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The Internet

US IPv6 Usage Grows To 3 Million Users 155

Posted by samzenpus
from the growing-and-growing dept.
darthcamaro writes "There is a myth that IPv6 is only for those in Asia, but that's not true. According to new data discussed this week at an IETF conference, there are more IPv6 users in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world — coming in at 3 million. From the article: 'George Michaelson, senior R&D scientist at APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre) has a reasonable idea of what the current levels are globally for IPv6 adoption, thanks to some statistical research he has been doing. In his view, IPv6 is now a reality in terms of adoption. "I think you're used to us standing up and saying 'woe is me, woe is me, v6 isn't happening,'" George Michaelson, senior R&D scientist at APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Centre) said. "But it is actually happening, these are not trivial numbers of people that are now using IPv6 on a routine basis."'"
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US IPv6 Usage Grows To 3 Million Users

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  • by arnoldo.j.nunez (1300907) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:41PM (#40862775)
    As of June 2012, I noticed I had an IPV6 IP address. The MAC address of my wireless card was used in the actual IPV6 address itself. However, I am not sure what I can really do with this. The IPV6 address is more cumbersome to remember. Can I reasonably expect any tangible benefits as a guy who doesn't really do much IT related activities (i.e. web surfing, email, etc.)?
    • I would just be lucky you have an IPV6 address, very surprised AT&T are that far forward in giving ordinary users one. Kudos to them I guess.
    • by fm6 (162816) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:51PM (#40862879) Homepage Journal

      Why do you need to remember it at all? I certainly don't have any of my IP addresses memorized. When I need it, I usually end up cutting and pasting.

      The whole point of this DNS thing is that you're not supposed to need to IP address day-to-day. Anything else is sloppy administration.

      • by Kergan (780543)

        You're obviously not managing a network...

        • by fm6 (162816)

          Slashdot needs a "sniping": downmod for people who write a nasty rebuttal without bothering to explain why they disagree. In this case, you might consider sharing why it's so difficult to manage a network so that nobody needs to know IP addresses.

          • by Zuriel (1760072)

            Oh, the DNS server isn't working properly? I'll just SSH in and fix it. By connecting to it over the network. Using DNS.

            Relying on DNS works fine... until it stops working fine, due to software bugs or hardware failure or whatever. Being able to remember the IP address of your gateway, DNS server, web server, etc off the top of your head doesn't sound very useful, but network admins don't need to be told that they'll miss it.

            • by fm6 (162816)

              Fine, in emergencies the IP address is something you need to know. But recall that I said "day to day use". We're talking about admins that just use IP addresses for everything because it's too much trouble to assign names.

              I'd actually argue that the admin shouldn't be memorizing this stuff, even with IPv4. If it's only recorded in somebody's head, information has a way of not being available when people need it.

            • by bbn (172659) <baldur.norddahl@gmail.com> on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:40PM (#40864141)

              The IP address of your gateway is always fe80::%eth0. Like this:

              ~$ ping6 -c1 fe80::%eth0
              PING fe80::%eth0(fe80::) 56 data bytes
              64 bytes from fe80::216:3eff:fe36:5f25: icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.798 ms

              --- fe80::%eth0 ping statistics ---
              1 packets transmitted, 1 received, 0% packet loss, time 0ms
              rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.798/0.798/0.798/0.000 ms

              (slightly different syntax on windows)

              Not that hard eh?

              And nothing stops you from assigning easy to remember addresses to your stuff. In fact since you have little to no constraints, you can make up schemes to your liking. Your webserver could be 2001:db8:531::1. Your decide the ::1 part. You quickly learn that first three parts as it never changes it is "you". The prefix is also usually not any longer than a IPv4 address.

              • by pspahn (1175617)

                Congrats on your most recent +5 comment.

                I don't deal with IP6 yet, but I do know that the day is coming.... likely to be determined by the powers at Century Link. I will never remember the specifics of your post, but I will remember that there are "localhost" type defaults and my Google search time will be reduced from 10 minutes to 1 minute.

