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The Internet Networking Space Technology

Vint Cerf Says No To IPv7, Yes To InterPlanetary Web 108

Posted by Soulskill
from the free-watson-from-the-bonds-of-earth dept.
jbrodkin writes "IPv6 is here, but what's up with IPv7? Nothing, says Vint Cerf. While one day there may be another new Internet Protocol, work is not happening on it now. 'At the moment there doesn't seem to be any incentive for inventing yet another one,' he said in an interview. However, he contends that 2011 will be a Big Year for his pet project, the extraterrestrial 'InterPlanetary Internet.' The 'Bundle' network protocols will be tested in space and standardized to 'make them available to all the space-faring countries.' As they are used with more spacecraft, 'we can literally grow an interplanetary network that can support both man and robotic exploration.'"
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Vint Cerf Says No To IPv7, Yes To InterPlanetary Web

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  • by intellitech (1912116) * on Friday February 18, 2011 @04:57PM (#35248338)

    IPv6 is not mainstream yet, and probably still won't be for a while longer. Considering that IPv6 solves the problem of limited addresses in an increasingly networked world, which was and still is the driving force for the migration from IPv4, immediate R&D into the next standard just seems unnecessary. Plus, with how big of a headache IPv6 has been, who can honestly blame 'em for not wanting to think about it for a while.

    • by Kashell (896893)
      How about networking multiple worlds? What about when we learn to colonize Mars, and other solar systems?

      I think IPv64 should be sufficient enough...........
      • by alexhs (877055) on Friday February 18, 2011 @05:07PM (#35248476) Homepage Journal

        Why go with IPv64 when IPv9 [ietf.org] is already perfectly suitable for the task ?

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Short-sighted foolishness!

          I propose doom for all unless we immediately move to IPv16. Those sub-atomic particles aren't going to go without at least a mole of addresses each on MY watch!

      • by 0123456 (636235) on Friday February 18, 2011 @05:08PM (#35248496)

        How about networking multiple worlds? What about when we learn to colonize Mars, and other solar systems?

        IPV6 has plenty enough IP addresses for a single galaxy. We might need to rethink it once we have colonised another galaxy, but the million-year ping times would be a bit annoying anyway.

        • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Friday February 18, 2011 @05:30PM (#35248760)

          ...but the million-year ping times would be a bit annoying anyway.

          Pfft. You know, as an AOL subscriber, it's not very often I get to call somebody else a weenie.

        • by ls671 (1122017) *

          > but the million-year ping times would be a bit annoying anyway.

          Nah... subspace channels are much faster than the speed of light. I have seen it being used in many situations...

          • by Lanteran (1883836)
            pfft, everyone knows to merely get from the delta quadrant of our galaxy, it takes a subspace signal years. Go back and watch some more ST.
            • by ls671 (1122017) *

              You are forgetting that ST Voyager moved a long distance, many quadrants, in just an instant after leaving deep space nine. This is the foundation of the show. In ST, they do not understand everything yet...

              • by Lanteran (1883836)
                Yeah, by the caretaker. Standard starfleet subspace could not send a message from the delta to the Alpha/Beta Quadrant in less than 70 years if I recall correctly. You should have added a bit about subspace channels through micro-wormholes, which is how voyager was able to communicate with the alpha quadrant in the latter years of the show.
                • by ls671 (1122017) *

                  Nah, it wasn't in the latter years of the show, it was in season 1, maybe season 2 disk 1. I just started to watch all episodes lately and I am at season 2 disk 2 right now and they already have contacted the alien scientist in the alpha quadrant. I am pretty sure it was in season 1. The scientist was talking to them from the past, he promised to deliver their message home in the future but Voyager records showed that he died before he could.

                  Not the best ever show I have ever watched I have to admit. I am R

                • by ls671 (1122017) *

                  Hey, since you seem to know a bit, is 7 of 9 going to show up in ST Voyager or was 7 of 9 in another series ?

                  Damn, I hope she was in Voyager ;-) Belona Tores, or whatever her name his is my preferred female character ex aequo with 7 of 9 if she is indeed going to appear in ST Voyager.

                  • Season 4 on I think.... though feel free to revoke my geek card if I'm off by a few episodes.... I've been watching other stuff lately, not much time for trek these days when I could be watching Doctor Who....
                  • by Lanteran (1883836)
                    First episode of season 4, scorpion. It's a good watch but it's where the borg start to get castrated.
              • by Ihmhi (1206036)

                many quadrants

                They precisely one quadrant over. There's only four: Alpha Quadrant, Beta Quadrant, Delta Quandrant, and Gamma Quadrant. (You know, "quad" means four?). It's pretty much one fourth of the galaxy sliced in four equidistant places for some arbitrary reason for all I know.

