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IPv4 Address Crunch In 2 Years, IPv6 Not Ready 539

An anonymous reader writes "We've known for ages that IPv4 was going to run out of addresses — now, it's happening. IPv6 was going to save us — it isn't. The upcoming crisis will hit, perhaps as soon as 2010, but nobody can agree on what to do. The three options are all pretty scary. This article covers the background, and links to a presentation by Randy Bush (PDF) that shows the reality of the problem in stark detail."
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IPv4 Address Crunch In 2 Years, IPv6 Not Ready

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  • Well duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by n3tcat ( 664243 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:03AM (#22513950)
    It's not hard to figure out why we haven't solved this problem. It costs MORE to fix it now than it does to wait.

    So just wait until it costs more to live with IPv4 than to migrate to new systems. Then EVERYONE will be working on a solution.
    • Re:Well duh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by John3 ( 85454 ) <john3.cornells@com> on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:10AM (#22514010) Homepage Journal

      It's not hard to figure out why we haven't solved this problem. It costs MORE to fix it now than it does to wait.

      So just wait until it costs more to live with IPv4 than to migrate to new systems. Then EVERYONE will be working on a solution.
      This is true of technology in general. Government and industry debate global warming and peak oil but do very little to actually address the issue since it costs so much to implement solutions. The IPv4 issue is daunting to be sure, so it's no surprise that IPv6 progressed so slowly. I did a quick search back to 2000 on Google News and industry and tech journals were shouting warnings even back then. So eight years later there is no solution.

      The problem will be fixed when the p0rn sites can't get new IP addresses. The adult entertainment industry has driven many of the Internet and web innovations in the past (streaming video, credit card processing) and they'll likely lead us into a bright new future of unlimited Internet addresses. :)
      • Re:Well duh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by orzetto ( 545509 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:46AM (#22514388)

        This is true of technology in general. Government and industry debate global warming and peak oil but do very little to actually address the issue since it costs so much to implement solutions.

        Society is not an amorphous blob with a clear will and an appreciation of its own good. Society is made up by people, and what the decision makers think is "good" is not necessarily good for society; both because the decision makers might be wrong, and because their own interests may be different from those of society (you don't get to be president because you're Joe Average from Missouri).

        In the case of Ipv4, as in the one of energy, the interest of society is to fix the problem. The interest of the decision makers, however, is not to fix it, because they are now sitting on a critical asset that is always in demand and that is getting increasingly scarce, and therefore more expensive. The near-disaster scenario is in their interest, because that way they will maximise their returns. It's like the owner of an oasis in the Sahara: rain and rivers would be bad for business, drought is more people depending on you.

        I would expect China or India to come up with a solution first: they don't have many IP addresses to begin with, they have growing economies that will sooner or later require more IP addresses, and they have the means to kickstart a major project.

        • Re:Well duh (Score:4, Interesting)

          by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @11:01AM (#22514588)
          While I appreciate the point you're trying to make, but there are quantitative differences between the thinking of a country like Japan and for example the USA. In Japan, they did have the foresight to make their systems IPv6 ready, so maybe just our expectations are too low? I'd rather tell people what to do than to make excuses in the technology/politics field referring to Joe Sixpack who allegedly wouldn't understand or care.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          you don't get to be president because you're Joe Average from Missouri

          Harry Truman.
        • Off topic (Score:3, Interesting)

          by oyenstikker ( 536040 )
          That you mentioned India might come up with a solution reminds me of a book I read that discusses in the context of game theory (primarily Prisoner's Dilemma) why people (Indians in particular) make poor decisions as far as society is concerned to maximize personal returns.

          "Games Indians Play" by V. Raghunathan
          ISBN: 9780670999408
          • Re:Off topic (Score:4, Interesting)

            by mikael ( 484 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @12:35PM (#22515864)
            I've read some of the reviews for that book. The story about everyone in a street ending up using water amplifiers (pressure boosters) to guarantee that they get their fair share of water is funny. Some things don't seem to different from other parts of the world.

