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(Almost) All You Need To Know About IPv6

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the billions-and-billions dept.

Networking 359

Butterspoon tips us to an article in Ars Technica titled "Everything you need to know about IPv6." Perhaps not quite "everything"; the article doesn't try to explain the reasons behind IPv6's meager adoption since its introduction 12 years ago. But it should be regarded as essential reading for anyone overly comfortable with their IPv4 addresses. Quoting: "As of January 1, 2007, 2.4 billion of those [IPv4 addresses] were in (some kind of) use. 1.3 billion were still available and about 170 million new addresses are given out each year. So at this rate, 7.5 years from now, we'll be clean out of IP addresses; faster if the number of addresses used per year goes up. Are you ready for IPv6?"

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Web 2.0 (4, Funny)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277648)

Do I need to upgrade to IPv6 to use web 2.0?

Re:Web 2.0 (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277660)

Yes.

I believe IPv6 is the standard in the Web 2.0 specification.

Re:Web 2.0 (5, Funny)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277700)

Do I need to upgrade to IPv6 to use web 2.0?

I think that's why it's called Web 2.0. Because it's two more than IPv4.

Re:Web 2.0 (2, Interesting)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278666)

Wait... does that mean the rest of us are now using Web 0.0?

Re:Web 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18277902)

you're a moron.

Re:Web 2.0 (5, Funny)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278438)

Even better, I love how the article really heads off about 50 comments worth of Slashdot discussion:

This is usually when someone brings up NAT. Home routers (and a lot of enterprise equipment) use a technique called "network address translation" so that a single IP address can be shared by a larger number of hosts. The discussion usually goes like this:

        "Use NAT, n00b. All 1337 of my Linux boxes share a single IP and it's safer, too!"

        "NAT is not a firewall."

        "NAT sucks."

        "You suck."
Talk about knowing your audience.

Re:Web 2.0 (1)

JazzLad (935151) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278584)

Nah, to headoff the comments, it'd have to be in the summary, no one actually READS TFA (except apparently you ... that is odd ;) )

Further, it would only eliminate about 1/2 if in summary, as I think a lot of people don't even read that :)

All you need to know... (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277652)

All you need to know about IPv6. It wont run on your current network hardware, and you wont get the budget approved to upgrade.

Re:All you need to know... (2, Interesting)

danomac (1032160) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277756)

I'd wager a guess that all the ISPs distributing 2-5 IP address for each residential service will only get 1 IP address before IPv6 adoption will happen.

You'll probably have to have proof of need for more than 1 public IP. Now that I think about it, my current ISP surely has more than half a million subscribers only using one of their alloted 2 addresses (or 5 depending on what plan they are on.)

Wouldn't it make more sense to analyze this before jumping on the "let's replace everything" bandwagon?

Re:All you need to know... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18277870)

Hopefully before they start implementing this strategy, they will take the huge Class A addresses from those who don't necessarily need all of it:

MIT (I know they make use of public IPs, but 16 million addresses?)
Haliburton (!)
Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc (?)
Ford Motor Company ....

This [iana.org] website has an updated list. There are a lot more on the list who have waste space, I just don't feel like going through all of them.

Re:All you need to know... (1)

danomac (1032160) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277900)

I was going to mention that too, but I forgot.

The point is: there's so much address space that's wasted/unused. So wouldn't it make more sense to recover it?

Re:All you need to know... (4, Insightful)

virtual_mps (62997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278332)

The point is: there's so much address space that's wasted/unused. So wouldn't it make more sense to recover it?
No. The article even touched on this. Allocation is currently at the rate of 170M/year. Going through a lot of effort to recover class A blocks (about a month's worth of allocation for who knows how many man-years of effort) is pointless. At most you'd push the drop-dead date back a year or two; you wouldn't fundamentally alter the outcome. From a strategic standpoint it makes far more sense to push for the IPv6 transition now (with the understanding that it will take a long time) than to spend effort prolonging IPv4 (which will eventually need to be replaced anyway).

Re:All you need to know... (5, Informative)

wampus (1932) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278360)

Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc (?)
BBN built the ARPANET, I can kind of understand why they have a class A.

Re:All you need to know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278524)

They built it, and I'm sure many people are grateful to them for that, but do they actually utilize anywhere near their entire Class A address space?

Rearrange those deck chairs... (3, Insightful)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278734)

I think that falls under the category of "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." At most, it might buy us a few more months of IPv4dom, but at what cost? And by diverting those resources to IPv4 recovery, how much more painful are we going to make the transition to IPv6 when we do run out? Because the numbers are clear, we are going to run out of allocatable IPv4 addresses eventually. Distracting people by telling them that it's the Class A blocks that are the problem isn't going to make that easier; it's just going to make the eventual runout into a catastrophe instead of a page-three technology topic.

Re:All you need to know... (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278570)

It wont run on your current network hardware

Lies. you wont get the budget approved to upgrade

It is probably just a software image upgrade on a router.

IPv6 - never gonna happen (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18277676)

Dude, IPv6 is NEVER gonna happen. I been hearin that we was gonna run outta IPv4 addresses since 95. DIDN'T HAPPEN.