        • by reboot246 (623534)
          I'm not willing to stop until every single atom in the universe has its own IP address!
        • How about networking multiple worlds? What about when we learn to colonize Mars, and other solar systems?

          IPV6 has plenty enough IP addresses for a single galaxy. We might need to rethink it once we have colonised another galaxy, but the million-year ping times would be a bit annoying anyway.

          Nothing that a couple of well configured NAT routers can't manage.

    • by Junta (36770)

      Some are hoping for a magical IPv7 that would magically 'just work' with IPv4 without any messy backwards compatible issues. None of those understand the problem, but assume there must have been *some* way to do it without losing our quad-dotted addresses or rewriting or recompiling a single thing. Like 'why not just raise the limit on the numbers from 255 to a thousand or something?' or 'just add another dot-number at the end'.

      • by ls671 (1122017) * on Friday February 18, 2011 @05:41PM (#35248878) Homepage

        You can express IPv6 adresses with quad-dotted notation if you wish, going way over the 255 limit. The truth is that it is the underlying number of bytes in an IP packet header that matters.

        IPv6 addresses range is 0.0.0.0 to 4294967295.4294967295.4294967295.4294967295

        2^128 or 3.4×10^38 addresses.

      • by jamesh (87723)

        Something with extensible addressing would have been nice, like phone numbers with international area code / national area code / local number, but with an open ended number of divisions. You could refer to stuff on your lan with a single number, possibly within your corporate network with 2 numbers, and so on. When we need to start routing traffic off the planet just prefix another number on there - 1 for Earth, 2 for Mars, etc. A full address might take the form of:

        planet / country / ISP / customer / netw

        • It sounds like a lot of processing to me... not the kind that would swamp your PC while connecting to emule, but one that could be harmful to the backbone routers.

          A fixed length means you can design hardware specifically oriented to it, way faster than software.

          • by jamesh (87723)

            It sounds like a lot of processing to me... not the kind that would swamp your PC while connecting to emule, but one that could be harmful to the backbone routers.

            Maybe. I was kind of thinking the opposite though... the address tables would be much smaller than IPv4 because you only need to route between levels, and you could do that in hardware by examining the first few bytes of the address. IPv6 has much the same idea but with a fixed length address.

        • by ls671 (1122017) *

          While at it, why not XML based IP packets with XML parsers in the routers to route every packet ?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by bobcat7677 (561727)
      Simple: IPV6, while having more then "sufficient" address space, was poorly conceived, tries to do stuff it doesn't need to and lacks standardization of key items, such as the transition from legacy (IPV4) protocols. I for one would LOVE to see a more elegant, more complete solution that would allow us to quickly implement it and bypass the nightmare that is IPV6. It doesn't need to offer more address space, just implement that space in a way that makes it and the translation to it easy to understand and
  • Back to Usenet? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Friday February 18, 2011 @05:04PM (#35248434) Homepage
    In his novel A Fire Upon the Deep [amazon.com], Vernor Vinge's vision of a galactic internet was basically Usenet newsgroups writ large. Once the web took off, he got a lot of flak for that seemingly outdated vision, but perhaps he's right. As easy as real-time communication is nowadays to people around the globe, once the internet moves into space, the incredible latency of long-distance communications could return us to a series of groups and threads that one logs into periodically, downloads en masse, and reads locally.
    • by 0123456 (636235) on Friday February 18, 2011 @05:07PM (#35248460)

      As easy as real-time communication is nowadays to people around the globe, once the internet moves into space, the incredible latency of long-distance communications could return us to a series of groups and threads that one logs into periodically, downloads en masse, and reads locally.

      Of course given the time delays between solar systems, you could start a flame war that your great-great-grandchildren would have to finish.

      • you could start a flame war that your great-great-grandchildren would have to finish

        Oh that still happens now... metaphorically. Hell if religion was a flame war, that is, then [(great-)^N]great-grandchildren N is an element of {n | n an element of Z+}, our era, is still continuing it!

      • I'm guessing that Squid would be a must-have on the interplanetary web!

      • by Agripa (139780)

        Of course given the time delays between solar systems, you could start a flame war that your great-great-grandchildren would have to finish.

        Via relativistic collisional habitat damage?

    • Even Usenet is really pretty wedded to comparatively low latency communications...