            Dumping garbage in the street - that happens elsewhere whenever the authorities impose apparently madhatter legislation; Example, a country in Europe creates a whole nation-wide network of recycling centers to reduce the amount of waste going into landfill - Totally sensible. Anyone could enter, and recycle their old boxes, cartons, polystyrene boxes, lawnmowers, furniture, whatever. Then the authorities decide that too many people are making too many journeys, so they decide that each family can only get a ticket to allow them to recycle once every two months. So now, everyone drives around looking for somewhere to dump their recyclables, even filling in the communal rubbish bins of neighbouring villages. Others simply burn it instead.
        • Re:Well duh (Score:5, Informative)

          by Tracy Reed ( 3563 ) <[gro.teloivartlu] [ta] [deert]> on Friday February 22, 2008 @02:22PM (#22517876) Homepage
          China, Korea, Japan etc. use lots of ipv6. I've been there, seen it, helped set some up. There is a whole Internet out there full of asian language websites out there that we don't even know about because our english only Internet doesn't link to it. Go to a cyber cafe in Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, and you'll see what I mean.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by upside ( 574799 )
        Never mind pr0n, how about industry leaders with deep pockets like Google, Yahoo, Sun and Microsoft? Not one has an AAAA record for their web servers. It's pretty pathetic.
      • Re:Well duh (Score:5, Funny)

        by Bazman ( 4849 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @11:20AM (#22514844) Journal
        Yeah it's the pr0n sites' fault. Now, google search for the article by Randy Bush.....

    • Re:Well duh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PrescriptionWarning ( 932687 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:10AM (#22514012)
      That sounds like an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" argument to me. Which in fine and good for simpler technologies, but can be disastrous for more modern technologies. Just think what would happen if you didn't change your car's oil until the car simply refused to run. What would happen if we all decided not to curb our oil consumption habits until we either ran completely out of oil reserves. You see its the shortsightedness that in the long run costs you WAY MORE than if you simply keep the options in mind and work towards a solution.

      So in two years when they can't add any more addresses, the only ones to blame will be those who stuck they feet in the mud and wouldn't budge. Besides, they can always just start taking away all those spam sites that offer no real content and just distribute those to other who actually need them, I'm sure there's at least another 2 years worth of those.
      • Re:Well duh (Score:5, Funny)

        by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:25AM (#22514180)

        Besides, they can always just start taking away all those spam sites that offer no real content and just distribute those to other
        Actually, the spammers/phishers are already doing their utmost to stop eating new IPv4 addresses, and conserve them by using existing IPs of random Windows boxes. See, who's the bad guys now?
      • Re:Well duh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SnarfQuest ( 469614 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @11:32AM (#22514982)
        What would happen if we all decided not to curb our oil consumption habits until we either ran completely out of oil reserves.

        I remember when I was younger, we were down to 10 years of oil underground. This was some twenty years ago. We did a few minor changes, slight improvement in gas mileage, but not much. We also greatly increased the number of cars on the road. Too bad for you youngsters, you now have only 10 years of oil left underground.
        • Re:Well duh (Score:4, Insightful)

          by samkass ( 174571 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @11:48AM (#22515196) Homepage Journal
          I remember when I was younger, we were down to 10 years of oil underground.

          It all comes down to yours sources. 20 years ago, they were still finding more oil each year than was being consumed, so the "10 years left" folks weren't the responsible people. The opposite is true now. 20 years ago it wasn't economically feasible to pump the sludge out of Canada's shale, but now it is. It wasn't economically feasible to put a platform in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico and drill a mile down, but now it is. But all those sources are limited, as well. We have a much more accurate picture of how big the problem is now than we did 20 years ago.
          • Its also worth noting that its very easy to cherry-pick sources from the past to make a certain point of view look silly. The GP is playing the 'all predictions about this are wrong' card but if you were to make a sincere effort to look into what people and studies showed about the economics of scarcity, you'd see it wasnt so cut and dried. This is usually a dishonest rhetorical trick.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by pherthyl ( 445706 )
          Well there's definitely something going on. Look at the OPEC oil production over the last few years: []

          Since 2005 it's been flat. And yet prices have skyrocketed in that time. In 2000, OPEC promised to adjust production to keep prices around $22-$28/barrel. Then in 2007 they said prices would stay around $50-$60/barrel until 2030. Well it's one year later and prices are at $100. All this time OPEC hasn't increased production, and
    • Re:Well duh (Score:5, Funny)

      by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <> on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:14AM (#22514058) Homepage

      It's not hard to figure out why we haven't solved this problem. It costs MORE to fix it now than it does to wait. So just wait until it costs more to live with IPv4 than to migrate to new systems. Then EVERYONE will be working on a solution.