                Time is money and money is beer... so I guess I owe you a cold one. Swing by Denver (GABF is coming in October) to collect.

            • by dissy (172727) on Friday August 03, 2012 @12:41AM (#40864737)

              Why don't you have the IP entered in your connection bookmark? Both puTTY and SecurCRT store connection profiles, where you can put the IP instead of hostname for critical servers.

              Bash has aliases and shell scripts to call ssh. Even windows CLI has batch scripts.
              If "ssh ns1" doesn't resolve, I can run "~/.ssh/ns1.sh" easily enough, which contains the "ssh <ip>" command.

              Also if your DNS regularly goes down, I'd guess remembering addresses is the least of your network troubles.

              You can already use the alias fe80::%eth0 for your gateway. Best part is you only need to remember that single address, unlike IPv4 which requires me remembering many different "x.x.x.1" addresses used as the gateways right now.

              You can even organize it identically to your IPv4 layout. You still only need to really remember 1-2 numbers that will change depending if you use a /24 or /16, and a single prefix that never changes.
              Anyone managing larger than a /16 is already going to have the entire thing documented in a management system or at worse a wiki. Excel will not cut it at that size.
              Basically put, if you have an IPv4 /12 or larger network, you already have software that manages the addresses for you. Nothing will change there with IPv6.

              At home I have a /24. That means 3 octets are assigned and fixed already. Gives 253 usable addresses. Most of your IPv6 address will also be assigned.
              Instead of x.x.x.1 you have yyyy::1
              Instead of x.x.x.10 you have yyyy::10
              Instead of x.x.x.100 you have yyyy::100
              See the pattern here?

              You can even avoid using the hex digits A-F and stick to 0-9 only.
              Sure, per "group" you only get 9999 IPs instead of 65534 IPs, but either is better than 253 or less.

              At work I manage a /16. That means 2 octets are fixed. I grouped that into 255 blocks of roughly 253 addresses each. Each block is a logical division.
              x.x.0.y is routers/switches. x.x.1.y is servers. x.x.4.y are static IPs, and x.x.5.y are dynamic ones.
              Instead, you can use yyyy::1:z and yyyy::2:z and so on. .

              The best part, my IPv4 and IPv6 suffixes pretty much match for my "dot zero" infrastructure and "dot one" servers blocks. Learning the IPv6 prefix took no longer than remembering a brand new /28 allocated from an ISP.

              Your fixed prefix will likely be 8 hex characters. Even a chimp can memorize 8 hex numbers they work with every day :P

              The absolute worst situation is going to be having a post-it note in your wallet/purse with the prefixes on it... Pretty much what most of us network admins do anyway for any IPs assigned by upstream providers or other 3rd parties.

              I have my entire internal /16 memorized fully. It's the 10ish tiny /29 and smaller blocks from my 4 ISPs that are the bitch to remember! Growing my internal IP blocks with IPv6 took literally less than one full day to memorize the prefix. Just because I waste most of my /64 allocation by padding it with zeros on the left doesn't matter now.
              Once I get more than 20k network devices, they will be added slowly over time just like right now. You only have to learn new subnets individually as you add them in at the time they are created, and IPv6 will not change that.

            • i have this high tech piece of software on my pc called notepad...
        • by desertfool (21262)

          Amen. I know IP addresses of many things across my network. Not going to happen when we go to v6.

          • by fm6 (162816)

            Explain to me why you need to know all those IP addresses. Is there a good reason these nodes don't have names?

            The fact that IPv6 addresses aren't suitable for casual use would seem to be a good thing, in your case, since your IT people will be forced to take the time to assign names to everything — which they should do anyway.

            • by desertfool (21262)

              I would love to configure a DNS server on my router by hostname. Is there a way to do that?

              • I thought that was something that multicast DNS with DNS-based service discovery was supposed to solve.
              • by fm6 (162816)

                I didn't say you never need IP addresses. I said that day-to-day users shouldn't need them. If you need to enter an IP address every time you access a node, the node doesn't have a DNS name. Why not?

