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Networking The Internet

Level of IPv6 Usage Is Vanishingly Small 626

An anonymous reader writes "The impending IPv4 address allocation shortage has led to a lot of speculation on the future of IPv6 (including here). A new study says that Internet IPv6 migration is not just going slowly — it has basically not even begun. After spending a year measuring IPv6 traffic across 87 ISPs around the world, the study concludes 'less than one hundredth of 1% of Internet traffic is IPv6... equivalent to the allowed parts of contaminants in drinking water.'"
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Level of IPv6 Usage Is Vanishingly Small

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:54PM (#24651791)

    Because it impacts the other guys, not me. It's the people in China and India and everywhere else that need addresses. Me? I've got a whole block right here.

    • by liquidpele ( 663430 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:24PM (#24652217) Journal
      That, and IPv4 is just more convenient because you can actually remember the addresses without writing them down. I can say "Hey, ping" and people will do it. Try that with an ipv6...

      I think people who can will continue to use ipv4 for that reason, and those that just need a lot of cheap address space will start using ipv6 as ipv4 gets harder to get and/or more expensive.
      • by mgkimsal2 ( 200677 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @08:10PM (#24652721) Homepage

        We could have even just added a 3 more positions in the address and assumed a default of 1.1.1. as the default prefix if none was given. That would have given us 16 million * the current 4 billion addresses - 64 quadrillion addresses.

        At the risk of repeating the 'no one needs more 640k', I'd have to say that I think 64 quadrillion is more than usable for the next several years. The upshot is that it would have been much easier to deal with that. From a pragamatic viewpoint, there's a whole lot of software out there invested in the dotted quad format. Modifying that to deal with a few more X.X.X places wouldn't have been as hard (think GUIs that check IP validity, for example) as moving to IPv6.

        Lame excuses, perhaps, but I think we'd have seen much faster adoption to a format like X.X.X.X.X.X.X because it's an incremental, not radically different.

        • by xRizen ( 319121 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @08:25PM (#24652871)

          IPv4 addresses can be represented in IPv6 as 0:: (Or as 0::FFFF: in some cases.)

          I don't see that using dots instead of colons makes a transition any easier.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2008 @09:12PM (#24653309)

            Really? The dots vs colons thing is the single most problematic thing I've encountered. No seriously - network level is easy, just upgrade firmware or hardware. It when working with configuration files and addresses that IPv6 sucks. Firstly, : was already very widely used used, for separating IPv4 address from port number.

            Just using abcd.abcd.abcd.abcd.abcd.abcd.abcd.abcd would have meant that abcd.abcd.abcd.abcd.abcd.abcd.abcd.abcd:443
            would have worked much like, though obviously distinguishably - hex and more sections.

            People seem to have settled on enclosing the IPv6 address in square brackets to make it work reasonably parseably (given abbreviation, see below) into config files and urls and stuff, at least that seems to be the most widely used convention. i.e. [abcd:abcd:abcd:abcd:abcd:abcd:abcd:abcd]:443
            It works okay, but it could have been simply avoided, damnit.

            Secondly, the :0000:0000:000: to :: abbreviation rule was actually a terrible mistake. It makes parsers somewhat harder to write, and means that IPv6 addresses can't be munged with regexes nearly as handily as IPv4 addresses, which seriously inconveniences time-pressed sysadmins. Yes, Ipv6 address are long if unabbreviated. But without the abbreviation they would have been REGULAR.

            • Looking at an app that uses regex to match both IP4 and IP6 precisely (as opposed to numbers and dots or hexchars and colons), the IP4 pattern is:

              PAT_IP4 = r'\.'.join([r'(?:\d|[1-9]\d|1\d\d|2[0-4]\d|25[0-5])']*4)
              RE_IP4 = re.compile(PAT_IP4+'$')

              and the IP6 pattern is:

              RE_IP6 = re.compile( '(?:%(hex4)s:){6}%(ls32)s$'

              • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2008 @10:42PM (#24654077)

                Not any less handy? you have _got_ to be kidding. You expect people to whip that monstrosity up every fucking time they want to match for addresses? When working over a serial terminal on a barely-capable quirky embedded shell? And who the fuck compiles regexes? Programmers, that's who. This represents the core problem - IPv6 addressing seems to have been designed by programmers, not sysadmins.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          We could have even just added a 3 more positions in the address and assumed a default of 1.1.1. as the default prefix if none was given.

