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The Internet Networking Technology

Worldwide IPv6 Adoption: Where Do We Stand Today? 327

Posted by Soulskill
from the very-slightly-ahead-of-where-we-stood-several-years-ago dept.
skade88 writes "IPv4 is much like a limited natural resource; it can't last forever. The well of new IPv4 addresses is already running dry in many parts of the world. The solution to this problem, which was presented decades ago, is to switch to IPv6. With peak IPv4 far behind us, why do we still see limited IPv6 adoption? Ars takes a good look at where we are and where we are going with the future of IP addresses, the internet and you. Quoting: 'As with all technology, IPv6 gets better and cheaper over time. And just like with houses, people prefer waiting rather than buying when prices are dropping. To make matters worse, if you're the only one adopting IPv6, this buys you very little. You can only use the new protocol once the people you communicate with have upgraded as well. Worse still, you can't get rid of IPv4 until everyone you communicate with has adopted IPv6. And the pain of the shrinking IPv4 supplies versus the pain of having to upgrade equipment and software varies for different groups of Internet users. So some people want to move to IPv6 and leave IPv4 behind sooner rather than later, but others plan on sticking with IPv4 until the bitter end. As a result, we have a nasty Nash equilibrium: nobody can improve their own situation by unilaterally adopting IPv6.'"
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Worldwide IPv6 Adoption: Where Do We Stand Today?

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  • The reason why is (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    With peak IPv4 far behind us, why do we still see limited IPv6 adoption?

    The reason why is simple: because we haven't run out of IPv4 addresses yet.

    • This. You can't stick with IPv4 if you have no IPv4 address to use.
    • With peak IPv4 far behind us, why do we still see limited IPv6 adoption?

      The reason why is simple: because we haven't run out of IPv4 addresses yet.

      Close: because for the time being the costs of the transition are higher than those of maintaining the status quo.

  • by insecuritiez (606865) on Friday January 04, 2013 @04:17PM (#42479413)

    I have a native, public, non-tunneled IPv6 address at home through my non-business Comcast cable Internet service. My computer and phone automatically use IPv6 whenever available.

    I can use IPv6 at work too.

    It's already here and adoption seems to be accelerating.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      Must be nice. My ISP's DSL side is on IPv6, their cable side isn't because the company that they buy their headend connection through(rogers) still hasn't finished upgrading everything. My modem is good to go, and has been for over three years.

      • by insecuritiez (606865) on Friday January 04, 2013 @04:50PM (#42479867)

        It's very nice. I was in the process of setting up a tunnel between my home gateway and a Linode machine (Linode provides native v6) and making Linode my publicly visible exit point to the Internet. A few weeks into the project Comcast implimented v6 making my tunneling efforts redundant.

        Comcast currently allocates a /64 to each customer but they say they'll hand out shorter prefixes later.

        I currently use "privacy addressing" with my Linux machine which I do with:
        # IPv6 privacy stuff
        echo 209600 > /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/wlan0/temp_valid_lft
        echo 10800 > /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/wlan0/temp_prefered_lft
        echo 128 > /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/wlan0/max_addresses
        echo 2 > /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/wlan0/use_tempaddr

        This is mostly so that I'm trying out the most extreme end of IPv6 where I'm going through addresses quickly and have up to 128 at a time.

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Friday January 04, 2013 @04:22PM (#42479477)

    We have so many test VMs appearing and disappearing on our network that we don't bother putting them in DNS, we just give out the IP4 192.168... address for the testers and devs. I dread to think what would happen if we had to give them the line noise that is an IP6 address. Whatever other merits IP6 has, the designers REALLY didn't think it through at the manual address entry level.

    • by Aqualung812 (959532) on Friday January 04, 2013 @04:28PM (#42479559)

      the designers REALLY didn't think it through at the manual address entry level.

      Yeah, they did, and they decided that the only servers that need a manual address are DNS servers and DHCP servers (if you choose to run DHCP).
      Outside of those, the only other things that need manual addresses are routers.

      Everything else should use Dynamic DNS.

      Give me a good reason why someone shouldn't be using DNS instead of direct IP address, other than lazy programmers.

      • by gclef (96311) on Friday January 04, 2013 @04:42PM (#42479755)

        One good reason why *servers* shouldn't be using DynamicDNS? I'll give you two.

        First scenario: your server isn't responding. How do you tell the difference between a failure of the server itself and a Dynamic DNS registration failure? If you don't know it's IPv6 address, how can you tell if its fine, just not registering in DNS properly? Heck, if it's not registering properly, how do you find it at all?