Forget IPv6 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18277680)

I want IPv8 engine...

Jumping on the bandwagon... (1)

dmayle (200765) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277724)

OK, so I've requested a SixXS tunnel and I'm waiting for the response. I'm actually gonna go through with it.

This is something I've wanted to do, but never got around to before.

What I'd like to know, are there any ISPs that offer IPv6 native? (Specifically in the San Francisco Area, as that's where I'm moving this summer)

Re:Jumping on the bandwagon... (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278252)

I've had a SixXS tunnel up for a few weeks. They are definitely the way to go. The other tunnel provider I tried wasn't very reliable. I wouldn't try this with WindowsXP. I've had to do all my testing with Linux. Some people claim to have made it work with XP; but I can only get utilities like ping to work. Real apps like IE just don't seem to work with it yet. The applications have to support it, and that seems like a bigger hurdle to IPv6 than the network infrastructure. A lot of infrastructure hardware has IPv6 support built in already. And yes, I realize I'm talking about a tunnel here and intermixing my commentary, so cool your inference-trolling jets. I know the difference between tunnels and native connections, dammit! That might be the problem; but I don't have native connectivity so I can't tell if that's it or not.

Re:Jumping on the bandwagon... (2, Informative)

rthille (8526) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278352)

My ISP, sonic.net does:
http://sonic.net/features/ipv6/ [sonic.net]
Or at least it's an IPv6 tunnel (not sure how that might differ from 'native').

I haven't got around to setting it up, but if/when I get my WRT54GL setup with OpenWRT I'll probably have it run IPv6 as well...

Re:Jumping on the bandwagon... (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278526)

Well, while native support might be nice, you dont actually need it. 6to4 works nicely.

I've been running IPv6 over 6to4 for several months (once you start using Xen and get a lot of machines and/or have friends machines you have access to, it's quite nice to be able to ssh straight into your destination without multi-stage jumps). I was surprised at how far it had come and how easy it was to set up these days.

To set up a linux firewall/nat box as a 6to4 router, you basically just have to install radvd, configure it to use your external v4 address as your v6 prefix, turn on v6 forwarding, add the route to the magic 192.88.99.1 (automagic 'nearest v6 gateway address') through sit0, add the network route on your internal interface (v6 prefix plus your choice of network address) and you're good to go. The machines on the inside simply autoconfigured themselves once radvd broadcast the route availability.

The only part still lagging was firewall support, as most GUI's dont support v6 rules. Still, writing firewall rules by hand is a _lot_ less painful when you dont have to deal with nat and port forwarding.

Re:Jumping on the bandwagon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278676)

Another free IPv6 tunnel service is Hurricane Electric [tunnelbroker.net] , and no I don't work for them. I used their service about a year ago, but I have since moved onto a router that doesn't have native IPv6 support. Also there were hardly any websites to browse to using IPv6. When I used it though, I was able to get anywhere between 5-10Mbps sustained throughput using IPv6 from my connection in Sacramento to theirs in the Bay Area. Not too bad. They also offer BGP, which I think uses a "private" AS number.

Meager adoption (4, Insightful)

beavis88 (25983) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277726)

The reason, in a word and three letters:

Widespread NAT

Re:Meager adoption (1, Insightful)

augustz (18082) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277832)

Exactly, what is weird is how often folks chose to ignore this.

And frankly, sticking things behind a nat works out really well for a lot of devices. Either you provide a firewall for your printers etc, or you nat them and you avoid the question of routability on the internet. Frankly, I like having a lot of stuff on private ips, and there are plenty of those to go around for many organizations.

Not that you shouldn't still firewall, but for households, small business, dumb devices, nat works very well.

Re:Meager adoption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18277972)

Exactly, what is weird is how often folks chose to ignore this [NAT].

It's also wierd how often folks seem not to have noticed there is a whole big section in the article on NAT. They might hold the view that he's wrong that NAT will be insufficient but they could FFS make a rational argument about it. Just saying 'NAT' as if that ended the argument is just plain dumb.

Re:Meager adoption (3, Interesting)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278014)

We'd probably be in worse straits if we weren't using NAT for connection sharing. Imagine if IPV6 was the norm and everyone got something like a /26 to their home instead of a /32. There would be no NAT boxes required to share your connection amongst several computers, meaning all those worms would have affected just about every Windows computer on the Internet (instead of just the ones that were directly connected).

NAT really does turn out to be a good thing overall for most home users. They are forced to use it if they want multiple computers on the Net (in most cases), and it protects them.

Re:Meager adoption (4, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278274)

NAT really does turn out to be a good thing overall for most home users.

Maybe home consumers, but not users in general. Even less technical users may want to publish a webcam or to play their music from a friend's computer during a party. From the birth of Internet, users with regular UNIX accounts on shared machines could run their own little services on non-privileged ports. That this ability is not available 20 years later is ludicrous.

Re:Meager adoption (1)

xarak (458209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278372)


Ehm.. port forwarding?