          Great, now the addresses are 7 bytes long and you still have to update all your routers and computers. What makes you think it'd be any easier?

        • by Firehed ( 942385 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @08:35PM (#24652969) Homepage

          Well that whole 640k thing with regard to IP addresses has been largely negated by the adoption of routers within the home. Back when cable/DSL adoption was first starting, many people would end up with a switch and then have to call up the ISP for a second IP address. And with several computers in every home these days (not to mention other devices that grab IP addresses - games consoles, WiFi cell phones, network printers, etc), that plausibly could have become a very big issue very quickly. I've got at least a dozen pieces of hardware that consume a local IP address (not to mention the two or three VMs I have going at any given time), and it's a very good thing they don't each consume a slot in the worldwide public address space.

          For all practical purposes, even an A.B.C.D.E would probably be enough thanks to routers - that still gives us ~1 trillion unique IPs worldwide. Of course if we were to make the switch it would make sense to give us the additional headroom. I'm hardly intimately familiar with the inner workings of IPv6 but assume it has benefits beyond mere address space, but the added complication to sysadmins of dealing with something like "2001:0db8:0000:0000:0000:0000:1428:57ab" (thanks, Wikipedia) is simply a nightmare in the making. Four bytes versus sixteen? I can remember which computer is on my local network easily enough (and could certainly remember my public IP if I were bothered, as it never seems to change despite not paying for static), but you can practically smell the smoke coming out of my head after just looking at that.

          It's certainly forward-thinking, but having (estimated) fewer atoms in the universe than IPv6 addresses available is just slightly overkill, doncha think?

          • by Sentry21 ( 8183 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @08:47PM (#24653057) Journal

            The first broadband ISP I ever had was Shaw Cable, and back then, there was no such thing as 'broadband routers' - heck, we couldn't even justify buying a switch, so we just used a 10baseT hub (ew).

            Imagine my surprise when I found out that our networked Brother printer, which we had only used over Appletalk-over-Ethernet, had had a public IP address for a year. Fortunately, it seems that the printer designers had (for whatever reason) prevented printing/access from non-local subnets, limiting the number of people with access to it to somewhere around 64 or 128 (we weren't part of a full class C, for sensible reasons).

            Oddly enough, the ISP wanted you to pay for extra IPs - but didn't require it. Honour system ftw.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by CastrTroy ( 595695 )
              The first cable internet providers had entire neighbourhoods show up as local networks. You'd be able to see the windows shares of everybody in your neighbourhood. I think home routers have done a lot for internet security, in that it now requires effort on the user's part to get any open ports on the actual PC. There are still a few problems, like insecure wireless, but I think that routers do more good than bad for most home users. That's why we need to get rid of dial-up. Every try installing window
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by rtb61 ( 674572 )
            The delay in the switch from IPv4 to IPv6 is greed by ISPs pure and simple. ISPs get the IPv4 address range basically for free and then charge customers for access to that address range, money for jam. They will simply resist IPv6 for as long as they can (the bad ISPs) because their profits from IPv4 will disappear as they have to give away IPv6 for free.

            This of course is only as far as the greedy, traffic blocking, no server, ass hat ISP's. Their are plenty of regional good ISPs that believe in providing

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Firehed ( 942385 )

              Could you explain how that behavior would change at all with the advent of IPv6? I'm certainly not claiming you're wrong, but until I have a direct pipeline to the internet running to the house, I still have to go through some sort of ISP.