      On the other hand, some people will wait until the last minute and then spend time and energy towards solutions that might have spent towards other things had a more gradual migration takes place.

      In fact, the looming IPv4 address crunch reminds me a little bit of the Y2K issue. Maybe some journalists will start presenting it to the public as a countdown to doomsday? We could have manuals like Hyatt's old The Y2K Personal Survival Guide [] telling us how to stock up on food and generator fuel for when civilization ends due to the sudden lack of new IP addresses. There would be religious figures and conspiracy theorists claiming that the Antichrist/UN/black helicopters/NWO will take advance of the chaos surrounding the IPv4 address crunch to institute their reign of fear. It'll be like 1999 all over again.

      • Re:Well duh (Score:5, Insightful)

        by eln ( 21727 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:26AM (#22514186)
        The problem is that Y2K was handled so well, and as a result the consequences of it were so ridiculously minor, that most people in the general public feel that it was all overblown hype. Yes, there was a lot of hype, but the fact is a lot of programmers worked a long time to make sure things that needed to be fixed got fixed.

        However, since most people feel that Y2K was overblown and the money spent on it was wasted, they're unlikely to take seriously any new "crisis" in IT, and will simply refuse to spend any money on it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Why don't we send intel a bill of $1 per each of their 72,000,000 IP4s, and DEC, and IBM, ... each year, and let them lead the way to IPV6.
    • Re:Well duh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Friday February 22, 2008 @01:21PM (#22516770) Journal
      The problem is, the cost may not be measured in dollars.

      Right now, although my ISP only gives me one IP address per subscription, I control it. I can run a private web server, mailserver, etc. I can basically run a website on $10/year (the cost of registering a domain) unless I suddenly get popular. ($30/year if I pay for an SSL cert.)

      If we stick with IPv4, this will no longer be possible. IPv6 would bring plenty of improvements on the current scheme, but sticking with IPv4 till it runs out means more NAT, and at the ISP level. And that means a higher barrier of entry to being a web server. It means the Myspaces and Livejournals of the world get to control everything anyone wants to publish.

      This is not a cost that we can measure in dollars, though. It's a cost to society.
  • Dupe (Score:5, Informative)

    by suso ( 153703 ) * on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:06AM (#22513970) Homepage Journal
    Here is the story from a few weeks ago []

    And as I said before, the solution is to take back some of those huge class A blocks from companies like HP, Ford and GE, which are not using all the space. That would buy a few years.
    • Re:Dupe (Score:5, Informative)

      by Silver Sloth ( 770927 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:12AM (#22514034)
      RTFA - which says

      ... there are ideas for managing the address space more efficiently by introducing auction and other pricing mechanisms to encourage better use (people who don't need their allocation will flog them off rather than hoarding them, while new uses will be parsimonious in their approach), but the developing world sees this as unfair in the extreme. You can see their point.

      There are other problems: how do you route IP addresses when the existing hierarchy breaks down due to address spaces moving through the network? Who's responsible for managing an increasingly incoherent network? Who foots the bill when your address space is sold from underneath you? In any case, it doesn't solve the basic problem - it merely makes it increasingly expensive to innovate.
      so it's not quite that easy...
    • Re:Dupe (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:13AM (#22514046)
      Not dupe! That story is titled "One Step Closer to IPv6"... This one is "798 steps to go"
    • Re:Dupe (Score:5, Interesting)

      by IBBoard ( 1128019 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:13AM (#22514050) Homepage
      And we need to retrieve some from the Vatican as well!

      Looking at the information here [] then the Vatican has far too many IPs per capita. Ditto for the other tiny nations of Gibralta and Monaco. I'm sure it'll buy us at least a week!

      And for anyone geeky enough to care (who isn't geeky enough to have it bookmarked already) here [] is the assignment list. Each of the companies mentioned owns an entire top level block (e.g. Ford own and some like the Defense Information Systems Agency (whoever they are) own multiple blocks! That's an awful lot of addresses.
    • And? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:24AM (#22514162) Journal

      That is one way to do it, keep patching it up and hope it becomes somebodies elses problem.

