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After IPv4, How Will the Internet Function? 320

Posted by kdawson
from the fractal-connectivity dept.
An anonymous reader writes "36 countries in the world have over 100% per-capita usage of mobile phones, and this is driving a real crunch on IPv4 addresses as more and more of these devices are data-capable. The mobile network operators are acting fast to deploy IPv6, and T-Mobile USA has had an IPv6-only trial going on for over 9 months now using NAT64 to bridge to IPv4 Internet content. It is interesting to note that the original plan for IPv6 transition, dual-stack, has failed since IPv4 addresses are effectively already exhausted for many people who want them. Dual-stack also causes many other issues and has forced the IETF to generate workarounds for end users called happy eyeballs (implying that eyeballs are not happy with dual-stack), and a big stink around DNS white-listing. How will you ensure that your network, users, and services continue to work in the address-fractured world of the future where some users have only IPv4 (AT&T ), some users have only IPv6 (mobile and machine-to-machine as well as developing countries), and other Internet nodes have both?"
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After IPv4, How Will the Internet Function?

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  • Dual stack failed? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday December 27, 2010 @12:08PM (#34676618) Homepage Journal

    It seems ludicrous to claim that the dual stack idea has failed when more and more devices are suddenly finding themselves with IPv6 addresses and are putting them to use. My home and work LANs are dual stack and everything Just Works. For being a failed experiment, it works amazingly well in everyday usage.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Because, according to TFA, "If you are going to dual stack everything, everything needs both an IPv6 and an IPv4 address. And... um... we're out of IPv4 addresses."
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Just Some Guy (3352)

        Right now, today, everything has an IPv4 address that needs one. Junk technology line NAT will keep IPv4 limping along for a while until IPv6 finds its momentum. But beyond that, the root problem comes down to networks not transitioning quickly enough. If they won't rapidly adopt something as relatively simple as dual stack, what makes you think they'll willingly and quickly roll out a wholesale change that actually breaks stuff?

        • What about variations on that theme we're all hearing about the Premium Internet - can they hook that stuff up to nice new IP6 addresses, with not a titty to be found, leaving the "ghetto" kids in IP4?

      • If all the devices in your network only speak IPv6, then the missing you would just need a router that translates IPv6 to IPv4 (of course it will may also need to convert any DNS A record to a DNS AAAA record). A subset of the IPv6 range is actually allocated to cover the IPv4 address range - basically any address with a maximum value of 2^32 in the 2^128 bit range is an IPv4 address. So your IPv4 address 216.34.181.45 as an IPv6 address is ::D822:B52D.

      • by sjames (1099)

        To be fair, we were SUPPOSED to be doing this back in 2005 or so at the latest. By this point, IPv4 was supposed to be nearly irrelevant to the world except as a historical note.

        Dual stack is just fine. The people who put off even trying it untinl now are the failures.

        • Dual stack WAS fine. The people who put off implementing a perfectly reasonable solution until it would no longer work have doomed us to increasingly ridiculous schemes to clean up their mess.

    • by Chang (2714) on Monday December 27, 2010 @12:19PM (#34676744)

      Dual stack works but is has failed in the sense that it can't be the singular solution during the transition from IPv4 to IPv6.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      IPv6 is still not nearly as "polished" as IPv4. Talk at the 27th Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin: "Recent advances in IPv6 insecurities" [events.ccc.de] in about 4 hours [timeanddate.com]. The talk is in English, a live stream available. [fem-net.de]

    • Not everything Just Works. My D-Link router can do ipv6 tunneling, but no matter the setting, it refuses to start DHCPv6 or issue router advertisements. From the outside, it is possible to ping the router (when I enabled that for testing), but everything inside needs a static route and static address to work. And then my router will be given a new IP address and things will stop working again.
      • by X0563511 (793323)

        My D-Link router

        I found your problem!

    • by louarnkoz (805588)
      Quoting an AC to start the conversation, penning a lead with bold statements that are not much supported in fact... Slow news day, probably.

      Pretty much every PC, server or even smart phone OS ships with dual stack. Enable IPv6 on your home gateway and poof, IPv6 in your PC lights up. AT the same time, your PC can keep using IPv4 for non IPv6 web sites, or for that old Ethernet enabled printer in the basement. It works pretty much as expected. Not having unique IPv4 addresses does not change anything to th

    • by FridayBob (619244)
      No, the implication is that dual stack fails as a general Internet solution if providers start to give their users IPv6-only... at a point in time long before all IPv4 users and services have dual stack. The fact is, at the moment IPv6-only users can access only a small percentage of what the Internet has to offer. If you're an AT&T user, there's no real reason to complain about your wretched ISP not having any immediate plans to give you native IPv6, because you can always go out and get yourself a /48
    • The trick is to handle the case where you CANT get an IPv4 address. Dual stack normally assumes you can get one IPv4 address along with your block of IPv6 addresses.