      Anything adapted for seriously high latency will probably look a lot more like today's broadcast media: If your ping times are measured in years, waiting for an ack from the remote host, or asking for a corrupt packet to be re-sent are going to be somewhere between painful and useless. As with broadcast, the sender will just have to generate a signal that the receiver can reconstruct without further communication, and pack
      • by Carnildo (712617)

        Usenet and the underlying UUCP protocol were designed around propagation times measured in hours to days. They'll work just fine inside the solar system, while the problems with interstellar use stem from the social expectations layered on top of it rather than from the technology itself.

    • by wazoo666 (1410491)
      I am sending out pings such as this. I am expending enormous resources to do this, let me tell you — but it is that important. I've beamed direct at all the hub sites that are in range to the spinward of me. No replies. More ominous: I have tried to transmit "over the top", that is by using known sites in the Transcend that are above the catastrophe. Most such would not normally respond, Powers being what they are. But I received no replies. A silence like the Depths is there. It appears that a porti
    • by Kashell (896893)
      Interesting idea. If planets become organized enough, they could beam full copies of the planet's intranet periodically to other planets, creating the whole "internet".

      We are, after all, limited by the speed of light.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SnowCzar (726517)
      I'm convinced Linus made git so he can code on a spaceship and commit locally.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Because git is the only DVCS?

    • You forgot to mention that the transmit and receive devices in his books were the size of Jupiter, had a transmission speed of a few meg a second for the whole solar system but could transmit information faster than the speed of light. It was instantaneous transmission of information but had very limited bandwidth. As a result, it was a lot like Usenets from the 80s.
    • by Urza9814 (883915)

      Within the solar system, you're talking probably an hour at most (round-trip, unless we colonize Jupiter or something). So yea, instant communication is out, but it's still fairly quick. You could post to slashdot and have your comments appear while the story is still on the front page. I'd imagine popular content will be mirrored by service providers, unpopular content will need to be requested - provider pulls it into the mirror, drops it a while later - for the user, they try to load it, get a page sayin

      • First from MARS!

        Now seriously, the big "but" to those number is that sometimes the planet you wan to talk to is behind that big, yellow thing. Did you factor that in?

        • by Urza9814 (883915)

          Ah, no I did not. But couldn't you perhaps establish some kind of station to bounce the signal off of that wouldn't add more than a small percentage (i.e., 5 minutes or so) to the transit time?

  • ... IPV9 [ietf.org] already around. ;)

    • by Stween (322349)

      Actually, IPv9 is called TUBA. No, really [youshotthe...sman.co.uk]. And IPv7 is TP/IX. During the IP next generation discussions, Jon Postel allocated each a number. Vint surely knows this.

  • I can see the headlines now: "Botched Re-Entry Caused By Distracted Astronaut!" with the byline reading "LOL Cats Pwn NASA".
  • Interstellar Internet: http://www.analogsf.com/0607/interstellar.aspx [analogsf.com] - "One of the most original, believable, thoroughly thought-out, and utterly fascinating visions ever of what interstellar contact might really be like." â" Stanley Schmidt, Editor of Analog magazine

    "One thing led to another ⦠soon I was pondering a comm network that functioned across the light-years. And, we homo saps being a tad competitiveâ"about interstellar cyber attacks..... Herewith, a few of Lerner

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      Sandbox code is fully disclosed and fully agreed upon across the interstellar community

      Which means anyone can hack up a modified sandbox which will steall all the agent's secrets. The agent, of course, can't 'self-destruct' since I made a copy before I put it in there.

      This whole thing is just another form of DRM, and any alien species which relies on it will find its agents on Bittorrent within a few days.

      • Point 6 is also funny.... doing electronic banking with money from other planetary systems. Wow!

        Even monopoly money is worth more, at least you can use it to play monopoly or burn it to get some heat.

  • You don't need Vint Cerf to conclude this.

    If there isn't an active IETF Working Group [ietf.org] on the subject, the chances of getting a "IPv6Next" (which I think might actually be IPv9) within the next decade are pretty small.

  • ...the first interplanetary DDOS?

    • by youn (1516637)

      Theoretically possible, in practice the 1/2 hour roundtrip time to mars may make things a bit difficult and more controllable... maybe to the moon with 1 s roundtrip time

      • Even at full light speed, something as relatively close as the moon is over 2.5 seconds for minimum RTT.
  • by mbone (558574) on Friday February 18, 2011 @05:29PM (#35248754)

    Delay / Disruption Tolerant Internet (DTN) is still at the Research Group [irtf.org] stage. It's really more about replacing TCP than the Internet (UDP will work just fine in space), and has received some criticism [google.com] (pdf download), ironically mostly centered around how it breaks the end-to-end principle.