          • by bbn (172659)

            You just need to configure your network with DHCPv6 instead of autoconf. Or use static configuration. Then you are free to name your stuff prefix::1, ::2, ::3 and so on. Or any other scheme.

          • heh, if you're that worried about it just nat your network
          • {vi,emacs} /etc/hosts
            Problem solved, no need to remember.
          • by Alioth (221270)

            Why not? Your prefix won't be something that changes, it'll be the same across the network - easy to remember. I can remember our prefix.

            For things that don't use stateless autoconfiguration (i.e. the stuff you need to know the IP address of on your network, just in case you're having DNS problems), you can give it a memorable address. The last bit of the IPv6 address being "::dead:beef" or "::baad:f00d" or "::b00b:l355" or even just "::2" is no harder to remember than the last octet of an IPv4 address.

        • by neonmonk (467567)

          I concur.

          However, I don't think IPv4 is going anywhere for internal network management. I see no reason for internal servers to be using IPv6.

          • by Jeremi (14640)

            I see no reason for internal servers to be using IPv6.

            You're probably right, but I have to say that fe80::foo link-local addresses are really handy for auto-configuring devices on a LAN, since they are guaranteed unique and also guaranteed never to change. The IPv4 equivalent (169.254.*.* self-assigned addresses) is a can of worms by comparison.

    • Probably not, for you. For companies that host complex websites, and that go through complex load balancing and proxy setups, it's invaluable for assigning SSL keys to particular IP addresses and using IP based virtual hosting instead. This solves an enormous number of complex and subtle configuration conflicts with web servers and load balancers.

    • Is it only your router that has an IPv6 address (acting as an IPv4-IPv6 bridge), or is it actually giving all the internal devices public IPv6 addresses?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I suspect you're just seeing a link local address, like fe80::f6ce:46ff:fe30:12c5. This isn't routable. It's much like a 169.254.x.x link local address. You can talk to other nodes on your wireless, but nothing beyond a router.

      Most likely you will have to replace your CPE device(s). Your DSL modem and/or your router (if they're two different devices) will have to be replaced as the manufacturer doesn't support it anymore and won't release an update to add IPv6 support.

      This is the case for Comcast - you

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by SammyIAm (1348279)
        Actually, I can confirm that at least with AT&T's U-Verse service that I've had a routable IPv6 address since probably February or March. They'e been rather quiet about the roll-out (I found out through some forums), but it seems to be legitimate.
        • by desertfool (21262)

          I still can't get a v6 address capable circuit for my testlab at work from at&t, without buying their 'managed service' along with it.

          I'd rather spoon out my own guts that let at&t manage any part of my network. So not happening yet.

    • by Malf.me (2697131)

      Back in April of 2012 I similarly randomly discovered I had IPv6 support. For me it was via RCN. Thanks to a friend's SSH server with a misconfigured fail2ban install and several failed login attempts over IPv4 I found myself connected over IPv6.

      To answer your question I have yet to find a truly practical benefit. At the moment you can view a few IPv6-only test sites but that's about it for normal users.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      If you mac address was being used, then likely you are auto-configuring and you have a whole /64. What you can do with it is start having functioning end to end services between the various internet enabled devices in your house and the outside world.

    • by obscuro (1448733)
      Yes, when you connect to other IPV6 enabled parties you're session is more secure and robust.
    • by GoRK (10018)

      AT&T is not issuing you an IPv6 on your residential DSL. I know this because they don't do it. Your computer is generating an IPv6 link local address. Depending on your router and a couple of other factors, you may (probably can) access IPv6 sites using a public 6to4 gateway.