      The solution is probably carrier-grade NAT for IPv4 (so you only get a private IPv4 address) with dual-stack. But that has it's own problems.
  • IPv6 of course.

    Client sites have nothing to worry about straight away, unless they want to access the new IPv6 server sites that will be coming online. The issue will be new sites needing IP addresses will be IPv6 only. If everyone started the move to IPv6 today, then the internet, from the average joe point of view, will look pretty much the same. The problem is that they will start seeing the breakages because we are almost out of IPv4 addresses before anyone has really started upgrading their infrastruct

    • IPv6 of course.

      The issue will be new sites needing IP addresses will be IPv6 only.

      "Not an issue, it's a feature!"

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday December 27, 2010 @12:52PM (#34677058)

      Geeks should know better. The way it is talked about, you'd think in a couple days someone will plug in a device and there'll be no more IPs. Not hardly. We are approaching the first milestone in an eventual crunch. That is that there will be no more addresses not assigned to a registrar. The remaining class-As will be handed out to the regional registrars. While that means at the highest level we are "out" that doesn't mean we are out on a user level.

      I'm not saying that we don't need to move to IPv6 but people on /. keep talking like we are going to be out of every single IP address real soon. No, rather we will be starting a process of scarcity. So far there's been no real scarcity of IP addresses. That will change. However all that means is that costs will change.

      That will actually probably be a good thing for IPv6 adoption. If you are a company and want some static IPs and your ISP says "Sure, you can have IPv4 addresses at $30/month each, or as many IPv6 addresses as you want for free," well maybe you decide there's good reason to go with IPv6 and upgrade your stuff.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 27, 2010 @02:37PM (#34677898)

        If you are a company and want some static IPs and your ISP says "Sure, you can have IPv4 addresses at $30/month each, or as many IPv6 addresses as you want for free,"

        That won't work. Problem is, if you are a company without an IPv4 address, you are not reachable by 99% of Internet users, i.e. you don't exist.

        Companies will pay whatever price, though. They have to. But to suggest that the company can solve this by migrating to IPv6 is short-sighted. The company can only solve this by migrating all of its intended customers to IPv6, in other words: they can't.

        You have made me realize an interesting point, though: as long as ISPs do not migrate their users to IPv6, they can charge extortionary prices for the remaining IPv4 addresses; ISPs have an incentive to create this artificial scarcity. Time to call for government regulation? ;)

    • IPv6 machines all have to run in dual stack, which means they all need an IPv4 address, which means IPv6 is solving exactly zero problems.

      If everyone started the move to IPv6 today, then the internet, from the average joe point of view, will look pretty much the same.

      To quote Robert Bolt: "I wish we could all have good luck, all the time! I wish we had wings! I wish rainwater was beer! But it isn't!".

      The IPv6 transition plan amounts to--and in fact simply is--wishful thinking. If everyone, everywhere transi

      • by vlm (69642)

        it is standing in the way of a real and workable solution to the problem.

        So no, IPv6 is not the solution. IPv6 has simply become part of the problem.

        So let me guess the solution ... "AOL keywords"?

  • No country has close to 100% of its residents connected via multiple mobile Internet connections at the same time, and many countries provide a NATed private IP anyway.

    Dual stack is an absolutely fine solution for the current Internet and the "many other issues" usually means someone is about to sell an over-complicated and unnecessary transition solution. But wait, "Happy Eyeballs", ah... today's salesman comes from Cisco. And I find it very difficult to read a proposed standard for seamless transition whe

    • by Xugumad (39311)

      > No country has close to 100% of its residents connected via multiple mobile Internet connections at the same time

      My Android phone syncs to Google while I'm not paying attention. If I had an iPhone, it would do similar thing for handling push messages.

      > many countries provide a NATed private IP anyway.

      Err... you mean company, right?

      • My Android phone syncs to Google while I'm not paying attention.

        OK; does that mean you have to maintain a static IP connection 24/7? Does the same apply to even a large minority?

        Err... you mean company, right?