    While there is now an SIS-DTN green book [ccsds.org] (a necessary step for general deployment on space missions), and initial tests in space are positive [intersys-lab.org], these things move so slowly that I think it's going to be a while before this is generally deployed in space.

  • Of course there is incentive to work on the next generation of protocols. It's basic R&D and a drive to not sit on your laurels.

    This is not about merely having more addresses, but also in dealing with issues like dual or multi-homed routing (last I heard IPv6 dual-homing was still in progress.)

    When comparing the pace of innovation in other areas, the glacial pace of IPv4 to IPv6 is actually kind of disturbing. The fact that there is no work going on for developing what might be next is even more so.

    Co

    • by ptudor (22537)

      IPv6 dual-homing was still in progress.

      I had IPv6 BGP with PI space in late 2006, so... uh...

      I'll also add two comments concerning stagnation of technology. 1) MAC Addresses haven't changed in a long time. Yet Ethernet continues to advance, from coax to twisted pair, wireless, and fiber and from a bus to hubs then switches and now L3 switches. (although where are my end-to-end Jumbo Frames already?). A capable foundation does not hinder innovation. 2) Globally unique addresses in applications are the key. Returning the Internet to its mid-90s

      • by Bookwyrm (3535)

        You seem to miss my point. It is not about everyone having their own IP address. (Which is really kind of silly when you think about it. We have a broken system where IP address == reachability.) It's about continuing R&D and innovation. Saying "Oh, well, this is good enough! Let's stop thinking." is not a great position.

        I do not care if there are enough IPv6 addresses to last until the end of the universe. The address space is not the issue.

        Would people adopt IPv6 faster if it resulted in everyon

        • by ptudor (22537)
          I do not miss your point, I make mine that R&D advances best with a common capable foundation. Ethernet addressing is static, yet Ethernet interfaces advance. IPv4 has been static since RFC1918, yet applications on it have evolved. People will find new uses for multicast and peer-to-peer communications in IPv6. The methods behind DNS haven't changed much since the end of the global hosts file, yet new record types like SRV, AAAA, and RRSIG can arise because of the sublime framework that underlies name r
          • by Bookwyrm (3535)

            Remaining against IPv4 may be against both our interests and while adopting IPv6 may be in your (commercial) interest, it is against my long term interest because I wish to continue to see the networking technologies evolve. If everyone moves into an IPv6 network and continues to be fixated on having their own IPv6 address (and continuing to embed them into protocols (like SIP, bleah)), then it will be even harder to move on to new technologies.

            You are confusing peer-to-peer with IP addressing -- this is a

  • Personally I think we should worry about rebuilding the TCP/IP stack from the ground up, instead of worrying about anything else at the moment. At least once IPv6 is in.

    • The right time to do that was 11 years ago. Now, we need IPv6.

      About TCP, you are very much free to try something else. Replacing or upgrading that part is nowhere near as painful.

  • by Dr. Tom (23206) <tomh@nih.gov> on Friday February 18, 2011 @05:41PM (#35248872) Homepage
    I drink so much vegetable juice, IPV8
  • by cashman73 (855518) on Friday February 18, 2011 @05:48PM (#35248946) Journal
    Dear Earthling,

    Confidential Business Proposal

    Having consulted with my colleagues and based on the information gathered from the Intergalactic Spaceball Chambers Of Commerce And Industry, I have the privilege to request your assistance to transfer the sum of $47,500,000.00 (forty seven million, five hundred thousand Spacebucks) into your accounts. The above sum resulted from an over-invoiced contract, executed, commissioned and paid for about five years (5) ago by a foreign contractor. This action was however intentional and since then the fund has been in a suspense account at The Central Bank Of Planet Spaceball Apex Bank.

    We are now ready to transfer the fund intergalactically and that is where you come in. It is important to inform you that as civil servants, we are forbidden to operate a foreign account; that is why we require your assistance. The total sum will be shared as follows: 70% for us, 25% for you and 5% for local and international expenses incidental to the transfer.

    The transfer is risk free on both sides. I am an accountant with the Spaceball Galactic Energy Corporation (SGEC). If you find this proposal acceptable, we shall require the following documents:

    (a) your banker's name, telephone, account and fax numbers.
    (b) your private telephone and fax numbers —for confidentiality and easy communication.
    (c) your letter-headed paper stamped and signed.

    Alternatively we will furnish you with the text of what to type into your letter-headed paper, along with a breakdown explaining, comprehensively what we require of you. The business will take us thirty (30) Spaceball days to accomplish.

    Please reply urgently.