      The only advantage to you is that you at least have the ability to access Internet resources that are only available via ipv6, but currently I would imagine that there are probably not any that are particularly relevant to you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:47PM (#40862839)

    Slashdot has no IPv6. Boo, hiss. Some nerd website you are.

    host www.slashdot.org
    www.slashdot.org has address 216.34.181.48

    • I agree. I've been disappointed in Slashdot over this for years. I've had a publicly routable IPv6 address since 2002 or so. :-)

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I agree. I've been disappointed in Slashdot over this for years. I've had a publicly routable IPv6 address since 2002 or so. :-)

        Lots of us have had IPv6 addresses since 2002::/16 :-)

        • Yeah. :-) Those are easy to get. When I lived in MN I had a very forward thinking ISP and had an IPv6 address from the experimental (I think 3ffe::/16) range that was tunneled to a server they ran.

    • by artor3 (1344997) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @08:36PM (#40863285)

      You mean to tell me that an almost-entirely text site with no unicode support is slow to adopt new standards?!

    • by Teresita (982888)
      When my Win98SE doesn't surf anymore because it can't handle the extra two bytes, maybe I'll care.
    • by Desler (1608317)

      And no Unicode support either.

    • by bertok (226922)

      They're in good company, like: www.nortel.com, www.juniper.com, www.alcatel-lucent.com

      If some of the world's biggest network equipment manufacturers don't have IPv6 enabled, why would you expect a mere "news" site to be any better?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Nortel is bankrupt, Juniper is juniper.net (with IPv6 support), and ipv6.alcatel-lucent.com works, although not ipv6 for www.alcatel-lucent.com

    • by bbn (172659) <baldur.norddahl@gmail.com> on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:54PM (#40864233)

      You just need to enter this into your /etc/hosts file:

      2001:778:0:ffff:64::216.34.181.48 slashdot.org

      Then slashdot.org is IPv6 enabled:

      baldur@neaira:~$ curl -v -s http://slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org] | head
      * About to connect() to slashdot.org port 80 (#0)
      * Trying 2001:778:0:ffff:64:0:d822:b530... connected
      > GET / HTTP/1.1
      > User-Agent: curl/7.22.0 (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu) libcurl/7.22.0 OpenSSL/1.0.1 zlib/1.2.3.4 libidn/1.23 librtmp/2.3
      > Host: slashdot.org
      > Accept: */*
      >
      http://slashdot.org/slashdot.xrds
        Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
        Content-Length: 100410
        Date: Fri, 03 Aug 2012 02:52:51 GMT
        X-Varnish: 830176495 830176249
        Age: 15
        Connection: keep-alive ...

      • I didn't know something like that existed. According to 'whois', it's NAT64 related (which I also didn't know existed), but I can't find any documentation for the 2001:778::/24 prefix with Google.

        • by bbn (172659)

          You will find it here: http://ipv6.lt/nat64_en.php [ipv6.lt]

          It is not some official prefix. Anyone can run a NAT64 server. In this case it is some university in Lithuania that has a public accessible NAT64 server with the prefix 2001:778:0:ffff:64::/96.

          Using a public NAT64 is fine for testing but you should not use it for your production setup. However setting up your own is trivial.

          If the slashdot team thinks it is too hard or too much work or their hosting provider does not support IPv6, they could install NAT64 on

  • Verizon 4G (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:52PM (#40862889)
    A large portion of the 3 million are probably Verizon 4G devices.

    We had to upgrade one of the software packages we use solely because it logs IP addresses of web site visitors and it was crashing every time someone visited from a Verizon 4G smartphone.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      AT&T U-verse and Comcast are the biggest IPv6 providers in the US.

  • Virgin mobile is sprint. if phones are getting them then 3M would seem very low.

  • by hackertarget (1265522) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @07:56PM (#40862921) Homepage
    I did this analysis of the Alexa Top 1 million before World IPv6 day.
    * 1.1% of sites in the top 1 million had AAAA records
    * Only 4 of the top 50 tech companies websites were IPv6 capable

    http://hackertarget.com/ipv6-in-top-sites-infographic/ [hackertarget.com]

    Post World IPv6 day version to be released soon.
    • by ledow (319597)

      Yep. And this Slashdot and a host of other "for the geeks" websites don't support it or publish AAAA records on their main domains AT ALL.