        I was thinking of typing that but decided against it. The practice generally varies by country/region and telecoms corporations are so intertwined with national and transnational governments that it would be intellectually dishonest to imply otherwise.

        • by gmack (197796)

          After having worked for an ISP I can tell you that most of the customers will want to log in at the same time so you really do need an ip for everyone.

      • many countries provide a NATed private IP anyway.

        Err... you mean company, right?

        Countries too [wikipedia.org].

    • by sjames (1099)

      And the "solution" is only needed because so many have screwed up their v6 so badly. Often because they didn't realize that when vendors (like Cisco) said v6 ready, they meant horribly crippled in capacity but technically it will route a v6 packet or 2 so marketing called it good.

  • Maybe I'm wrong, but I suspect that a large part of the IPv4 space is used by smartphones, ebook readers, home and small office equipment.
    Either all that stuff needs be upgraded to IPv6 or operators will need to deploy IPv6-to-IPv4 gateways.
    If you're lucky you can mod your routers with OpenWRT [openwrt.org] or its derivatives [dd-wrt.com].
    • Much of that will get private addresses (even phones do; IIRC my iPhone gets something in 172.16/12 through 3G, though otherwise can and will be found). Additionally, DD-WRT has some builds without ipv6 enabled, so be careful there.
    • Most of those items are using IPv6, at least now. One of the ITU 4G requirements is that the hardware can use IPv6. Most phones bought in the last four years already have IPv6 address from the provider. I noticed that I loose my address on my phone when I leave an EVDO or LTE area with my phone. So maybe 1x networks lack the ability to carry IPv6, really don't know the answer. However, most phones either use IPv6 to talk to tower and IPv4 the rest of the way or dual-stack, depends on the phone and carr

    • by davew (820)

      Explain to me why all that stuff needs to be upgraded, but other stuff - your stuff and my stuff - doesn't?

  • Just fine.
  • lots of IP4 only cable / dsl modems and routers are out there. Do any of E-mta (that the cable force you to rent (if you have cable phone) do IPV6?)

    • by vlm (69642)

      Do any of E-mta (that the cable force you to rent (if you have cable phone) do IPV6?)

      Can you find one that does not? I believe a DOCSIS 3.0 certification requirement is ipv6.

      As with cellphones, the question is rarely what the manufacturer made possible, but what your provider felt like allowing you to do.

  • We aren't out of IPv4 addresses, we are out of IPv4 block allocations. This started back in 1992 when Cisco and Bay Networks decided that forcing new allocations into consolidated routes was easier than building routers that could cope with 2^24 (or even 2^32) unique routes. The original / notation wasn't about talking about /16 or 24 but /36 was a way to describe taking 4 extra bits from the source and destination port range. That system would allow most existing hardware (even from the late 80s) to wor

  • Easy.. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Junta (36770) on Monday December 27, 2010 @12:46PM (#34677016)

    Thanks to finally embracing NAT64, this becomes easy.

    If you are providing 'server' access, you pretty much *have* to get an IPv4 address, and preferably an IPv6, but not absolutely required for now. Short term, don't sweat it, medium term go dual stack at first opportunity that presents itself, long term you may take down the IPv4 network one day, but don't explicitly plan when that day will come. The common strategy may continue to be ignore v6 entirely, however moving dual stack at your pace ensures that in the slim, but real possibility that your next-hop provider stops IPv4 routing or starts penalizing IPv4 use via unreasonable fees won't put you in a tight spot. The scenario of next-hop penalizing/dropping v4 is the only scenario I see as sufficient motivation to get servers to bother with v6 at all. I think even brand new servers will do what it takes to secure IPv4 space, which may free up some given the next point...

    If you are setting up a network as 'clients', you can get by with either IPv6 or IPv4 for a while. Giving dual stack when available is nice, but whatever you have would be sufficient. ISPs without IPv4 addresses available for new clients should rapidly pursue IPv6 for residential customers and give them most internet via NAT64 on their end. Doing IPv4 private addresses would doom them to crappy service indefinitely, whilst IPv6 would only be semi-crappy for a more temporary interval. If you *really* want v6 to catch on, then start allowing v4 addresses to be carved up more free-market style. All technical experts agree that this would completely fubar the v4 network performance in aggregate, but you would entice adoption of v6+NAT64 with the profitable opportunity to reclaim addresses and sell them to places that *really* need them. The v6 network would be nice and cleanly routed, and getting on the v6 network just becomes that much more important.