Re:Meager adoption (4, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278436)

Try to give this interesting exercise to a non-technical friend with DHCP, Windows Firewall and a wireless router.

Re:Meager adoption (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278592)

Zeroconf to the rescue!
or maybe
Rendezvous to the rescue!
or maybe
UPnP to the rescue!

Re:Meager adoption (2, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278618)

Try giving them the same exercise on one of those unix accounts you mentioned earlier.

Personally, I give them better odds with the dhcp/firewall/nat setup.

Re:Meager adoption (2, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278426)

It's clearly still available.

20 years ago, though, the people who were doing this sort of thing knew at least a LITTLE something about computers and networks. Now that it's got mass adoption, of course people don't know how to do things. That's really a big part of the reason that malware propagates so easily in the first place.

Even so, there have been attempts to address it using uPNP. And uPNP is a security hazard, much like running without a firewall. Shocking, eh? :)

Re:Meager adoption (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278736)

1) Open iTunes
2) Click a button
3) Write in your address/username/whatever + password
4) ...
5) Profit

I don't know about you, but I'd expect pretty much anyone able to move a mouse to be able to do that much at least. Just because UNIX is for real men, it doesn't mean user friendly programs couldn't be made to hide the gory details.

Re:Meager adoption (2, Funny)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278684)

Your machine has tens of thousands of open unprivileged ports.

Thanks to the magic of port forwarding, you can take advantage of all of them! Squee!

Re:Meager adoption (2, Interesting)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278318)

Er, IPv6 for the most part kills traditional scanning worms. The address space is just too large for the worm to propagate through random chance. Worm developers will have to get a lot smarter when IPv6 finally (finally!) starts to take off.

Re:Meager adoption (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278516)

Not much smarter, really, assuming that the IPV6 block allocations are public knowledge. All the worm has to do is get a list of IPV6 allocations and scan those networks. The worm doesn't even have to do this itself--most worms talk to botnet controllers, which could host the updated network information harvested by a human.

Don't knock worm developers--they're pretty bright. We're already seeing worms that exhibit p2p-like behavior (the entire botnet is decentralized), use encryption to avoid IDS, and run over UDP (which passed in the default firewall policy for many firewalls).

Maybe IPv4 is the solution to spam. (0, Offtopic)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277752)

With the limited number of addresses, maybe spam would drop if there is a significant demand for IP addresses. Spammers wouldn't be able to just set up a new shop over night.

Re:Maybe IPv4 is the solution to spam. (3, Funny)

xsarpedonx (707167) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277996)

Oh, good suggestion. Let's try out IPv4 and see if we still get spam.

the future (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277772)

Will we all have our own IP address in the future, like a SS# that identifies you wherever you go on the next? It looks like things are going this way. Is it the governments business if you like clown porn?

Re:the future (1)

yoyhed (651244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277834)

Or furniture porn [furnitureporn.com] ...

Re:the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18277898)

They already have that it's called myspace

Re:the future (1)

wtansill (576643) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277960)

Will we all have our own IP address in the future, like a SS# that identifies you wherever you go on the next?
Yes. And an embedded RFID tag to broadcast your SSID...

Re:the future (1)

gunnk (463227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278054)

Or maybe someday "they" will require every network card to use a unique ID number permanently assigned to the card!

...oh, wait [wikipedia.org] .

Re:the future (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278384)

I don't know if it's still done this way, but Solaris used to assign one MAC to the machine, shared amongst all network (Ethernet) interfaces. I don't think MAC works the way you think it does. I also used to use ifconfig to reassign the MAC so that my cable modem would work correctly without dealing with customer (un)support(ed).

Running out of IPv4 (1, Insightful)

FirienFirien (857374) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277794)

we'll be clean out of IP addresses

No. No. NO. Behind every router you can have an independent network, with as many machines as you want. Most small networks have users on the IPs 192.168.0.n or 192.168.1.n or 10.0.0.n. There are probably tens of thousands of machines using these addresses - but they do not conflict, because they are not using that address on the same global network.

As the number of used IPv4 addresses go up on the global internet, the number of routers - and so numerically isolated networks - will also increase. Even if it comes to the point where city areas or even ISPs have their own routers, it is still farcically easy to set up more and more networks that are independent of each other except at their shared contact point of the greater web.

The only way we can run out is if we put all devices onto the same network, which in itself only invites exploitation and problems.

It's not going to happen.

Re:Running out of IPv4 (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277986)

Then why do more number keep getting allocated?

Re:Running out of IPv4 (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278388)

You need a fixed IP address to run a server with https on port 443. Web hosting companies are probably sucking up a whole lot of this. If you want your commerce to occur in the same domain as the rest of your site, you need a static IP. If you want people to take you seriously and not think you're some kind of phishing fraud site, you need your commerce to be in the same domain as everything else. https is pretty much the bane of those who would prefer to avoid IP allocation.

Re:Running out of IPv4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278016)

Which part of "1.3 = 0.170*x, solve for x" don't you understand? No amount of armchair reasoning can counter the experimental fact that 170 million new addresses are given out each year.