        Or, more fun: the server reboots & ends up with a different dynamic IPv6 address....even if it registers the new address to its name properly, clients don't always honor DNS cache times, and will keep trying the old address for a while. You've now created an outage for no good reason.

        If you said that desktops don't need static DNS, I'd agree with you completely. But making server infrastructure totally reliant on a middle layer is asking for trouble...things'll work fine until you have a problem & need to troubleshoot. Then your reliance on an external system will bite you in the ass.

        • Multicast DNS for the win.

          • by gclef (96311)

            Multicast DNS for the win.

            ...Added complexity for the lose.

            That's the entire point: adding another layer of complexity makes troubleshooting and management harder and more likely to fail in new and surprising ways. Making that new layer different (multicast DNS rather than unicast) does not solve the problem, it just moves it somewhere else. This is not better.

            I have no problem with servers *using* multcast DNS, dynamic DNS, etc. I have a problem with *relying* on DNS as the only way to connect to a server. DNS fails. So does multic

          • by Bengie (1121981)
            I was going to say. My $30 network printer and Linux firewall can resolve local devices based on some standard broadcast name resolution. My firewall lists by device name+IP+MAC. If the local broadcast domain is working, name resolution should be working.
        • Funny thing about DNS. They solve just about as many problems as they solve in the world of IT. A double-edge sword of a solution.

        • by unixisc (2429386)
          Doesn't DHCP6 allow you to assign static, as well as dynamic addresses, in the same way that DHCP4 does?
        • by DarkOx (621550) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:17PM (#42483049) Journal

          I have this fight for a long time and some of what you say is true, but in my experience its always worked out better where my DNS rule is observed on a largish network. That is: if its not in DNS it does than it does officially not exist, that address is mine ( network admin ) to freely use as I please, and if your refer to a resource by IP directly its subject to change with minimal warning.

          A proper DNS infrastructure does not just fail ( most organizations don't have that but its a different matter ). Other 'stuff' happens all the time. Companies get acquired that happen to use your same address space, services have to be moved to different sites for one reason or another, something at some subsidiary starts causing problems on the wan and you need to know what is right away etc. A solid DNS database makes it possible to find the information you need quickly both for humans and machines, and to effect changes easily without having to chase all across your 30 site nation wide WAN to fix every the address of the time server on every box. If you are not using DNS, even in ipv4 world, everywhere you possibly can I say you are doing it WRONG. That extra layer is there to help you and give you options.

          Also even without DNS and DHCP most the time ipv6 is not going to require you to know any more bytes of an address than you do today. If you subnet properly the prefix should be predictable inside your organization. So you should still only need to communicate the last part of the address to all but the least clueful users

      • by Viol8 (599362)

        "Give me a good reason why someone shouldn't be using DNS instead of direct IP address, other than lazy programmers."

        I'll give you a number of good reasons - manpower , deadlines, simplicity. When you get a proper job instead of playing around at college you might understand.

        Oh , and programmers generally don't set up DNS. Just FYI.

        • int ip = resolve(hostname); //int ip = 192.168.0.1; connect(ip); That's really going to fuck with your deadlines?
          • by cdwiegand (2267)

            Wow.. if only it were that easy! No, you don't resolve a hostname to an IP, you resolve it to a List of IPs, some of which may be IPv4 and some of which may be IPv6.

      • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Friday January 04, 2013 @04:58PM (#42479981)

        Give me a good reason why someone shouldn't be using DNS instead of direct IP address

        Here's 4. Not trying to be a wiseass, but there are times when bypassing DNS is preferable.

        1) When you cannot trust your DNS source
        2) DNS is not working or too slow
        3) You didn't want to/need to spend $$ registering a domain
        4) Your IP changes but DNS hasn't updated yet

        • by nabsltd (1313397)

          3) You didn't want to/need to spend $$ registering a domain

          You only need to register a domain if you want it in the public DNS space.

          For something completely in-house, you can set your DNS server to be authoritative for any domain. The only caveat is that if it is a domain in the public DNS space, you won't know it. You would use this to do split DNS, so hosts resolve to the private IP address for internal clients, while the outside world sees the public IPs. Throw in some sub-domains that are only available inside (*.dev.example.com, *.stage.example.com, etc.),

      • by FridayBob (619244)

        ... Give me a good reason why someone shouldn't be using DNS instead of direct IP address, other than lazy programmers.