    Some would argue that any sort of NAT at the carrier plays right into the hands of those who hate P2P networks, including NAT64 as those behind NAT64 are unreachable by peers who are v4 only. However, the reality is there are two possible outcomes, residences getting 10/8, 172.16/12, or 192.168/16 which *completely* breaks P2P (and probably many wireless routers presuming those prefixes won't come from the WAN), or NAT64 where the P2P graph may not be as connected, but all v6 peers can reach each other. Since P2P designs are inherently tolerant of unreliable ability to reach peers, this should suffice for a while.

    Major architects in v6 world advocated the dual-stack method as the way to theoretically move on with no thought to the practical motivations to move forward. They hated NAT in every way as it breaks the peering model they hold dear. They hated accepting the practical view that most of the internet are clients and few are servers. If they had embraced it from the beginning, then I suspect most residences would be v6 by now.

    • Giving people a private IPv4 isn't so bad if they also have a real public IPv6 block.

      Sure, it will break all the P2P traffic that relies on IPv4-only, but that will quickly force those services to support IPv6.
  • by FlyingGuy (989135) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (yuggniylf)> on Monday December 27, 2010 @01:01PM (#34677126)

    The problem is the asshats that came up with IPV6. It should be scrapped here and now. IPV6 is just plain and simple flat out stupid.

    Using a hexadecimal address was pure stupidity. All you needed to do was turn each segment of an IP address into a word sized ( 64 bit addressing ) or a long sized ( the magic 128 bit ) value instead of a byte sized value since:

    2600000.35.1254.1785

    Is one hell of a lot easier to remember then

    2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334.

    And using the colon for address separation is equally as stupid since that is how we designate port numbers. Ohh wait I know don't forget to surround the unrememberable POS with square brackets!

    To make IPV6 useful it requires anything and everything to have a DNS entry since it is pretty much unrememberable and quite frankly I have devices that I never want in the DNS system yet I will be pretyy much forced to since trying to remember an IPV6 address will give me a fucking stroke.

    And lets not forget you omit parts of the address eg: 2001:0db8:85a3::0000:8a2e:0370:7334 but ONLY once! I mean why did they even bother with this crap, is that supposed to make it easier?

    IPV6 was written by a bunch of head up their ass academics, and even if the members of the committee were not academics their head was still firmly planted in their ass.

    The guys who came up with IPV4 new they would have to work with it and made it pretty damn simple in most respects, but these clowns have turned something that should have just made the address space bigger into to something that will require massive kludges to transition since it will pretty much cause a mandatory replacement of pretty much 90% of the hardware out there.

    Never ever let an academic design anything. They will fuck it up every time.

    • by psydeshow (154300)

      trying to remember an IPV6 address will give me a fucking stroke

      Awesome post.

      There just isn't anything amazing enough in v6 to warrant the switch from an understandable, base10 system to an insanely complex base16 one, especially when half the people smart enough to understand it are genuinely concerned that it will break everything.

      Why didn't they just use base36 addresses instead? At least those would be nice and short.

    • by vlm (69642)

      All you needed to do was turn each segment of an IP address into a word sized ( 64 bit addressing ) or a long sized ( the magic 128 bit ) value instead of a byte sized value since:

      2600000.35.1254.1785

      Is one hell of a lot easier to remember then

      2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334.

      Whats your plan for delegated reverse DNS for a /48 allocation? (This should be interesting)

    • by MaerD (954222)
      For those who are modding the parent troll: He's not trolling, He's right (insulting aside).

      The number one obstacle to IPV6 deployment is an inability to make sense of the addressing scheme. If it's hard to wrap your head around what should be a simple concept, it stops working.
      People can understand addresses that are blocks of numbers like IPV4. Expanding the numbers used above 255, or adding a 5th space would have made MORE sense from a humans point of view. It really is like it was designed by peopl
      • by vlm (69642)

        It really is like it was designed by people who forget that DNS is not self-administering, and people have to deal with these things even if DNS has gone down.

        You should be thankful they got rid of DNS A6 and stuck to AAAA records. Oh you'd really love those.

        Once you set up your automation, the whole situation is really quite boring.

    • by paul248 (536459) on Monday December 27, 2010 @01:57PM (#34677604) Homepage

      Using a hexadecimal address was pure stupidity.

      Hexadecimal is used because a network is designated by an N-bit prefix, and it's *much* harder to manipulate bits in decimal, especially when each number is 16 or 32 bits long.

      And using the colon for address separation is equally as stupid since that is how we designate port numbers.