      The problem is simple, the way we want to use the internet means we are getting more and more devices which desire their own internet adress. Some people suggest solutions like NAT but these only have so many uses especially when mobile phones become internet capable. If you want your internet node to be independent then you need an ip adress.

      Don't believe me? Fine, give up your internet connection with its own IP and use the NAT solution of your ISP. Good luck running a torrent.

      We could easily solve the entire problem if we just used NAT for every major ISP. It would free up countless adresses and keep IP4 usuable for decades rather then years.

      So who is first? Who is going to give up their IP for their home for the greater good?

      Thought as much, absolutly nobody.

      It is the problem with humans, we don't want new power installations, we don't want to use less power and we refuse to switch to more economical appliances. Something has to give, but goverment or business is NOT going to do it. Sooner or later it just breaks down (see the LA brownouts) and finally a decission will have to be made.

      Same with a solution to IP4 limited adress space. We will keep coming up with patches and ignore the problem until finally it can no longer be ignored and then we will have to really bite down to implement it at great cost and inconvenience when we could have solved it easily right now.

      Because lets be honest, it ain't all that much of a problem. In the EU we switched currencies. A hell of a job but because it became accepted that it had to be done, it just happened.

      We could easily do a switch to IP6 but only when the majority just accepts that it has to be done, and bites the bullet.

      Analog mobile phones no longer work in the US, holland no longer airs analog tv signals, switches happen all the time. It is nothing special, but in each case somebody just had to say "we are switching and if you are not ready, though".

      So what if countless devices will no longer work, at a given point you just have to be able to say "upgrade or be left behind" or you will be forced to increasinly bend over backwards to accomadate out of date tech.

  • by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:11AM (#22514022) Journal
    People will move and applications will get ported to IPv6, but only when they HAVE To move to IPv6 OR when there is some benefit that outweighs the cost.

  • i'm sharing my blog ip address with a porn site dedicated to a fetish for women with moustaches, some guy's home security system in hong kong, a government bureaucrat's cell phone in helsinki, and an email server for a truck dispatching company waco texas

    i think it's also a pretty good premise for a reality show or situation comedy
  • by blake1 ( 1148613 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:15AM (#22514070)
    And put China behind it. IPv4 addresses, plenty. Botnet problem, solved.
  • by grumbel ( 592662 ) <> on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:18AM (#22514104) Homepage
    One thing is rather clear to me: We won't run out of IPv4 addresses anytime soon, instead the price will increase more and more and thus people will end up behind ISP enforced NATs, because IPs are to expensive for the average consumer. This is after all already the case, at least in part, static IPs are a premium service, not something you get for free from most ISPs.

    So how to fix this? How about some good old government regulation? If you want to provide a "Internet service", you have to provide IPv6 or you can't call it "Internet". With a little force it shouldn't take all that long till the switch to IPv6 is done. But unless that happens the rarity of IPv4 addresses will simply be seen as a nice way to make money, instead of a problem that needs to be fixed.
    • by zsau ( 266209 ) <slashdot&thecartographers,net> on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:30AM (#22514230) Homepage Journal
      Or just ban porn sites from using IPv4. Everyone's happy then: Think of the Children types will have porn apparently banned, techies will see IPv6 adopted widely, and civil liberties types will have porn available if they want it.
    • Itojun (Score:4, Informative)

      by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:39AM (#22514304) Journal
      Yeah, we always fall back on the government to help us out when us nerds aren't satisfied with how capitalism is driving the technological trends that need to happen.

      But let's not forget those that went before us. Jun-ichiro Hagino [], better known as Itojun, was one of the first researchers that was pushing for IPv6 since as long as I can remember (at least 2001 []). On top of that he was developing specifications for it and working through the BSD code to make it one of the first operating systems fully capable of being IPv6 compliant--starting a trend that needs to happen in more operating systems sooner. He even started documenting draft APIs [] to get developers thinking about how this would work inside software.

      And then he died in a car accident at age 37 []. It's funny how you don't appreciate their work until they're dead []. Almost like a painter or author.

      Although many still carry on his work, the saddest part is that all his efforts to bring awareness to everyone about IPv6 may fall into the responsibilities of the government or, worse, capitalism.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:19AM (#22514124) Journal
    America will then become the Saudi Arabia of ip addresses. Price of oil will drop to something 200,000,000 barrels for one address. Woot!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:21AM (#22514136)
    The basic solution to this problem is to deploy IPv6 as soon as you can, figure out what problems remain to be solved before you can use IPv6 100% and then put pressure on your ISPs, vendors, etc. to solve these problems. That's how the Internet grew like topsy in the first place, and its not too late to get this going. Two to three years is enough time.