Re:Running out of IPv4 (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278486)

There is no reason to believe that 170 million addresses will be allocated each year until the available number suddenly drops to zero, at which moment the address shop closes and new applicants stand outside with no way to connect.

If you think it will work like that, just observe what happens with some other scarce resource that nears depletion.

Re:Running out of IPv4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278064)

Or if a large company has used all available private ranges on their vpn strategy and needs to partner with another company who also uses a private address for their network. Unlikely but probable.

Re:Running out of IPv4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278256)

How is something unlikely, but probable?

Re:Running out of IPv4 (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278290)

Unlikely but probable.

Huh?

Re:Running out of IPv4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278122)

Instead of "router" you must mean "NAT router"... a traditional router cannot translate addresses.

The only way we can run out is if we put all devices onto the same network, which in itself only invites exploitation and problems.

But THAT it the idea behind the original Internet, and the design startpoint of IPv6. Everything has a unique address and can communicate end-to-end. Today we like to call this peer-to-peer networking and consider it something novel, but it was the basic principle behind the Internet.

It was a nice idea in the early Internet days, but sure it would be insane to do this today. The extra protection automatically provided by private address space and NAT would have to be enabled by default in every router between local networks and Internet, rendering the end-to-end communication capabilities useless.

Re:Running out of IPv4 (1)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278296)

Actually, you can only have a limited (though still large) number of machines behind a router, because the router is limited in the number of ports per IP it can allocate. More problematic is double NATing, which you will get when ISP and such start to use private address spaces for their clients and those clients have a network with a private address-space as well. You'll also won't be able to use any security measures based upon IP's or DNS, you might get blocked from all kinds of services because someone sharing the outside IP misbehaved, etc.

Re:Running out of IPv4 (5, Informative)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278310)

That is 192.168.0.0/16, 10.0.0.0/8 and 172.16.0.0/12 for you, you insensitive clod. And remember, 172.16 is a 12-bit netmask, not a /16 and definitely not a /8 (I think HP owns a few of the other ranges in 172.x.x.x which usually gets blocked within a firewalled/natted network by an anal admin that didn't pay enough attention.

NAT though is NOT a solution, it's a patch, a fix to a problem of running out of space. There should be enough IP's out there for everyone, but the '/8 should be enough for the average company' idea from the 80's-early 90's screwed us all up. Each Coca Cola or IBM-owned computer for example could have it's own public IP, the way it should be, but they own 16M+ addresses, way too much for their needs. But anyway, IPv6 is going to keep us out of trouble for now until we make the same mistake (history has a tendency to repeat itself) and we have to invent IPv8 or so.

Next to that IPv4 has been missing some major features and runs into problems with large networks and (very) fast links (talking 10Gigabit for example) IPv6 will solve for us, it routes faster, it has inheritely support for multicast and jumboframes, IPSec and mobile versions while IPv4 usually has that functionality bolted on (sometimes implemented slightly different with each manufacturer).

Re:Running out of IPv4 (1)

virtual_mps (62997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278494)

There should be enough IP's out there for everyone, but the '/8 should be enough for the average company' idea from the 80's-early 90's screwed us all up.
There are over 6 billion people in the world and about 4 billion available IP addresses (completely disregarding issues like routing, which make far less than 4 billion usable). Once again, the class A space does not have a signficant impact on the fundamental problem that there are not enough IPs for everyone. The "screw up" was two-fold: first, in not forseeing that there'd be an expectation that a signficant fraction of 6 billion people would want to use IP and second, not realizing that we'd still be using IPv4 (a research project at the time) to try to do it.

Re:Running out of IPv4 (5, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278316)

No. No. NO. Behind every router you can have an independent network, with as many machines as you want. Most small networks have users on the IPs 192.168.0.n or 192.168.1.n or 10.0.0.n. There are probably tens of thousands of machines using these addresses - but they do not conflict, because they are not using that address on the same global network.

And it's oh so delightful when you have to connect to heterogenous networks who are both using the same private IP scheme. Or when you have to VPN into your office from a customer network and you're both using the same scheme. Or when you have to VPN through a NAT firewall.

Re:Running out of IPv4 (1)

tomee (792877) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278556)

It will happen. Being behind a router is only acceptable with a fixed internet connection. When widespread adoption of WiMAX or HSDPA or something similar happens, being behind a router would artificially limit your freedom to move around. Add to that permanently wirelessly connected PDAs, UMPCs, iPods, maybe even cars, gps devices and a bunch of other things, and you'll have to come up with something quickly.

Re:Running out of IPv4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278604)

Just chimming in, joinging the others calling you out for the using the "NAT will save us" argument that some IT people seem to think is valid. As has been mentioned, there is a KNOWN rate of new IPv4 address up take. At the KNOWN rate we WILL run out of address space!! In this case the use of NAT is ALREADY being taken into account, as you have to assume that at least some of this newly assigned address space will get sold to customers who will be using NAT to connect their networks to the Net. The up take rate is a KNOWN number, not something being guessed at. This IS a problem that we WILL have to deal with! Hiding behind NAT isn't going to prevent this from happening!