      Once you've gone to hexadecimal, using dots to separate the address leads to ambiguity. Is a.b.c.d.e.f.beef.de an IP address or a hostname?

      it is pretty much unrememberable

      With IPv6, your network will have its own 48 to 64-bit prefix. Once you remember that prefix, you can choose your suffixes to be as simple as you'd like.

      you omit parts of the address ... but ONLY once!

      You can only omit one run of zeros, because otherwise the length of each run would be ambiguous.

    • You don't have to make long addresses if you don't want to. You can drop leading zeros and the :: compression replaces any range of zeros, not only one set. So a prefix you might get from your ISP becomes:

      2001:DB8:A::/48

      I can remember that easily and then make up a plan such as "/64 corresponds to VLAN". Say you have VLAN 5 and a statically assigned host 9 on that VLAN.

      2001:DB8:A:5::9/64

      Although it still has scary A-F in the number. Or you can stick with the crazy long addresses if that's easier.

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Monday December 27, 2010 @02:56PM (#34678110) Journal

      All you needed to do was turn each segment of an IP address into a word sized ( 64 bit addressing ) or a long sized ( the magic 128 bit ) value instead of a byte sized value since: 2600000.35.1254.1785 Is one hell of a lot easier to remember then 2001:0db8:85a3:0000:0000:8a2e:0370:7334.

      You don't know what you are talking about. Of course '2600000.35.1254.1785' is easier to remember, you aren't using all the bits. If you used the full 64 bits, it's going to be longer no matter what base you are using. Your hex example, if you converted it to decimal, would look just as bad: 536939960.2242052096.35374.57701172. It's not actually easier to remember.

      There is also a shortcut built in for IPv6 addresses. For example, if you had an IPv4 LAN with addresses in the 192.168.0.1 range, you could represent them in IPv6 with ::FFFF:192.168.0.1. Not particularly harder to remember than an IPv4 address now. IPv4 was designed by people who thought before talking. Unlike you, apparently. Work on that: try to figure stuff out before blathering.

    • by Bengie (1121981)

      2600000.35.1254.1785

      Here's a subnet mask for that. FFFF:FFFF. Now, in your head, quickly apply that to your base10 IP.

      Who uses IPs anymore anyway except in a few corner cases for debugging? Use DNS or add an address to your fav list. Post its also work great for doing general network work where you need to know an IP.

  • Make a 'Your Own IP' feature for the cell providers which gives you the option of your own unique IP. Everyone else can just pull from a rotating pool of ___ IPs.

    I don't think most average iPhone users give a crap if they have IPv4/IPv6 support or what their IP is at the moment, as long as their phone works and they can play Angry Birds.

    • by vlm (69642)

      Make a 'Your Own IP' feature for the cell providers which gives you the option of your own unique IP. Everyone else can just pull from a rotating pool of ___ IPs .... as long as their phone works

      And when you have more subscribers than IP space available...

      Even RFC1918 space 10/8 if by some miracle of perfect efficiency were used 100% maybe in a giant worldwide VLAN, you'd only support 16 megacustomers. But thats small potatoes for the big monopoly cellphone providers.

      Lets say you decide to steal the entire ipv4 space. thats only 4 billion cellphones, so 1/3 the population won't get one.

      It turns out to be way more expense and work to patch around the limitations of ipv4 than to upgrade to ipv6 and

  • Movistar in Argentina uses 10.x.x.x network addressing on Mobile phones last time I checked.
  • dont worry. Internet is a series of interconnected peaches. size of the peach is its bandwidth, and the icky hairs on its skin is its traffic. so, it will keep functioning even if you put it in the fridge.
  • Guys, look at This list of Class A [wikipedia.org].

    Prudential insurance? A class A? Almost 17 million addresses?

    Ford motor company? General electric?

    DoD has 11 class A chunks? That's almost 200 million addresses. You could give almost everybody in the united states a mobile phone with that.

    These are just the most obvious ones. Does Apple really need 17 million addresses? Does HP? Xerox PARC?

    This FUD has been getting spread around since the late 1990s. I think we're fine, and I think we're going to be fine for quite

    • by mail2345 (1201389)

      Assuming that the chunks will be released to the public, then yes, you are right.

    • by paul248 (536459)

      You listed 17 /8 blocks in your post. If you managed to reclaim every single one of those, you'd almost make up for IANA's 19 allocations in 2010.

      And let us know how it goes when you try to take those addresses from the US military.

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