    ARIN has published a web site which collects information about how to move to IPv6 here: []
    It's oriented towards the things that ISPs and other service providers (hosting centers, large IT depts) need to do to get IPv6 working in production.

    Soon, the stock market analysts will be asking the big ISPs and telecom companies what actions they are taking to avoid going bankrupt in two years when the crunch hits. Any company that can't get new IPv4 addresses will have to stop growing their IPv4 networks. If they have an IPv6 network to take up the slack, no problem. If not, then customers will flock to the providers that have IPv6 ready to roll.

    There was a network operator meeting at NANOG recently where they showed that it is almost possible to provide full Internet access, both IPv4 and IPV6, using an IPv6 connection. Yes, I know, "almost" means there were problems, but they were not massive problems. They were the kind of things that people were working on fixing with IPv4 networks back in the early 90's. And they did that because they went ahead and built IPv4 networks and tried to make them work for everything imaginable. When things broke, they fixed the bugs and moved on, eventually becoming the global Internet that we know today.

    There is a way to avoid going bust when the address crunch hits in two-to-three years and that is: Get yourself IPv6 Ready!
  • by fuzzy12345 ( 745891 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:25AM (#22514170)
    DJB said it best at [] Why switch from an Internet with a billion people on it to one that has nobody on it that can't be reached by IPv4?
    • by powerlord ( 28156 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:48AM (#22514402) Journal
      Actually, that makes it sound lots more appealing. :)
    • p2p (Score:3, Insightful)

      by upside ( 574799 )
      I foresee a - perhaps shortlived - opening for lots of filesharing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Just Some Guy ( 3352 )

      Why switch from an Internet with a billion people on it to one that has nobody on it that can't be reached by IPv4?

      DJB has an awful problem of confusing "I don't know how it can be done" with "it can't be done". For example, he doesn't seem to realize that you can run IPv4 in parallel with IPv6. In reality, you can access my homepage linked above through either protocol, or send me email from an IPv6-only server. In fact, all of my FreeBSD mailing list traffic comes in via IPv6, right now, today.

  • by apathy maybe ( 922212 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:33AM (#22514254) Homepage Journal
    OK, I'm interested in technology, I know what IPv4 and IPv6 are, I know that there are many more advantages to IPv6 then to IPv4 etc. Yet I'm failing to see why I should care whether IPv4 addresses are running out or not.

    But more to the point, what can I (as an individual who isn't part of the technocratic elite) do about it if I did care?

    I don't code network stacks, nor kernel drivers, most of my software is written by someone else, and is automatically updated to fix problems and include new features.

    I assume that by the time everyone else is using IPv6 I shall be too (simply by virtue of my software being updated).

    So, why should I care? And what should I do if I did care?
    • Why? Your money is why.

      If you want to continue to use an IPv4 address from your upstream ISP, you currently pay about US$10 per month for that address, more if you want a nice static address to run services on.

      After 2012, or if one of the hair-brained free-market schemes to buy & sell netblocks comes into effect, the price your ISP has to pay for an IP address goes from ZERO to $10 or $20 per month per address. Currently, with a freely available pool of IP addresses, there was minimal cost associated with obtaining a netblock, just some administrative overhead to ask, and some technical cost to program the routers. ISPs discovered that they could charge US$30/month to a user, of which $10/month covers bandwidth, $10/month for the connection, and the remaining $10/month is the pure profit from renting you an individually addressable IP address.

      When the crunch hits, IPv4 addresses will be accounted differently, no longer will they be seen as a free resource that earns $10/month, they'll be seen as a cost center that needs to have a margin associated with it. So if the company has to start paying even $1/month per address, they'll pass that cost on to the end users as a higher monthly fee.

      In the end, those who don't have an IPv6 service with a migration strategy will see their internet connectivity increase in price. Maybe only a little in 2010, more in 2012, and if there isn't a mass migration to v6, significant costs after that. You, and every consumer, better hope that ISPs and hosting centers get a migration strategy in place soon, or your costs are going to skyrocket.