              The no server clauses are absolutely BS, but my current ISP (Charter) doesn't seem to care, or at least do anything about it. I don't have a static IP (thanks, DynDNS), but they don't block incoming on port 80 so for demoing work to clients and accessing my local install

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by VdG ( 633317 )

            I think your thinking is too limited. What about the rise of mobile devices? Billions of cell 'phones soon; I dread to think how many RFID chips. And who knows what else? These are things which really need globally unique IDs. IPv6 is intended to be overkill, so that whatever comes along it'll be able to cope.

            Regarding the addressing issue which seems to concern so many people, DNS should handle most of it, (truly unique numbers actually make that simpler, I'd think). If you really need to speak to so

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:32PM (#24652295)

      it impacts the other guys

      It affects the other guys. This is Slashdot, not a marketing department or a boardroom. Let's use English instead of Marketese. Further reading. [mtholyoke.edu]

  • by Born2bwire ( 977760 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:55PM (#24651815)

    'less than one hundredth of 1% of Internet traffic is IPv6... equivalent to the allowed parts of contaminants in drinking water.'

    Like that means anything to me. Can they compare that percentage in terms of the number of pages per Library of Congress?

  • The end is nigh? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Was IPv6 our only hope or do we have something else ready to go for when we hit that last address? And speaking of that, what WILL happen when we hit that last address? Will the internet suddenly die? Or will some people just not be able to connect because the IP is in use?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Daimanta ( 1140543 )

      No, but you won't be able to make a site with a new ip-address, which is highly annoying. New people are not able to "join the internet" when the ISP runs out of IP-addresses. It's basically nasty.

      That's why I hope they will be prepared when the time comes.

    • And speaking of that, what WILL happen when we hit that last address?

      The same thing that happened when there was no more new land.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by j h woodyatt ( 13108 )

      What WILL happen is "carrier-grade NAT" deployments inside service provider networks [networkworld.com].

      Residential and personal mobile device customers can expect to pay extraâ" on the order of US$5-10 per monthâ" if they want a public, i.e. non-RFC1918, IPv4 address assigned to them. Also, don't expect the carrier-grade NAT to support any kind of port forwarding whatsoever. Lastly, you can expect the NAT to implement address/port-dependent endpoint filtering.

      So, the writing for P2P applications like BitTorrent i

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:56PM (#24651835)

    If people could actually get IPv6 service from their providers instead of having to route everything through congested tunnels, THAT would help.

    • Wait... (Score:3, Funny)

      by XanC ( 644172 )

      Let me get this straight... It's not a truck?

    • by A beautiful mind ( 821714 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:03PM (#24651943)
      I'm kind of suprised that my ISP in Hungary is switching over it's infrastructure to IPv6 and making IPv6 available for the users by the end of this year. I consider it a huge step forward, plus the free porn here [ipv6experiment.com] is a welcome bonus.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by canuck57 ( 662392 )

      If people could actually get IPv6 service from their providers instead of having to route everything through congested tunnels, THAT would help.

      Myth: We need IPV6

      Fact: PITA to use IPV6 so we use IPV4

      There isn't really a shortage of IP addresses at all. There is an extreme waste of IP space.

      Case in point, take China squandering class A after class A (x/8). Why not just NAT the typical home users? Could do the same in Chicago, NY, California and London too. I know businesses that still have /16 spaces when in fact a /24 would do. And any business today using network routable addresses internally, well, their incompetence shines through. 10/8

      • by totally bogus dude ( 1040246 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @02:28AM (#24655261)

        any business today using network routable addresses internally, well, their incompetence shines through. 10/8, 192.168/16 and others, plenty of space

        This is all well and good until you're setting up VPNs with your business partners; and if you're a large business, you not only use a lot of private address space, but you also have a lot of partners.

        But that's okay, you can just renumber your entire network every time you find you've chosen the same private addresses as the company you're doing business with. Or you can set up some crazy NAT scheme so you can pretend they're on a different address space, giving you a whole new set of problems.