        From a management perspective it's a solid advantage for me to give fixed IPv6 addresses (via DHCPv6) to all of my (Linux) workstations, just as I did before and still do with IPv4. IPv6 not only allows me to access them directly via the Internet without using SSH tunnels, but fixed IP addresses in general (with both forward and reverse DNS entries) are also essential for the Kerberos authentication system that we use.

        As for whether IPv6 addresses are a pain to work with, it would seem that way if only t

    • by Trepidity (597)

      I'm not sure what else you could do for a 128-bit address. The format isn't inherently any more complex, just longer: instead of four 8-bit numbers separated by dots, it's eight 16-bit numbers separated by colons.

      If you have some kind of regularity in the addresses, there are also alternate formats you can use, if you find it more convenient, to try to make them shorter and easier to type. For example, you can omit segments that are 0, and collapse consecutive such segments, which is why you can write the l

      • by arth1 (260657) on Friday January 04, 2013 @04:48PM (#42479841) Homepage Journal

        For example, you can omit segments that are 0, and collapse consecutive such segments, which is why you can write the loopback address as ::1.

        To be fair, you can do that with IPv4 too. Using 127.1 for the loopback address or 192.168.1 for a typical NAT gw address works just fine.

    • by tatman (1076111)
      Agreed. IP4 was simple to read. just a set of number groups. And likewise, it was simple to communicate. IP6 is hex values or something (not sure whats the % is in "Reply from fe80::f9ee:eb6f:8c74:52f5%16: time1ms"). When I ping something I always turn on the IP4 switch.
      • by MajroMax (112652)
        It's probably the index of your machine's IP that received the echo reply. An IPv6-connected host will have many addresses of different scope, so some implementations use the "%" to distinguish which of your addresses has handled a connection.
      • by Fred Foobar (756957) on Friday January 04, 2013 @04:55PM (#42479941)
        That address is a link-local address. The number following the percent sign is the zone index, which specifies which network interface the address is on. If it were not there, the address may be ambiguous with multiple interfaces (imagine if two hosts on two different network segments had the same IP address; neither host can talk to the other but the machine you're on can talk to both through separate interfaces). I don't think IPv4 handles this case at all. Indeed, RFC 3927 discusses address ambiguity but provides no real solution for it. IPv6 provides a solution in the form of zone indices.
      • by unixisc (2429386)
        Simpler to read ==> shorter ==> fewer addresses ==> run out of them sooner
    • Your routing prefix is unlikely to change (first 48 bits)
      Your subnet id says the same per 'net' and only varys if you have more then one addressable network (16 bits)
      the last 64 bits are the easy part...
      type :: to compress out the 12 zeros you don't need to type then start at 1 and go up to ffff

      Just avoid automatic addressing for systems that you are going to access like servers. Everything else should use a automatic dns registration system when getting an IPv6

      ANY 128 bit address is going to have 'human' i

    • by MajroMax (112652)

      If DNS/DHCP is so difficult, then you can do exactly the same address assignment with ipv6 that you do with ipv4: give out a static /64 to each group-of-VMs, and let the testers/devs themselves pick individual machine numbers from that prefix.

      If you want to be really short, then generate an unique local prefix [wikipedia.org] (/48) for your test networks, and subdivide from there according to whatever scheme you want, like fd8a:db80:db80:building:floor::[machine]

    • by maz2331 (1104901) on Friday January 04, 2013 @04:50PM (#42479869)

      Seriously, it sounds like SOMEONE can't convert between decimal and hex.

      The addresses are easy once you get even slightly used to them, and once you memorize your /48 or /64 prefix is no more difficult than v4. 2001:123:45:67::2E/64 isn't hard. [2001:0123:0045:0067:0000:0000:0000:002E]. I have memorized our /48 and our usual scheme is to split it into /64s that then match the 3rd octet of our 192.168.x.x private range...so for example, I'd set up a host that is on 192.168.16.5 as 2001:123:45:10::5/64.

      Or even better... just let the router on the subnet autoconfigure the hosts, or setup DHCPv6 on a server.

      (Ocourse the 2001:123:45 addresses are totally made-up and fictitious... no need to give my real-world v6 netblocks on here!)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Umm... Seems you haven't understood how IPv6 addresses work. Everything starting with fd is private. So you could assign the addresses
      fd00::1
      fd00::2 ...
      to your private VMs. Quite a bit shorter than then IPv4 192.168... madness.

    • We have so many test VMs appearing and disappearing on our network that we don't bother putting them in DNS, we just give out the IP4 192.168... address for the testers and devs. I dread to think what would happen if we had to give them the line noise that is an IP6 address.