      That was costs from the consumer PoV.

      From the techie PoV, imagine what will happen to your router FIBs if some of those nicely aggregated /8s and /16s de-aggregate into 100s of thousands of individual prefixes. Is there any Cisco router right now that can handle a BGP IPv4 routing table of 2 million entries? Are you willing to scrap your entire Border Router investment in 2010 when the routing table grows from 300,000 routes to 750,000 routes? Do you know what the cost of a Cisco CRS-1 is, even if you can find one used?

      the AC
  • by JoeD ( 12073 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:38AM (#22514292) Homepage

    1. Home routers that support IPV6 off the shelf.

    2. Cable/DSL modems that support IPV6 off the shelf.

    3. (The biggie) ISPs that hand out IPV6 addresses.

    In a vain attempt to forestall the inevitable followups:

    Yes, I am aware that I could install new software in my WRT-54G, and convert my home network to IPV6. But as long as my upstream connection is IPV4, this gains me NOTHING except a bunch of aggravation and downtime getting the thing set up. No thanks. When my ISP supports IPV6, then and only then will it make sense for me to convert.
  • by arthurpaliden ( 939626 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @10:51AM (#22514456)
    The company died and no longer needs it. Maybe I will put it up on ebay.
    • But you don't "own" that netblock, you were allocated it from ARIN for a single use.

      Put it on eBay and ARIN will then send you a polite email about how they have now reclaimed the netblock since it obviously no is no longer being used for it's original declaration. They will then turn around and allocate it to the next demand in their queue. They have all the authority, you have none.

      If your sale goes though on eBay, for selling something that did not belong to you, you have committed fraud. I hope you have put aside some of your windfall for legal fees.

      the AC
  • by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @11:27AM (#22514912) Homepage Journal
    There is a lot of feet dragging going on, partly because too many business plans rely on short term spending. The irony is that some of the companies which you expect to be leading the way in IPv6 migration don't even have web sites that are IPv6 enabled. This includes IBM, Apple, Microsoft, RedHat and Cisco. I make the point because they should be picking up the torch now that research sites have already done their part, and showing that it is an achievable goal, and not some sort of pipe-dream. /. readers at the same time, should probably get to know and understand the technology, since it is not a question of whether it will happen, but when. When it happens if the IT crowd doesn't understand IPv6, then we really have issues.

    If you want to get an IPv6 web site running there are number of solutions, including using Apache 2 with IPv6 support activated and making sure you have an OS that supports an IPv6 stack - most modern OSs do.

    Migration technologies for people stuck behind IPv4 NATs include Aiccu [] and Teredo [] (Vista includes this, and for other OSs there is Miredo []). If you are at home, then one of the 'consumer' routers to support IPv6 out of the box is the Airport Extreme. If others support it out of the box I am not aware of this.

    When you are ready see the dancing turtle [] - if you don't see it you are accessing it via IPv4.

    Other stuff you can do in the meantime is checking to see if some your favourite network based applications handle IPv6 and if they don't make some noise. Its best to make the noise now, when it doesn't matter so much, than waiting until it does. On the bonus side they can advertise [] the fact they are IPv6 ready.

  • by argent ( 18001 ) <peter&slashdot,2006,taronga,com> on Friday February 22, 2008 @12:34PM (#22515844) Homepage Journal
    The logical way to go would have been to switch to IPv6 for everything in the core of the internet, working out to the edges, so that IPv4 was routed over an IPv6 network, without requiring anyone at the end points to change... IPv4 packets would be turned into IPv6 packets in the IPv4 subset of the IPv6 address space when they left the IPv4 endpoints, and then turned back to IPv4 if the destination didn't support IPv6. To access IPv6 resources you'd need a gateway that did both DNS and NATting, so your IPv4 lookup for an A record would be handled as a lookup for an AAAA record, and then a private IPv4 address would be assigned to that IPv6 address for you, and a fake A record comes back.

    For many purposes proxy gateways would work just fine, with increasingly many programs supporting HTTP proxies for connectivity.

    Why didn't this happen?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Neil ( 7455 )

      IPv4 packets would be turned into IPv6 packets in the IPv4 subset of the IPv6 address space when they left the IPv4 endpoints, and then turned back to IPv4 if the destination didn't support IPv6.