    Best regards

    Sgt. First Class Philip C. Asshole
    Spaceball Intergalactic Fleet
    Spaceball Galactic Energy Corporation

  • Don't forget the layered protocols: http://www.cis.udel.edu/~mills/ipin.html [udel.edu]
  • Most IPs only go up to 10 . . . so mine, which goes up to 11, is better . . .

  • With IPv6 extension headers, it's entirely possible to, without requiring a whole new protocol, create an extended form of IP address... perhaps using the extension header to contain routing information to send the packet outside of the origin solar system, and using the normal 128 bits for all local traffic.
    • by bertok (226922)

      If I'm understanding you correctly, then the eight and ninth chevrons are just packet header extensions?

  • A 960,000 millisecond ping on the sun would just time out.


  • /*
    * [...] Note that 120 sec is defined in the protocol as the maximum
    * possible RTT. I guess we'll have to use something other than TCP
    * to talk to the University of Mars.
    * PAWS allows us longer timeouts and large windows, so once implemented
    * ftp to mars will work nicely.
    */

    (Comment from an old version of tcp.c)
  • You mean we need enough IP address so every person on the planet can have a different IP address for every atom in their body?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You mean we need enough IP address so every person on the planet can have a different IP address for every atom in their body?

      IPv6 already provides that many, and much much more.

      For each person alive on the planet today, man, woman and child, there are as many IP addresses in the IPv6 Address Space as there are atoms in a metric ton of carbon.

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Friday February 18, 2011 @07:05PM (#35249654) Journal

    Humans have demonstrated time and time and time again, that they are lazy and reactionary for the most part.
    The transition to ipv6 is going to be absolutely huge, I'm sure everyone here doesn't need to be told about the complexities of it.

    As far as I'm concerned and I feel I'm probably right, once we go to ipv6, we won't see another protocol implemented in our lifetimes (I'm in my early 30's) period, nada - not gonna happen.
    The bigger the internet becomes, the older it becomes and the more devices attached, the more difficult changing the protocol is. It's already going to be a nightmare, don't expect this will get easier.
    This is like one day telling all Americans "Sorry, no more 110v - we're moving to 240v power" - it's a pretty monumental task.

    So to get to my point, if ipv6 doesn't do what we need or would 'like' it to do, sorry to say but tough shit, someone should have thought of that earlier, because it's going to be here to stay... - of course if you want to see a somewhat faster transition to ipvXX? then just wait until we are completely out of ipv6 addresses, we will then likely transition quicker... I'm sure they won't last long!

    • This is like one day telling all Americans "Sorry, no more 110v - we're moving to 240v power"

      Most North American households can already do 240 volt, 60 hertz electricity. If you look in the back of a residential electrical panel you'll generally see two bus bars. If you take a voltage reading between those bus bars (make sure the multimeter is set on volts and not amps or you'll smoke your leads) you'll get somewhere between 220-240 volts, depending on your distance from the utility transformer and various other factors. We've got, for the most part, three wires going to every outlet (lighting or r

    • by biggerboy (512438)

      "Humans have demonstrated time and time and time again, that they are lazy and reactionary for the most part."

      Humans have demonstrated time and time and time again that they spend way too much time disparaging their own kind in a fit of self-hate.

  • by monoqlith (610041) on Friday February 18, 2011 @07:36PM (#35249876)

    Speaking about Sir Tim Berners-Lee's project for 'semantic web', now called 'deep linking':

    My impression is that it's a tough slog, and it's been going for about a decade now. But Tim's been successful in the past, so I would not rule this out as a potential positive outcome, but it's a long haul.

    Yes, I suppose inventing HTTP might qualify as a 'past success.'

    Obviously it's a joke - Cerf himself has had some successes, or at least un-failures, himself, I hear.

  • by SavoWood (650474) on Friday February 18, 2011 @09:13PM (#35250790) Homepage

    I for one welcome our new InterPlanetary Internet overlords.

    Am I really going to click the Post button on this one? Ugh!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Eiri Masami hasn't invented it yet.

  • by rs79 (71822)

    Proof positive that Darth Cerf really belongs in space.

    Work is going on on v7, but we're not letting those v6 assholes that fucked everything up near it. One day you'll buy a device and it'll just work and it won't be v4 or v6.

    First to market wins. Oh and by "to market" I mean "works WITH the current network".

  • Forget about interplanetary networking, the primary use case for the Bundle protocol is peer to peer networking of mobile phones over WIFI or Bluetooth. Bypassing the telcos, ISPs, governments etc.

    If Bundle was already installed on most phones, the Egyptian (and US) governments would be unable to turn off the network.

     

  • Vint Cerf would say no to anything that did not uphold the grandiose new IPv6 design to which he has hitched his wagon, regardless of the cost to mere mortals.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis

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