So, those of you who think you can ignore IPv6, or don't like it for some reason, throwing the word "NAT" around isn't going to work as a long term answer. You if don't like IPv6 (I will admit I think it has some design flaws) then we all need to work together as a Network community and come up with something else. But the bottom line is that IPv4 will no longer meet our needs at some point, and that some point is now with in ten years or less away! We will need SOME answer to this problem, so if you don't think IPv6 is that answer then please let us all know what is... But for now the common answer to the problem is the move to IPv6, as this protocol is already standardized and in use on the Net.

It's not going to happen.

Yes, it will, and with in the next ten years AT THE MOST!

Your way of thinking reminds me of a short sighted Bill Gates, "640K should be enough for everyone".

Who's afraid of IPv6? (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277796)

I think and fear IPv6 won't make its day.
There are too many embedded devices that won't be upgraded to IPv6 just because they have IPv4 carved in silicon.
Companies won't spend money in upgrades and related risks.

Re:Who's afraid of IPv6? (3, Informative)

Deltaanime (932261) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278250)

IPv4 works over IPV6 just fine :-)

A very small peice of the IPv6's space is simply there to allow IPv4 to still work, so those devices won't have issues.

Besides, if everything else moves to IPv6, wouldn't that allow for IPv4 addresses to be freed up for this old systems?

~Francisco

Re:Who's afraid of IPv6? (1)

Wite_Noiz (887188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278404)

There are interim solutions, though.
It wouldn't be difficult for a company (or home for that matter) to use IPv6 publicly but IPv4 (alongside IPv6) internally, for the legacy devices.

If ISPs started migrating customers across and offering to supply (NAT) routers that did this, things would start moving in the right direction.

As it is (and was stated above), the prolific use of NAT and UPnP has meant that everyone has been able to avoid IPv6 and the headaches that it brings to start with.

This is truly a global problem, though. Putting things off 'til tomorrow is never a good thing, but it's going to be many times worse for the 'net.
The best-case scenario of 7.5 years is probably not long enough to make significant head-way to migrating to IPv6.

It's going to get interesting...

I reckon we need to rally the sys-ads to promote the security benefits of IPv6 to all their employers.

Re:Who's afraid of IPv6? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278448)

There are too many embedded devices that won't be upgraded to IPv6 just because they have IPv4 carved in silicon.

You can run IPv4 and IPv6 side by side. A reserved IPv4 network can be used internally to support your IPv4 devices.

Is it stable? Can old systems use it? (4, Funny)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277810)

I hear that we are only supposed to use the even versions, but I also heard that they kept messing around with version 6. Is it stable?

I am running a i386. Should I just stick with IPv2?

Peak Internets! (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277826)

> So at this rate, 7.5 years from now, we'll be clean out of IP addresses; faster if the number of addresses used per year goes up.

Ted Stevens (R-Pork): As my colleagues from across the aisle are pointing out, we're facing Peak Internets. Clearly what we need is to open up drilling in IPNAR (Internet Protocol National Address Reserve) and start drilling in those unused /8s. We need more tubes!

Ted Kennedy (D-Ham): Sure, how about 34.0.0.0/8, Halliburton?

Dick Cheney (R-Oil): Suck it, Ted. Your union buddies in 19.0.0.0/8, Ford Motor Company, ain't long for this world anyways.

Senator BOFH (I-Maginary): Umm, dudes? I didn't know DEC was still around, let alone still owned (16.0.0.0/8), and do enough people still go to Interop (45.0.0.0/8) that it deserves a whole frickin' /8 to itself?

FCC: All of y'all, shaddap. The telcos paid us good money to put us in charge of this little exercise, so we'll take it from here. Everybody switches to IPv6 on our timetable. It shouldn't take us much longer than it took to phase out analog TV.

Re:Peak Internets! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278018)

whatever you're smoking...please please please share it! Damn funny ;-)

Re:Peak Internets! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278564)

At MIT, each vending machine is said to have its own IP address. In dorm rooms, every gadget has one or more IP addresses, some rooms needing 100 or more, and there is subtle competition to outdo the next guy in order to claim "bragging rights". The current record is 200 IP addresses assigned to a toaster in Walcott 509 (East Campus). MIT encourages this, in case someone dares to suggest that their block is "underutilized".

Running out? (2, Insightful)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277848)

I worked for a company, that had it's own class B. Or /16 for those who prefer CIDR.

It had never been routed across the public net. I'd be prepared to bet there's a lot of companies that decided they 'were a major entity' and grabbed a big chunk of address space, back in the day when the IPv4 address space was 'more than anyone would ever need'.

I'd be prepared to bet there were a huge amount of 'entities' in the same situation. I mean, there's only a relatively small list that acutally need many at all, most can get by with a couple for DNS servers, a couple for mailservers, a couple for web servers and maybe a few for other 'key' internet thingummies. But 254 is way more than _most_ companies actually need.