      Whatever other merits IP6 has, the designers REALLY didn't think it through at the manual address entry level.

      I know...take for example the IPv6 address of sprints public web site... It's huge...sorry I mean smaller than any possible IPv4 address.."2600::"

      I think you have a choice. You can go for large unwieldy autogenerated messes of address from SLAAC or you can manually (or via DHCP) configure easy to use IPv6 address especially if it is for an internal network.

      I do not think it is fair to assert both the idea manual configuration is required and IPv6 addresses are impossible to work with concurrently.

      If you ar

    • I dread to think what would happen if we had to give them the line noise that is an IP6 address.

      IPv6 addresses don't HAVE to look like line noise. Yes they are longer but that length gives you more freedom to maintain an addressing pattern that matches your network rather than having to pack things in a massively dense fashion. The main thing is to avoid using stateless autoconfiguration for any IP a user is likely to need to interact with.

      Having said that there is really no reason to not continue using private IPv4 for logging into boxes regardless of whether they have a v6 IP to let them access reso

    • Test VMs? Why not put them in DHCP under IPv6? Have your usual prefix, followed by something like a code range to indicate that it's a VM, and then let it cycle the numbers under DHCP6? Like if one has 2001:a:b:c:add::[hhhh] where the last word is the random number assigned to the VM, which can range from 0x1 to 0xffff?
  • I just rebuilt our monitoring system on Munin 2.0, which can deal with IPv6. Made life a lot easier, since punching holes in NAT routers and screwball port mappings went away.

    Google and Facebook are both running ipv6, and both our office and a chunk of our datacenter are on ipv6 through a he.net tunnel. Wish native ipv6 was available, but Amazon hasn't enabled it for AWS, and the Comcast ipv6 rollout is to consumers, not to business clients.

  • My FiOS ISP does not have an IPv6 address. I support it internally on my router. I imagine that the hold up is that the big guys aren't there yet. This makes sense since they have the most equipment to replace/reprogram.

    I'd actually be interested in where these guys are at. I'm sure they figured it out for businesses but I'd like an IPv6 address for my house.

    • I'd actually be interested in where these guys are at.

      I have AT&T's cheapest (read: slowest) residential DSL offering at home (it's all we need to check email and watch a little Netflix). They turned on IPv6 sometime between March (when I bought a new router) and December of 2012. No hiccups whatsoever—the only reason I even happened to notice was that I was fiddling with router's web interface because I was bored one day.

  • by bartjan (197895) <bartjan&vrielink,net> on Friday January 04, 2013 @04:35PM (#42479655) Homepage

    bartjan@ix:~$ ping6 slashdot.org
    unknown host
    bartjan@ix:~$

    Maybe about time to update this story from 2003 [slashdot.org]??

    • by gQuigs (913879)

      arstechnica.com doesn't have Native IPv6 either.

      So... what is preventing slashdot and arstechnica.com from going IPv6?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No-one at Slashdot knows very much about this technology stuff. It's more about maintaining a nerd image by wearing weird glasses.

      • At least Slashdot is very conservative what comes to technological improvements.
    • by alanw (1822) <alan@wylie.me.uk> on Friday January 04, 2013 @05:28PM (#42480435) Homepage

      I run the Firefox plugin SixOrNot [mozilla.org]. Google - a green 6. Youtube and Facebook ditto. Slashdot, a red 4. There are major sites out there running IPv6.

      I have a free tunnel [tunnelbroker.net] from Hurricane Electric [he.net]. The only issue is that Google thinks I'm in the USA, which can't be a bad thing.

      Now that there are no more IPv4 addresses available in Europe, it's in the interests of the established players to suppress IPv6 and lock out disruptive new startups: e.g. ISP's or Co-Lo's.

  • maybe we should just say "the Internet is full!" and call it a day...there's already too much crap floating around anyway!
  • older modems / routers are a issue as well and who knows what bugs are in them that will only show up with higher IPV6 use.

    How meany people are useing say the modems from there ISP that may be a few years old that does not have IPV6.

    • Then we replace the modems.
  • I recently signed up for a Xen Linux vps thru a vendor to run a mail server on, I provisioned it with Debian/squeeze, and while installing everything, I happened to notice that the apt-get sessions were talking to the Debian repos via ipv6. Was kinda startled, as I'm not used to seeing those humongous ipv6 addresses.. The vps vendor gives you at no extra charge two v4 addresses and three v6 addresses. Although I see in their blog, they are dropping the v4s to one per vps without a significant extra charge

  • Multicast? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I've been waiting for the IPV6 killer application to show its head. Until then I don’t think Joe public will know or care what IPV6 is and why they should use it.