      It doesn't take that long. My servers are all serving IPv6 content. I don't see anyone, not because nobody support IPv6, but because nobody is talking it, because no websites offer service over it. Hell, even Google play games with IPv6 where you have to be one of their "favoured" ISP's that has been certified as working properly.

      When even 10% of websites publish work

  • by fm6 (162816)

    I've never heard this "Asia myth" and I find it hard to understand why anybody thinks IPv6 is not for the Gweilo. Because lots of Asians are signing on and all the big address blocks are taken? First off, IP address depletion is a problem everywhere and it doesn't make sense for Western ISPs to wait until the last minute to switch over. Though I guess many Asian ISP startups have decided it makes sense to leapfrog over IPv4.

    The second point is that IPv6 isn't just about a bigger address space. That's certai

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      I think asia myth is a bit of a misnomer. Rather, it's had faster and a larger adoption because in some places the infrastructure was less mature, using either more current, or only a previous generation which could either be upgraded, or shuffled around reducing overhead costs. Compared to here, which has a lot of overhead costs for some ISP's, meaning some are all bent out of shape waiting, and waiting some more to do the upgrades. Heck my ISP(Teksavvy) has IPv6 for DSL, but not for cable, because the c

    • by Kergan (780543)

      Simple... Half of the available IPv4 blocks are reserved for the US, over half of the world's population is in Asia, they're adopting cell phones at a rate of a new AT&T-sized carrier each year (chew on that...), and many of them are getting a smartphone as their first personal Internet device. Not to mention countries like Korea where everyone and his dog enjoys super fast broadband.

    • by desertfool (21262)

      I am holding off putting v6 in the network I manage because there is a severe lack of feature parity with v4. Sure, some of the stuff runs in software, but until the routers and switches actually start running the stuff in hardware and have all the features that are available with v4, then maybe we'll put it in.

      Yes, we are putting in some workarounds to allow v6 only clients to get to our external resources. But even then, their ISP's are doing some 6to4 NAT to allow their customers to get to things like, I

      • by fm6 (162816)

        Now, that brings back painful memories. I used to work at Sun, and I kept suggesting that the IPMI servers that were embedded in all our servers support IPv6. "No, not until our customers start asking for it." And of course the customers aren't asking for it because it's not widely supported. A vicious cycle.

  • 3 million IPv6 switchers (0.1% of the 4 billion+ available IPv4 addresses) is a meaningful number? Please wake me up when it's a few dozen millions.

    On a side hote, does anyone know how many IP addresses major US IT firms and carriers manage combined? Isn't that more than 3 million IP addresses between them?

  • Well that was interesting. I loaded this page and started reading. As I mused about how I probably can't get IPv6 with my AT&T DSL (modem doesn't seem to support it), the the doorbell rang. It was an AT&T rep pushing their fiber-optic package.

    Apparently I can't get Internet-only fiber service; I'd need to pay for phone or TV as well. :-(

  • Well as long as we are doing an IPv6 story. Anyone have any good gossip and / or confirmed information about when Verizon is moving Fios or any plans or...?

  • by WML MUNSON (895262) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:13PM (#40863953)
    The real power of IPv6 is that it allows us to eliminate NAT. Because of the size of the IPv6 address pool, every mobile device can have a publicly routable address and thus function as a server.

    Facebook was originally developed and hosted in a college dorm room. With IPv6, the next "big thing" could be developed and hosted in someone's pocket.
    • Na all those home connections will still be blocking ports and disallowing server via TOS.

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      The real power of IPv6 is that it allows us to eliminate NAT.

      Which is a bad idea for home users.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Home users will still have firewalls, only this time they will be real rather than imaginary and only requiring a UDP tunnel to bypass. Things like Skype create vast paths in a NAT based network that go back to various machines. NAT creates a perception of protection without any reality.

        • by Dan541 (1032000)

          Home users will still have firewalls,.

          Home users don't have firewalls now, we can't assume that's going to change with IPv6.