MIT and Apple (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277878)

As of January 1, 2007, 2.4 billion of those [IPv4 addresses] were in (some kind of) use. 1.3 billion were still available and about 170 million new addresses are given out each year. So at this rate, 7.5 years from now, we'll be clean out of IP addresses; faster if the number of addresses used per year goes up. Are you ready for IPv6?"

As of January 1, 2007 too many IP addresses were in (some kind of) use by Apple and MIT who have entire class As but don't need that kind of address space. In 7 years when we are approaching what this particular author believes will be the end of the road for IPv4, those two (and anyone else with too many unused addresses) should be mandated to give them up so that everyone else can use them.

IPv6 won't be in wide use until the ISPs drop their ridiculous additional IP charges. They make a good bit of money through that so I assume they will be the absolute last people to switch over. Because most residential connections are on Comcast and other providers that don't want anything to do w/making less money, there's no way that this will happen w/o a fight.

Re:MIT and Apple (3, Insightful)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278098)

Routing is an issue. We'll run out of allocatable blocks long before we actually run out of IPs, even if the big, unused /8 blocks get broken up. It's kinda like the FAT file system--lots of really small files will completely eat up the disk space because they get allocated large clusters and they can't share.

IPV6 handles routing almost automagically. We should see fewer problems with chunking and "wasted" IP addresses. And of course, there are many other benefits. I honestly can't wait for the day when IPV4 is a terrible memory.

Re:MIT and Apple (1)

fourchannel (946359) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278476)

May I suggest Cryostasis? =D

No really, I want IPv6 too. It's supposed to be the Internet, not the huge glob of Intranets.

What they DID leave out (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18277916)

What isn't ever discussed are the people who originally developed IPv6. Not the brightest crew there ever was; some were the types who deliberately get their names attached to something, but who don't have the technical chops to contribute something significant.

Others are what can be best called as control freak fascists. I overheard one in his office one day ranting about how awful Phil Zimmerman and others were for their efforts. All well-known and respected people. It was truly shocking. But that's the type of person he was. He wasn't into security, he was more into control. A real nut-case.

It has come as no surprise that IPv6 has had security problems. Nor is it any surprise that it's adopted by the most control-freak countries in the world.

If you ever REALLY want to understand a technology, understand the people behind it. It's seldom that you see interviews with the entire bunch at once.

Re:What they DID leave out (2, Insightful)

wtansill (576643) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278356)

Others are what can be best called as control freak fascists. I overheard one in his office one day ranting about how awful Phil Zimmerman and others were for their efforts. All well-known and respected people. It was truly shocking. But that's the type of person he was. He wasn't into security, he was more into control. A real nut-case.
Thomas Edison was a control freak and, from what I've read, an all-around asshat. Didn't stop him from being revered by the public and making millions on his inventions, many of which are still in use today, either in nearly their original form (light bulbs), or in modernized versions (movies, movie cameras).

Re:What they DID leave out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278686)

That's a pretty stupid comment. Henry Ford was even worse. But you know what? Neither of them were designing secure technologies which had an impact on privacy.

Jesus, you must just like to talk to listen to yourself. Try to understand the concepts and stay relevant.

Applying the gates response... (4, Funny)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277938)

3.7 billion unique IP's ought to be enough for anybody.

May i be the first person to say (5, Funny)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277958)

"There's no place like 0:0:0:0:0:0:0:1 [ietf.org] "

You heard it here first. iThankyou.

Re:May i be the first person to say (3, Informative)

Alioth (221270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278028)

Surely, there's no place like ::1 ?

Re:May i be the first person to say (2, Funny)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278134)

Certainly; for the common-folk perhaps.

Kindest Regards,

Dr Toreo Asesino, BSc, MSc, GeneralLikerOfComplexAndGeekyThings (From the 'longer-is-better' department)

Re:May i be the first person to say (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278086)

Cool, but can't we just use the contraction ::1 ?

Re:May i be the first person to say (1)

pe1chl (90186) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278202)

Normally you would write that as:
"There's no place like ::1"

Address scarcity will not drive adoption of IPv6 (2, Insightful)

amper (33785) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277974)

I really doubt that after all this time that IPv6 adoption will ever be driven by address scarcity in the IPv4 space. We've developed tools like NAT that have extended the usable number of addresses far beyond what was originally envisioned, and the few problems created by the widespread usage of NAT are not showstoppers to the vast majority of users.

I think we have much more pressing problems. I seriously question whether or not our advanced technological society will last long enough to exhaust the currently available address space, and even if the prediction is true, and we approach that state within the next 7.5 years, it is more likely that measures will be taken to ensure that abandoned or underutilized address space is reallocated.

Re:Address scarcity will not drive adoption of IPv (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278266)

I really doubt that after all this time that IPv6 adoption will ever be driven by address scarcity in the IPv4 space.

Actually, the small size of the available IPv4 chunks has already driven the adoption of IPv6 in several large networks. Take a look at Comcast's huge migration of their cable modem customer edge. Of course other factors are driving it as well, which is why so many management networks have moved over. So what do you think, when BT completely replaces the their existing infrastructure as they are now doing, are all the new boxes going to work with IPv6? I don't think it is a requirement, but I also don't see any noncompliant devices winning bids.