    So I mention this here in the hopes that it will light somebodies bulb and somebody will probably correct me on this, but I always thought IPV6 included global multicast, which would make lots of new application possible. Imagine being able to stream content from your home to any number of people without the need for a costly connection. Kind

    • by tftp (111690)

      Imagine being able to stream content from your home to any number of people without the need for a costly connection.

      You'd have to do the imagining from within the prison cell :-) A copyright crime is worse than murder because when a peasant kills another peasant nobody cares; but when a peasant steals content from a corporation then the sirens start wailing, and no punishment is too high for such a crime.

      The Internet remains the Internet only for highly technical people. Everyone else is a consumer; a

      • In other words, the IP version is not a significant factor in development of new commerce over the Internet. Skype works fine over IPv4 as it is, and the browser works.

        Most of skype is dealing with endpoints who are both behind nats and threfore unable to connect directly to each other so conversations are punted unecessarily thru other users systems with better connectivity. This creates significantly higher latency, unecessarily wastes resources of multiple parties and lowers overall reliability and quality of the communication.

        With a network of peers "skype" would simply consist of an optional directory to facilitate people finding and connecting to each other.

        People

  • Unless we come up with a viable DNS RBL for ipv6, the killer app for ipv6 is going to be spam. Hey mister, wanna buy a Rolex?
    I hope someone is working on services like this. I can also imagine one heckofa bot net once we get all those soda machines and
    refrigerators online.
     

    • by KiloByte (825081)

      the killer app for ipv6 is going to be spam

      Woooh... amazing! Looks like the last non-spam piece of mail my mail server received over IPv4 was three days ago, most of legitimate mail I receive comes on IPv6. On the other hand, the last piece of spam not over IPv4 was on 2012-12-26 (from 2604:e800:184::6d0e:3a91).

      This seems to be a random fluke as it's quite rare to not get anything via gmail in three days (it was the culprit that broke the streak), but fluke or not, that's what's on the top of my logs right now.

  • It ain't working (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Alomex (148003)

    IPv6 ain't working. This should pretty much be clear to all, since it is not being widely adopted. The IPv6 proponents can down moderate those who point the flaws all they want but the facts speak for themselves.

    A more constructive approach was to take steps to facilitate its adoption, such as tunneling, the IPv6 day and the IPv6 experiment. It didn't work. Fourteen years since it has been introduced with IPv4 address space running out rapidly and still only 1% of the internet. At this point we have to be

    • Re:It ain't working (Score:4, Informative)

      by WaffleMonster (969671) on Friday January 04, 2013 @08:20PM (#42483083)

      IPv6 ain't working. This should pretty much be clear to all, since it is not being widely adopted.

      All major ISPs in US are in the process of testing and rolling it out.

      Google, Netflix, Akami, Federal government, Facebook all on IPv6.

      All major CPE vendors shipping IPv6 enabled gear.

      Perhaps you know something they don't?

      There will be a long tail and it will take forever to move enough for the plug to be yanked on IPv4. Nobody is saying RFC 801.

      A more constructive approach was to take steps to facilitate its adoption, such as tunneling, the IPv6 day and the IPv6 experiment.

      All these "steps" did was throw a wrench in the process of adoption. This is 2013 and people demand a production quality network. Tunneling does NOT provide that.

      Content is not going to deploy to a shit network with no bandwidth and crappy availability that tunneling provides.

      IPv6 day was necessary mostly to identify and fix what went wrong with the tunneling nonsense already deployed.

      still only 1% of the internet. At this point we have to believe that nothing short of a completely new protocol will succeed.

      We all get to believe what we want. I choose to believe publically available bandwidth charts showing an exponential curve and the interface statistics on my router showing ~30% of my traffic by volume is IPv6.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      It is being widely adopted. Virtually every major carrier on the planet has an adoption plan that is underway. In many Asian countries they are almost fully converted. In the USA the cell networks are converted with home / small business likely to be converted by end of 2014. Too slow yes. Not being adopted, no.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Friday January 04, 2013 @06:46PM (#42481651) Journal
    Start removing classes for use in the IPv4 arena.

    Right now, ISPs, esp. in America, are not converting because they do not need to. BUT, to speed it up, all that needs to happen is to require that 5% of the IPs be returned every year or so, starting 1 year out. That will pretty much force the situation.

    And for those that will scream that this is not right, BS. It is needed. Long needed.

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