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Networking The Internet

The IPv4 Internet Hiccups 248

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-it-ain't-broke,-don't-negligently-let-it-break dept.
New submitter pla writes: Due to a new set of routes published yesterday, the internet has effectively undergone a schism. All routers with a TCAM allocation of 512k (or less), in particular Cisco Catalyst 6500 and 7600's, have started randomly forgetting portions of the internet. 'Cisco also warned its customers in May that this BGP problem was coming and that, in particular, a number of routers and networking products would be affected. There are workarounds, and, of course the equipment could have been replaced. But, in all too many cases this was not done. ... Unfortunately, we can expect more hiccups on the Internet as ISPs continue to deal with the BGP problem." Is it time to switch to all IPv6 yet?
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The IPv4 Internet Hiccups

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  • hmmmmm (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Surely 512k ought to be enough for any router?

  • Yes, Please (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jfdavis668 (1414919) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:20AM (#47661967)
    We changed all our systems over time to handle this great IPv6 change, and haven't used IPv6 yet. Our service provider doesn't even offer it. Come on, some of us are more than ready. We will probably have failures, because it hasn't been truly tested, but we are far more ready than we were for Y2K.
    • by CastrTroy (595695) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:32AM (#47662011) Homepage
      And home users aren't even close to getting on board. Most people's PCs and other devices will handle IPV6 just fine. Many new home routers are ready but a lot of people haven't bought a router in years, and their old one can't handle IPV6. And at least where I am, there aren't any home ISPs who even have IPV6 on the roadmap.
      • Re:Yes, Please (Score:5, Insightful)

        by NotDrWho (3543773) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:56AM (#47662125)

        Many new home routers are ready but a lot of people haven't bought a router in years

        So? Most people hadn't bought a broadband router at all 15 years ago. Most people hadn't bought a wireless router 10 years ago. People don't buy until you give them an incentive. And until you man up and tell people "Look, you have a year to buy an IPv6 router or get one from your ISP, or we're cutting you off" no one has any incentive to get off their fat asses and do what needs to be done to move us ahead.

        If we had continued to keep the automobile speed limit at 10 mph year-after-year because a few lazy old farts refused to give up their goddamned horses and buggies, we'd still be driving around today at 10 mph.

        • Most people don't need to drive more than 10 mph in their driveway. And most people don't need router technology in their home that's newer than 10 years old.

          It's the dilemma of the marketers. Cisco says 'buy new stuff.' News at seven.

          • by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @09:44AM (#47662885) Homepage Journal

            And most people don't need router technology in their home that's newer than 10 years old.

            Once their OS is told that www.google.com has internet address 2607:f8b0:4009:805::1010, they sure do.
            Or once their ISP switches to IPv6.

            What's sad is that slashdot.org does not have an AAAA address.
            News for whom?
            Stuff that what?

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by BitZtream (692029)

          If we had continued to keep the automobile speed limit at 10 mph year-after-year because a few lazy old farts refused to give up their goddamned horses and buggies, we'd still be driving around today at 10 mph.

          19 mph, because no one pulls you over for doing 9 over, but 10? You're in the pen!

        • by Ichijo (607641)

          If we had continued to keep the automobile speed limit at 10 mph year-after-year because a few lazy old farts refused to give up their goddamned horses and buggies, we'd still be driving around today at 10 mph.

          And there would be much less carnage on the streets.

          I hope that in 10-20 years when driverless cars have proliferated, that the safety of our streets will be back up to where it was a century ago.

          • by mjwalshe (1680392)
            you know back than there was a huge number of horse related accidents - horse riding is a very dangerous sport (not to mention the health hazards of horse poop)
        • by westlake (615356)

          If we had continued to keep the automobile speed limit at 10 mph year-after-year because a few lazy old farts refused to give up their goddamned horses and buggies, we'd still be driving around today at 10 mph.

          Bad car analogy time.

          The problem wasn't the horse and buggy.

          The problem was the expense of paving roads, replacing bridges and so on.

          The problem was that the funding, construction and maintenance of roads and bridges was considered a local responsibility ---- down to the township level or below.

          The "last mile" problem in its primal form.

          It was never so politically simple as drawing a line between A and B and saying that this what we need to do.