Re:Address scarcity will not drive adoption of IPv (2, Interesting)

dk.r*nger (460754) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278334)

NAT is not the answer to everything. VPN is starting to be everywhere. With still more clients, suppliers, employees and partner companies VPN'ing with each other, even defining namespaces internally in 192.168.0.0/16 is starting to be an issue. I've so far been lucky with a strategy of every party selecting a pseudo-ramdom number for the third block in 192.168.0.0/16, but sooner or later, conflicts will happen.

Re:Address scarcity will not drive adoption of IPv (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278342)

You clearly read the article, or at least skimmed it, since you know that the article says that even with NAT, if current trends continue (they are likely to get worse, not to continue) we will run out in 7.5 years. You really think we're going to have a cataclysm in that timeframe? It's not impossible... but it seems relatively unlikely. As the FA says, even reclaiming a couple of used class As would be fairly useless.

NAT (1)

pahoran (893196) | more than 7 years ago | (#18277976)

- "7.5 years from now, we'll be clean out of IP addresses; faster if the number of addresses used per year goes up. Are you ready for IPv6?"

Unless the number of addresses in use goes down via things like NAT.

Re:NAT (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278354)

Or if ... the math is wrong?

This is predictive math, and if anything computers have proven predictive math wrong.

Another solution is as others suggested restructure the Classes as I'm sure there's a couple (read: a lot) of class As that could easily become class Bs, or a couple class Bs together. that would free up 126-7 class B size slots.

IPv6 will come around, but I'm pretty sure well have time for another 3 or 4 versions of windows before then.

mod 0p (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278024)

sounds like I better be ready for IPv7 (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278032)

if the predicted exhaust date for the addresses is seven years out.

IPV4 + RFC1918 != IPV6, NAT / Proxy saved IPV4 (4, Insightful)

mrnick (108356) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278172)

The reason IPV6 has not been widely deployed is that the direct consumers of IPV4 addresses changed their ways and starting implementing sound IP address deployment strategies.

When I say direct consumers as it relates to IPV4 the two largest consumers are Internet service providers and large corporations.

I remember when I started my first ISP. Everyone that dialed up to our modem bank was assigned a public IPV4 IP address. Later as higher bandwidth solutions arrived it was nothing for an ISDN user to have a /25 (128 IP, half of what most people mistakenly call a class C). If a customer purchased a T1 then it was negotiated how many /24 (256 IP, again considered a class C).

Now that has changed. Generally unless you pay extra you are going to have a RFC1918 (IP addresses that have been mutually agreed upon to be private). With this type of IP address nobody from the Internet can initiate communication to and of your equipment. These IP addresses are not routed on the public Internet. When you initiate an outbound communication to some server on the Internet your ISP will do a hide NAT to get you out to the Internet.

A hide NAT is when many systems using private address space all use the same IP address as their source when they leave their ISP. So, instead of the good ol (not so good) days where ever user needed a public IP address now an ISP can hide thousands of customers behind a single IP address.

Large corporation use similar techniques. They realized that not ever computer on ever desk need a public IP address. Again, they could use hide NAT and let them all use RFC1918 (private IP space) and when they would go out to the Internet they could either be hidden behind an IP or use a proxy. Also, almost simultaneously the idea that not all the servers in your data center needed a public address either. Your web and mail servers might but their back end database servers wouldn't. These wouldn't even require NAT because for security reasons it is just better if the have no interaction with the public Internet. The web servers could communicate with them with a physical separated network or internal routers could route their traffic to the proper location within their corporate infrastructure.

Two factors drove this movement. First was the fear of running out of IPV4 addresses. Arin and the like were doing there best to scare consumers into rationing their allocation in fear of not being able to get another. Second came from network security. Firewalls and proxy servers and the like were being implemented more rapidly than ever before. This was partly in response to the ever expanding IT bubble that many were sure would grow indefinitely and the majority was due to the realization that without proper security the bad guys would enter you system and start poking around. A system (server environment) can never be made 100% secure but the more money you are willing to spend on security the higher you raise the bar for a potential black hat hacker. As you increase security you make those that don't easier targets so a hacker would go after the easiest to penetrate rather than the more secure environments. This feeds upon itself. There will always be hackers and network security will have to continually evolve.

But back to IPV4. Looking at the current utilization of IPV4 as to what it was say in 1990 you see a completely different picture. The current picture is what was the promise of IPV6 and that is that it doesn't look like we will be running out in the foreseeable future. It's true with IPV4 we don't have enough public IP addresses so that everyone can have all their kitchen appliance connected to the Internet with a public IP. I have listened to many people tell the analogy that IPV6 has enough IP space so that every grain of sand on the planet Earth could have it's own IP address. Well, the truth is that we don't need that many, not anywhere near that many. And though it's true that IPV6 has more features than just an expanded bank of IP addresses but this unfortunately works against and not for the adoption of IPV6. The hardest thing for people to do is change and the current rational thought is why change when we have all the addresses we will ever need. I agree.

