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Why you shouldn't worry about IPv6 just yet

nk497 (1345219) writes | more than 4 years ago


nk497 (1345219) writes "While it's definitely time to start thinking about IPv6, it's not time for most to move up to it, argues Steve Cassidy, saying most can turn it off in Windows 7 without causing any trouble. Many network experts argue we're nearing network armageddon, but they've been saying that for years."This all started when Tony Blair was elected. The first time. Yep, thatâ's how long IPv6 has been around, and it’s quite a few weeks ago now." He says smart engineering has avoided many of the problems. "Is there an IPv6 “killer app” yet for smaller networks? No. Is there any reason based on security or ease of management – unless you’re running a 100,000-seat network or a national-level ISP – for you to move up to it? No. Should you start to do a bit of reading about it? That’s about the stage we’re truly at, and the answer to that one is: yes," he says."
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You're kidding, right? (1)

owendelong (614177) | more than 4 years ago | (#33297320)

Network engineers said (briefly) 12 years ago that "The internet is in danger of running out of space very quickly if nothing changes".

Then NAT came along and, for better or worse, it was widely deployed. Better in that it dramatically extended the useful life of IPv4 through dramatic address conservation. Worse in that we now have an entire generation of network engineers that not only fail to understand the advantages of a peer to peer end-to-end networking model, but, somehow have managed to turn terms like peer to peer into dirty words in many circles and create the illusion that because NAT depends on a stateful inspection firewall underneath, NAT somehow offers security.

The reality is that security comes from the stateful inspection which can exist with or without the header-mangling (aka NAT).

Now, you're starting to see network engineers and address policy people (I fit into both camps) say this again. Why? Well, because at the beginning of 2010, there were 21 /8s available for allocation to Regional Internet Registries in the IANA free pool and 5 in a reserve to be given 1 to each RIR when the free pool is exhausted. Today, less than 9 months later, there are 9 /8s remaining in that free pool. At the current rate of consumption, IANA will run out of addresses most likely in January or February of 2011. APNIC, RIPE, or ARIN will then enter a race to see which one runs out first, likely within 3-6 months. Once one of them runs out, the other two won't be far behind, in part because it is very likely that many of the address consumers in any one of those three regions will be able to acquire space from the other two (lots of multinational companies have presences in all three regions).

IPv4 exhaustion is real. Is it time to move your entire IT network inside your corporation from over to nice shiny public IPv6 addresses tomorrow? Probably not. However, it is definitely past time to add IPv6 capabilities to your public-facing content and services and to make sure that your support department and your IT staff has at least access to IPv6 networking and some IPv6 labs where they can start learning and debugging stuff.

If you fail to do so within the next 12 months, it is very likely that your company will be at an ever increasing competitive disadvantage vs. companies that did or will by that time.

Remember, if you start turning IPv6 off on machines today, you'r just going to have to turn it back on later. A much better solution is to find ways to turn IPv6 support on in your LANs in such a way that it properly sandboxes the IPv6 and lets the hosts know that they don't have global IPv6 connectivity. This isn't particularly hard to do. If your routers issue RAs on the local network and then provide ICMP unreachable messages back for unroutable packets, the fact that most of your hosts have IPv6 addresses and can't reach the IPv6 network will be almost completely transparent to them.

About the author of this comment: Owen DeLong is an IPv6 Evangelist at Hurricane Electric and an elected member of the ARIN Advisory Council. Owen is not speaking on behalf of ARIN or the ARIN AC in this post, but, being on the AC, he is very aware of the statistics surrounding IPv4 address utilization.

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