        • by Bengie (1121981)
          Don't worry, that 10 year old router won't be able to support the 100mb+ speeds of more current ISPs. When they speed test and get 15mb and wonder why, they will eventually purchase a new router that will support IPv6.
          • by gbjbaanb (229885)

            then maybe that's it - when the option comes to upgrade to a superfast fibre connection, you should be getting a IPv6 capable router at the same time. Generally the cheapass routers given away with home broadband can't even do fibre speeds, let alone have the fibre connections.

            I'd have thought its an opportunity for ISPs to sell more stuff "upgrade to the new internet, faster and more reliable etc", but no - they still drag their heels and don't offer IPv6 at all. Mine is *still* doing a trial, going on for

        • Re:Yes, Please (Score:5, Insightful)

          by orgelspieler (865795) <w0lfie.mac@com> on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @11:42AM (#47663867) Journal
          I think porn is the obvious solution here. Just get the major porn sites to require IPv6, and the problem will solve itself.
          • if that happened, IPv6 would be made illegal in the US, with an exception for law enforcement and gov't officials.

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        WiFi routers get replaced fairly regularly because the cheap ones most people buy have some crappy component in them that starts to degrade over time until their wifi becomes really crappy to use.

        Unless you pay a lot for quality gear, or you get lucky, 5 years is a long time for a consumer/home user WAP to last. If you see a Dlink or Linksys WAP thats 5 years old and still works well, you're indeed lucky.

        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:02AM (#47663039)

          Not the fact that wifi routers degrade, you are totally right about that, but that people will replace them. I'm amazed at how shitty someone's Internet can be and they have an "Oh well, whatever," attitude about it.

          A good example near and dear to me is my parents. They moved in to their current place about 7 years ago and got a cheapass Linksys router to handle their NAT and WiFi. It has been giving them enough grief for me to hear about it for at least 3 years. They are not poor, a new router is not a big deal, yet they didn't get one. So I got tired of it, and also had an easy solution: When they were visiting me this June I upgraded my WAP to a new 802.11ac one and gave them my old one, which was working great.

          They still haven't installed it. It's not like they don't have time, mom is retired and dad is semi-retired, it's not like it is hard, it is much simpler to set up than their old model and they can always call me. They just haven't bothered. Their router acts up, they go reset it, and don't bother to replace it.

          Another somewhat related example would be a friend of mine. He's a young guy, under 30, and quite technically savvy. He's complained to me that the Internet at his house is not meeting advertised speeds, going quite well below it. Strange, since we are both on the same ISP, and live only a couple miles from each other and my experience has been that they always are right around max. I inquire a bit more and find out he still has a DOCSIS 2 modem. Ahh ok, well that is probably the issue. Though his connection is of a speed that a single DOCSIS channel can handle (25mbps), that modem has one one channel to choose from and it could well be too loaded down by other people on the segment. So my recommendation was to get a DOCSIS 3 modem. An 8x4 modem that is compatible can be had for like $80. That should solve any speed issues since now there's a bunch of channels to choose from, and will be compatible when they bump the speeds in the future.

          He didn't want to spend the money, and so just complains occasionally about the speed.

          For whatever reason, there are more than a few people who will just use old, failing, technology and bitch about it rather than fix the issue.

        • by djsmiley (752149)

          Of course Wifi router is the only thing at home that needs support for ipv6 right?

          Hell, DS's don't even support WPA ffs.

      • by Russ1642 (1087959)

        Home routers fail after a few years anyway so most home users are probably IPV6 ready.

        • Home users are on IPv6 because it has been enabled by default since at least Windows Vista. That doesn't mean that their internet connection can handle it as the providers are more interested in finding new ways of throttling traffic and extorting money out of service providers to bother with making improvements to their networks that most customers won't notice and haven't asked for.
        • by Dishevel (1105119)
          My home router is a computer that can not run the apps I want anymore and a few nice network cards.
      • by dbIII (701233)

        Many new home routers are ready but a lot of people haven't bought a router in years

        When they or their kids discover bittorrent or Facebook jumps the shark in the number of connections per page even more than it has they'll find that the net just will not behave as nicely for them anymore with their old router that wasn't designed to be hit that hard. When they get their new cheap and nasty bottom of the range Chinese device they'll find it can both vastly outperform their old thing and later it will handl

      • by Lord Crc (151920)

        My ISP supports IPv6, my router supposedly supports IPv6 (Asus RT-N66U), I can see the router getting an IPv6 address from my ISP, I can see my PC getting an IPv6 address from my router yet when I test it out on the various "do I have IPv6" pages it's failing.