Will IPV6 ever be adopted? I'm sure if not it something like it. Will even of us be around to see it adopted on a wide scale? Highly unlikely.

The Internet has become a more efficient secure place and the main driving force behind that was the fear of running out of IP addresses. A fear that was never realized.

Nick powers

NAT Translation is Dead On. (4, Insightful)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278258)

The article does a great job of presenting the debate. In every talk, you should tell the audience what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell you what you told them. In this case, the author took the novel and interesting approach of using a Slashdot summary of the subject, linking to a previous discussion and paraphrasing it. I present the summary and the expansion side by side to highlight their ingenious rhetorical style:

"Use NAT, n00b. All 1337 of my Linux boxes share a single IP and it's safer, too!"

Hosts behind a NAT device get addresses in the 10.0.0.0, 172.16.0.0, or 192.168.0.0 address blocks that have been set aside for private use in RFC 1918. The NAT device replaces the private address in packets sent by the hosts in the internal network with its own address, and the reverse for incoming packets. This way, multiple computers can share a single public address.

"NAT is not a firewall."

With IPv4, there will generally be a NAT device that functions as a simple firewall by blocking incoming sessions (although there are ways to trick NATs into allowing them). If you're working on security, keep your eye out for IPv6 because if overlooked, IPv6 could allow things that are blocked over IPv4.

"NAT sucks."

[1]However, NAT has several downsides. First of all, incoming connections don't work anymore, because when a session request comes in from the outside, the NAT device doesn't know which internal host this request should go to.

[2]Things get even trickier for applications that need referrals. NAT also breaks protocols that embed IP addresses. For instance, with VoIP, the client computer says to the server, "Please send incoming calls to this address." Obviously this doesn't work if the address in question is a private address. For this reason and a few others, most of the people who participate in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) don't care much for NAT.

"You suck."

This [1]is largely solvable with port mappings and protocols like uPnP and NAT-PMP.

Working around this [2] requires a significant amount of special case logic in the NAT device, the communication protocol, and/or the application.

More to the point, NAT is already in wide use, and apparently we still need 170 million new IP addresses every year.

Thanks for the shoutout, Ars. The explanation of various non free software limitations for using IP4/IP6 and partial explanation of why those systems may need firewalls to begin with is sure to add to the human body of knowledge and foster civilized conversations. After reading the article, it's all clear to me, for sure not at all. Respeckt!

NAT Translation is Annoyingly Redundant. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18278708)

Is Network Address Translation Translation where you write the RFC in Klingon?

Meager adoption (1)

twistah (194990) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278336)

...the article doesn't try to explain the reasons behind IPv6's meager adoption since its introduction 12 years ago.

That's pretty easy to answer, in my opinion, at least. For the most part, the answer is: NAT.

Sig. (3, Interesting)

caluml (551744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278348)

See my sig.

IPv6 looks pretty good, but not for address space. (1)

Attis_The_Bunneh (960066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278478)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipv6 [wikipedia.org]

Now, take it with a grain of salt [or a whole salt lick...], but the list of features here in the wiki-article about IPv6 looks good to me. o_O

So what do I do? (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278534)

My comments I posted on the Ars forum:

Interesting article, but I still feel like I have questions and don't really understand why or what I should do, if anything, with IPv6.

I'm on Comcast cable, XP w/o IPv6 turned on, and with a WRT54G router with stock firmware. IF I enable IPv6 in XP, what do I gain? Would it mess up the other PCs on my network? Would it affect performance? Would my router handle it without modification? Does it even matter since I'm on Comcast?

I guess I keep reading about IPv6, reading that it's an improvement (which I wouldn't argue with), but I guess I don't know if I should do something about it now (would I be a small part of mass progress?), or just wait until things straighten themselves out? I know it's better, but what am I supposed to do?

The reasons behind IPv6's meager adoption... (1)

grosskur (706537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278542)

... have already been explained [cr.yp.to] .

Re:The reasons behind IPv6's meager adoption... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278608)

some bits of nonsense there, like having to disconnect from 4 to be on 6, a site could be connected to both

How to install IPv6 (2, Informative)

joe45 (1060584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278588)

The command how to install IPv6 is : windows XP: run -> type: ipv6 install linux redhat: insmod ipv6 or modprobe ipv6 , check the list get IPv6 or not, rmmod ipv6 delete ipv6. autorun: edit /etc/sysconfig/network add new line " NETWORKING_IPV6=YES " FreeBSD Unix : edit /etc/rc.conf add new ipv6_enable="YES"

More addresses for better security? (1)

psydeshow (154300) | more than 7 years ago | (#18278702)

One thing I run up against in deploying web services for organizations is that in order to provide SSL for HTTP (without using some sort of NAT-like proxy) we need either a unique port or a unique IP address.

Now, the unique port thing works great for small organizations who connect via commercial ISPs. But for government organizations, or for those whose connection is provided by government organizations, byzantine firewall rules and mandatory HTTP proxies prevent them from connecting to anything other than port 443.

Some days I think it will be easier to implement IPv6 than to get city and state sysadmins to open high ports on their firewalls and HTTP proxies.

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