-day internet use or professional responsibilities.

IPv4 isn't going anywhere (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284039)

I had half started to believe all the hype about IP address shortages... until one of my clients purchased a T1 from AT&T. AT&T gave them 32 addresses without even asking how many they needed. They need two of them. If AT&T can blindly fork over 32 publicly routable IPs for a small business running a 1.5MB T1 connection, I think the "shortage" is just a bunch of hype.

Re:IPv4 isn't going anywhere (3, Insightful)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284425)

Meanwhile, you have people in the developing world behind four or five layers of NAT.

Re:IPv4 isn't going anywhere (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284469)

And their network engineers will be better off for it, just like I'm a better man for walking up hill, both ways in the snow, to school every day. =)

Obsolete (1)

Zantetsuken (935350) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284163)

Not that IPv6 isn't needed or that it sucks or whatever, but who else gets a feeling that by the time IPv4 is entirely out (9x%), IPv6 will be obsolete?

Another upcoming IPv6 book (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16284893)

There's another IPv6 book coming up soon (published by Springer) called "IPv6 in practice - A Unixer's guide to the next generation internet". More details at the authors page [benedikt-stockebrand.de].

ha (1)

RockyPersaud (937868) | more than 7 years ago | (#16284929)

Adoption has been slower in the United States because we possess the lion's share of IPv4 addresses, but even so, someday IPv4 is going away for good.

Yes, and the US will adopt metric any day now too.
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