        After spending a couple of hours mucking around I gave up. I'll deal with it when it matters. Hopefully it's less painful then.

        • by Scutter (18425)

          That's been my exact experience. IPv6 is supposed to be dead simple (compared to IPv4) for home users. I am definitely not a home user and I still can't get it working with my ISP.

      • I actually bought a new router within the last year. A "nice" Buffalo model with DD-WRT built in. Only to find out DD-WRT doesn't support native IPv6 (which my old, faulty NetGear did, go figure). They just support Toredo or other tunneled IPv6 solutions.

        Man, was I disappointed.

      • And home users aren't even close to getting on board. Most people's PCs and other devices will handle IPV6 just fine.

        No. While most new routers have some ipv6 capability, most new routers are not "ipv6 ready". It is lack of complete ipv6 support in routers that is preventing widespread adoption.

    • To some degree obviously, there is a lack of incentives for ISPs to change - if they still have enough addresses for themselves, then switching to IPv6 is only costs, not benefits.

      Maybe some of the larger sites, like youtube, facebook, wikipedia should have a meeting to discuss the switch-over and then start shaping IPv4 traffic - just reduce capacity on IPv4 by 5% every month and see how long it will be, before ISPs will lose customers if they DON'T switch to IPv6...

      • ISPs have no competition, but Youtube, Facebook and Wikipedia do. The only thing those sites would do is shoot themselves in the foot while trying to force an immovable object to bend to their will. Lobbying the FCC on the other hand, that could actually affect change. It would be in the best interest of everyone (excluding short term investors in the various ISPs), with networking equipment manufacturers poised to win the biggest. I think it's all moot though, as Comcast is reportedly very far into the
        • by Dishevel (1105119)

          Lobbying the FCC on the other hand, that could actually affect change. It would be in the best interest of everyone (excluding short term investors in the various ISPs), with networking equipment manufacturers poised to win the biggest

          You know I was just talking with the wife last night about how of all the government agencies the FCC has always listened to the people and done the right thing,

          The only truth there is the really surprising one. A /.er with a wife.

          • by arth1 (260657)

            The only truth there is the really surprising one. A /.er with a wife.

            Wives are like PCs. If you need one, you need several. And you can always hack someone else's to use.

      • by Bengie (1121981)
        New IP rules are going into affect where you must PROVE every year that you need your IP addresses, otherwise they will be forcefully reclaimed. Transfer of IP address will now be charged $5 per address. They're going to start ramping up IPv4 costs to encourage ISPs to switch.

        Imagine if your business suddenly lost internet connectivity because your IP blocks have been reclaimed. You're going to be down until you can find an alternative solution. Enjoy.
    • If they can't hear/speak IPv6, then the Internet is going to feel like a very big empty room. Everyone needs to change to the new protocol. Everywhere. And IPv4 still has to work. Everywhere.

    • We changed all our systems over time to handle this great IPv6 change, and haven't used IPv6 yet

      You might have, but many of those systems still set to default to 512K routes also don't have IPv6 in ASIC, only in software on the anemic CPU. This will improve, but today shows us that not everybody is running the latest gear.

      (not that IPv6 fixes this problem, but to the larger question)

  • There's still plenty of time to postpone that. Not until the last /2 is sold will I start to worry. And can't we start using a few 127.x.x.x? Do we really need 16 million addresses for testing?

    /sarcasm
    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Some of us need a lot of self reflection :/

    • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @10:05AM (#47663063)

      If it weren't for the stupidity of OS and IP stack authors, we'd be able to use the 240.0.0.0 - 255.255.255.254 addresses.

      However, most of them refuse to route to those addresses because they're "Reserved for Future use."

      Apparently no one stopped to think that blocking routing to those addresses would stop them from being used in the future because people insist on using older technology.

  • by cardpuncher (713057) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:43AM (#47662055)

    This isn't really to do with BGP or IPv4 as such, it's an inherent problem in the way "The Internet" regards addresses.