          Worst offenders for disabling firewalls seem to be gamers. Then there people still running XP without any service packs, the Outlook Express types who know nothing but manage to just get by.

          • by Alioth (221270)

            If they are running XP without service packs, that's OK - they won't have IPv6 anyway.

      • The real power of IPv6 is that it allows us to eliminate NAT.

        Which is a bad idea for home users.

        Umm, why?

  • by dskoll (99328) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:33PM (#40864105)

    We (http://www.roaringpenguin.com/) turned on IPv6 for World IPv6 Day and I'm quite surprised by how much IPv6 traffic we see:

    awk '{print $1}' access-2012-08-01 | grep -c ':'
    1298

    awk '{print $1}' access-2012-08-01 | grep -v -c ':'
    16192

    That's about 8% of the hits on our site, which is about eight times what I expected.

    • Ah, it's not all roses. A lot of the IPv6 hits are things like this:

      2403:1400:1:2:8185:895b:7f27:4318 - - [01/Aug/2012:14:00:30 -0400] "GET / HTTP/1.1" 200 9763 "-" "OpenNMS PageSequenceMonitor (Service name: HTTP-v6)"

      2001:8a0:2106:ff:213:13:29:205 - - [31/Jul/2012:15:20:37 -0400] "HEAD / HTTP/1.1" 200 - "-" "curl/7.18.2 (i486-pc-linux-gnu) libcurl/7.18.2 OpenSSL/0.9.8g zlib/1.2.3.3 libidn/1.8 libssh2/0.18"

      The number of "real" IPv6 hits seems depressingly low.

  • Nearly every phone (Score:4, Informative)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @10:49PM (#40864201) Journal
    Nearly every phone is running IPv6 already. Do an 'adb shell ifconfig' or 'adb shell netstat' on an android phone and you'll see some IPv6 addresses pop up. (Actually I'm not sure about iPhone, I'll check it tomorrow when I get to work).
    • by swillden (191260)

      What's the first piece of the address? Every IPv6-capable TCP stack has a link-local fe80 address, but that doesn't mean you can use it for anything. What's more interesting is if they have an address in a usable region of the IPv6 address space.

      Hmm, I just checked on my Galaxy Nexus (on Verizon -- 3G at the moment) and it has an address beginning with 2600:100e, which is in an assigned, globally-routable unicast address space. Cool! I notice that I can't ping it, though. Of course it's probably fire

      • I'm not sure what it's used for, I first noticed it using 'netstat,' which will let you know if it is currently being used for something.
  • by sandytaru (1158959) on Thursday August 02, 2012 @11:35PM (#40864455) Journal
    We recently had to move a client over to IPv6 faster than intended because we couldn't get a block of clean IPv4 static addresses from the ISP. That problem is only going to get worse over time.
    • We recently had to move a client over to IPv6 faster than intended because we couldn't get a block of clean IPv4 static addresses from the ISP. That problem is only going to get worse over time.

      Meanwhile, I have the opposite problem with Eclipse internet. One of my customers needed a new internet connection (we're talking 100Mbps leased line, not a poxy ADSL), so we recommended they check the prospective ISPs supported IPv6. "Yes, we support it " says Eclipse, so they went with them. When it actually got installed, Eclipse sent through the IPv4 details, so I replied asking for the IPv6 details too... they replied saying they didn't offer IPv6 to customers yet. When pressed further, they said

  • According to new data discussed this week at an IETF conference, there are more IPv6 users in the U.S than anywhere else in the world

    Ooh, aah. What does that mean, then? In case anyone hadn't noticed, the U.S. is pretty big among countries. From the more useful article:

    PNIC's global survey as of August 1st has IPv6 penetration in the U.S at 1.35 percent.

    Romania currently tops the APNIC list at 8.73 percent

    So yeah, go America. You're only doing 6.5x worse than Romania on this one.

  • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Friday August 03, 2012 @08:31AM (#40866605) Journal
    One of the biggest French DSL provider, Free Telecom, has IPv6 by default and there are more than 5 millions users here. I don't see how the article's premise could be true.

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