      Unfortunately the IPv4 address space isn't embedded in the IPv6 address space in the way that you suggest. Dan Bernstein pointed out many years ago that this was a mistake [].

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by argent ( 18001 )
        Unfortunately the IPv4 address space isn't embedded in the IPv6 address space in the way that you suggest.

        I thought there was a chunk of IPv6 address space allocated to IPv4 addresses.


        Ok, so, according to DJB this address space (RFC 2893) could be used for this purpose, but the folks responsible for implementing IPv6 have said that this shouldn't be done.

        So I guess that gets back to my original question, why wasn't this done? There's technical support for it in the standard, they just say you're not su
  • by RonBurk ( 543988 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @12:44PM (#22516016) Homepage Journal

    The untrue, but unchangeable, folklore of Google Adsensers (people who try to make a living via free search engine traffic to web pages that display Google ads) is that it's crucial for your Google rankings that your website be hosted on a server with a "static IP" (I don't know why people can't say "IP address" anymore in that community). These are the folks that will pay more, and more, and more for the privilege of having their own IP addresses as scarcity increases. Thus, Google money will ultimately and indirectly fund the switch to IPV6, as ISPs serving the hordes of must-have-my-own-static-address Adsensers will be able to afford conversion.

    The best thing that can be done to accelerate this process is to perpetuate the myth that it's crucial for your search engine rankings to host your website on a server with its own static IP address.

  • by Random BedHead Ed ( 602081 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @01:10PM (#22516560) Homepage Journal

    No one wants to run a publicly available site on an IPv6 address, as that would create problems, but the client side is easy to convert, as long is there is incentive. Few customers of major consumer ISPs need real IPv4 addresses, so most ISPs can run their networks on IPv6 and require their customers to have IPv6 enabled (XP, Vista, OS X and Linux can all do this). This would free a lot of IP addresses.

    Clearly the market is not embracing this solution, partly because they don't want to force their customers into a transition, but also partly because the market is based upon the cost of procurement, rather than on future availability. Procurement has been cheap up until now. It's the same reason that gas is only about $3.00 a gallon (yes, I said only), despite the anticipated future scarcity. So there are three options:

    • Regulate by incentive. Give tax breaks for ISPs that meet a goal (for example, roll out 100% IPv6 networks in urban areas).
    • Regulate by disincentive. Set a mid-2009 deadline for the above and penalties for failure to meet the goals.
    • Let the market decide. ISPs will willingly shift address space for IPv4 away from consumers who don't need IPv4 addresses, if there's a crisis. So we wait for a crisis to present itself, and IPv6 will start to appear. This is risky though, as TFA points out that (1) this will hit the developing world first, and (2) the crisis will seriously affect innovation in the short term, even if we solve it in the longer term.

    It would also be nice to see some financially independent and influential non-profit organizations make the switch, like major Ivy League universities. They're the ones who should really be leading this because they don't have the profit motive that makes businesses shy away from what appears to be a set of risky changes.

  • by merreborn ( 853723 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @01:40PM (#22517134) Journal
    The IPv4 crunch has been 2 years away for at least 10 years.

    By the way, the idea of reallocating parts of Class-A blocks has been technically feasible for over a decade. Say hi to CIDR []
  • by AaronW ( 33736 ) on Friday February 22, 2008 @03:52PM (#22519362) Homepage
    The article claims that there is no good IPv6 test equipment. I know this to be false. The old test equipment we have in our lab at work (Adtech) handles IPv6 performance testing just fine, just as well as IPv4. Granted, we only have OC-48 adapters, but higher speeds are available. This will test for speed, dropped packets, out of order, etc. I would be very surprised if any modern test equipment did not natively support IPv6 since supporting IPv6 is basically required for any decent router, especially if you plan to sell to the enterprise or government market.

    The biggest problem I see at this point in terms of equipment is that few home firewall routers support IPv6, plus it sounds like Windows XP is missing some needed functionality if it doesn't properly handle IPv6 DNS or AD. I have a small Linux network at home running dual IPv4/IPv6 and have had no issues with IPv6.

    Most of the Internet backbones no longer do IP routing, instead using MPLS for making forwarding decisions. MPLS doesn't really care what protocol runs on top of it, only the routing protocols do (i.e. BGP) which do support IPv6.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"