    You might be able to get some efficiencies in IPv6 by incorporating formerly-unrelated address allocations under a single prefix. But that doesn't solve the problem of a continuously growing network, increasingly complex (and commercially controversial) peering arrangements, the fact that IPv6 addresses are actually larger and the fact that you're going to have to support IPv4 anyway in parallel with any IPv6 transition (I don't personally believe it will ever happen, but that's a different story).

    You could, however, get rather more efficiency in core routing tables if network addresses only had a very transient existence and were related to the source/destination route to be employed (eg: look up a domain name, do some route pre-computation, allocate some addressing tokens that make sense to the routers on the path, recalculate the route periodically or in response to packet loss). That's not IPv6, though. IPv6 has the same order of dependence on every router knowing about every destination network as IPv4 does (give or take the slightly greater prefixing efficiency).

    TL;DR - The Internet is getting bigger. Buy more kit.

  • just ask carriers. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nimbius (983462) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @07:46AM (#47662075) Homepage
    googling verizon, comcast, and time warner it seems like their original pledge in 2012 to start rolling out ipv6 has quietly halted. most of their sites simply say "check back" while others imply certain undisclosed service areas may be exposed to both 4 and 6. forums are another story, with most customers and techs confirming the support exists, but either modems arent enabled to receive ipv6 due to bugs, or the support is broken in all-in-one devices in the case of DSL.

    speaking from a linux neckbeard standpoint, i dont care. ive had competent functional v6 support for almost a decade and in many cases implemented it for pay. In my experience the problems associated with implementing v6 are related to companies angry about any downtime at all, or vendor specific appliances that just cant for some reason or another. they either lied about their ipv6 support, only partially support routing IPv6, or have egregious bugs in their implementation that cause stability problems in the rest of the network. Hosting providers have done an excellent job of supporting it from what ive seen, and most (with the exception of godaddy) are very generous in their IP offerings (i get 30 with ramnode.)
    • by evilviper (135110)

      googling verizon, comcast, and time warner it seems like their original pledge in 2012 to start rolling out ipv6 has quietly halted.

      Comcast needed IPv6 internally, so they have rolled it out, even if you can't get it. Others have replied saying they've got IPv6 from them, as well.

      Verizon offers LTE service, which is ALL IPv6. They've got 6to4, of course, but you can natively access any IPv6 services via your LTE phone.

  • This is a real question: Do you know what IPv6 does instead of BGP? Because as far as I know, IPv6 is still using BGP, and that is what this is a problem with. In fact I can only see IPv6 making things worse in that regard because tons more address space means that more AS assignments would be easy to do.

    So if it really does offer a solution, please enlighten me I'd be very interested. If this is just an example of trying to use a problem to push a favoured agenda, then please knock it off.

    • by pla (258480)
      Yes IPv6 still uses BGP, but in a way that favors greatly reduced fragmentation.

      Take a look at BellSouth's [he.net] list of announced prefixes for a pretty egregious example of this - Notice anything "funny" about it? They could reduce that list of almost 3000 down to under a hundred.
  • This particular problem is due to the way routing on the Internet works, where generally every router must hold routes for every prefix announced on the Internet. That system doesn't change with IPv6. Now, there might be fewer IPv6 prefixes at this time than IPv4, but intrinsically there's nothing about IPv6 that addresses the problem that all prefixes must have global visibility.

    To fix this kind of problem requires changing how routing is done.

    • Now, there might be fewer IPv6 prefixes at this time than IPv4, but intrinsically there's nothing about IPv6 that addresses the problem that all prefixes must have global visibility. ... To fix this kind of problem requires changing how routing is done.

      IPv6 is intended to change how routing is done. The larger addresses make it easier to allocate prefixes hierarchically, as opposed to the smaller blocks which must be joined together for IPv4. For example, top-level prefixes could be naively assigned by combining 8 bits of latitude with 10 bits of longitude to create 256k /18s each covering approximately 800 square miles. Each /18 would have room to allocate each of up to ~1 billion customers a /48 prefix composed of 64k /64 subnets, each having 2**64 uniq

      • by Paul Jakma (2677)

        See my reply to your sibling comment. Yes, people looked at geographical assignment and routing. No, this wasn't ever rolled out for IPv6.

        Geographical routing could have worked well in some contexts, e.g. in regulated Internet connectivity markets, where some monopoly carrier controls end-access and is required to provide whole-sale access to other, virtual ISPs. This is the case in at least several European markets, where the monopoly carrier is the former state telco (Ireland, UK). With geographical rout

  • by TheSync (5291)

    With SDN, an infinite number of prefixes can be stored on the SDN controller, and the Internet router only needs to load prefixes into the router TCAM when there is actually a flow needed for that prefix.

    • by adri (173121)

      There was and likely is some hardware that does it.

      It's also easily DoSed.

      We found this out in the 90s and early 2000's where people would .. well, try doing internet routing with Sup-1's.

  • We lost probably $30k in lost sales, and employees unable to do their jobs yesterday. Liquid web is going to lose a ton of customers over this. I don't know if it was their "fault," or if it was the top tier providers in their area they contract with. But as I understand it, if we had been with anyone really big who had us colocated in facilities way far away from each other, this would have been extremely unlikely.
  • by swb (14022) on Wednesday August 13, 2014 @09:57AM (#47662999)

    Given the time between IPv6 design and the eventual global adoption of it and abandonment of IPv4, will the broader adoption of IPv6 reveal problems addressed in a future revision?

    I'll admit to being willfully ignorant of IPv6 other than seeing it as enormously more complicated than IPv4, trying to solve too many problems at once. I sometimes wonder if maybe IPv6 didn't appear so complicated and different that adoption might have been increased.

    Couldn't they just have added a couple of extra bytes to IPv4 to come up with something that worked like IPv4? I also wonder about an addressing scheme like IPX, where a single network address covers an entire broadcast domain and node addresses are MAC addresses plus the network address. IPX network addresses were only 8 bytes, maybe that wouldn't be future proof enough (4.2 billion networks). I'm not talking about IPX as a protocol, just the system for addressing.

    The advantage is relative simplicity (no need for DHCP, network addresses are discovered and the rest is built-in), broadcast domains can scale arbitrarily large without needing to renumber -- sure you can start out every network with a /16, but often they don't and there are complications in organizations just arbitrarily shifting masks past /24, such as running into other networks in the local routing domain.

    Since node addresses are locally determined, ISPs would need to only assign a network address which would allow for basically unlimited public network addresses to each subscriber.

    • by Shimbo (100005)

      I'll admit to being willfully ignorant of IPv6 other than seeing it as enormously more complicated than IPv4

      I think seeing it as way more complicated is a mistake. They took IPv4, fixed a few problems, and unfortunately introduced a few others. Sure, they could have done a little less.

      Couldn't they just have added a couple of extra bytes to IPv4 to come up with something that worked like IPv4?

      That fairly much describes IPv4; the other proposals floating around were far more radical.

      node addresses are MAC addresses plus the network address

      This is covered by RFC 2462 - IPv6 Stateless Address Autoconfiguration. However, privacy concerns have made this go out of fashion.

    • Really, even if you are completely ignorant about it, it does not take much more than a short reading to see how simpler IPv6 is. That's why it corrects so many issues.

      The problem with IPX style local names assignment is in security. Doing it in the open, wild Internet is a certain way to destroy it. The nearest option that's actualy usable is dynamic DNS, and it's quite widspread.

    • by Bengie (1121981)
      IPv6 is vastly simpler, just different. I know a few datacenter admins and they all say IPv6 is a god-send to organizing and managing their networks. I grew up with these folks and they're quite smart from my perspective, so I trust their judgement. My one relative, who also runs a datacenter, was asked to come as a guest speaker for a conference, where he talked about designing a distributed datacenter storage system for high reliability and performance for R&D type workloads. He wants to do away with
  • Are there incentives of any kind for operators to think twice before making piecemeal routing advertisements? Is there any cost for multi-homing every rinky-dink company who thinks they are important enough to warrant such misuse?

    Now that IPv4 resources are gone do operators pay out any penalty when they go off and start announcing random piecemeal /24's right and left?

    I don't care if the penalty is simply a listing on a global wall of shame.

    While IPv6 stands to reduce absolute need for disaggregation it w

  • I've been a Cisco networking guy for 10+ years - the 6500 series is a Distribution/Core technology for the LAN - it's definitely been milked over the years but the 4500 series is basically designed to phase it out

    some of the 7600 routers (the older bricks) - I can also understand - but seriously - if you are a core internet provider, why the hell are you using a 6500 router for the BGP routing table of the internet? Put that thing in a dorm room and buy yourself an ASR 9000

    RB

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