        You're right in that the cost of actually changing to IPv6 right now far outweighs the cost of working around the problems caused by the limited address space, but it sure would've been nice if we'd had longer addresses from the start!

  • Reasons. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) * on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:57PM (#24651855) Homepage Journal

    The biggest reasons:

    1. Many consumer-grade routers do not support IPv6 out of the box.
    2. Some (most?) consumer ISPs do not yet support IPV6
    3. For both enterprises and individuals, there doesn't seem to be any cost justification for upgrading to IPv6. What's the benefit? It works now, right?

    And probably many others. The bottom line is that right now today, there isn't a 'killer app' for IPv6.

    • Re:Reasons. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DECS ( 891519 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:24PM (#24652219) Homepage Journal

      Interestingly, Apple's AirPort Extreme/Time Capsule firmware does support IPv6 as local-link only, an IPv6 node, or tunnel to IPv6. It also includes an IPv6 firewall supporting incoming IPSec authentication and Teredo tunnels (to get through NAT).

      Apple owns more than 10% of the retail WiFi N router market according to NPD [roughlydrafted.com].

      Mac OS X, XP and Vista all support IPv6, but having support in the router is the important part. Enabling a significant percentage of users to flip on IPv6 and tunnel right through their legacy ISP is already possible. IPv6 just needs a killer app.

      How about authenticated web apps? IPv6 secures traffic from the user to the cloud. That's something Apple has reason to push with MobileMe: "look at us, we have IPv6 security."

      Look at what Apple's doing with Back To My Mac to support authenticated connections using Wide-Area Bonjour Dynamic DNS lookups. This could be done via IPv6 using direct addressing. Apple will end up selling more routers, MM subscriptions and IPv6 will get its foot in the door for others to use.

      Will the iPhone Meet its Match from a Modern Day DOS? [roughlydrafted.com]

    • Re:Reasons. (Score:4, Funny)

      by bendodge ( 998616 ) <bendodge AT bsgprogrammers DOT com> on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:56PM (#24652561) Homepage Journal

      I know I can't get IPv6 here. I've called my local cable company (CableONE) and they told me "Oh, that's not being implemented in the US. That's over in Asia."

      But I must say that many new consumer routers advertise IPv6.

    • Re:Reasons. (Score:5, Informative)

      by CAPSLOCK2000 ( 27149 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @08:24PM (#24652861) Homepage

      There is a killer app, It's called


      It has 120 (!) days retention, and comes to you at gigabit speed.

      All for FREE if you use ipv6.

  • What's the downside? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by XanC ( 644172 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:58PM (#24651861)

    Between tunnel brokers [wikipedia.org] and 6to4 [wikipedia.org], really all of us who manage servers should have them on IPv6 in addition to IPv4. What's the downside to being ready?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by JamesRose ( 1062530 )

      Never do a job now that can be done tomorrow, never do a job that can be done on thursday tomorrow.

    • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:18PM (#24652117) Homepage Journal

      What's the downside to being ready?

      Because it's work. Work takes time. Time is money.

      A certain product at a certain company (forgive my being vague, you know how these things are) has a network interface. This interface is currently IPv4 only, no IPv6 support. When anybody asks the design team why not, they say that no customers have asked for it. Somebody suggested that IPv6 was the sort of thing you want to support ahead of need, but these guys have a lot of deadlines to meet and not enough resources to meet them. They aren't about to spend time implementing features nobody's asked for.

      Of course, the time will come when their customers realize they've put off changing over to IPv6 much too long, and will start crash programs to make it happen. They'll demand that this product start supporting IPv6 immediately, if not sooner. So the design team will begin their own crash program, and IPv6 support will be added to the product in a hurry. The implementation will probably cost more and be less robust (at least initially) than if they'd planned ahead.

      But they have no incentive to plan ahead. It's a common pattern.

      • Mod parent up. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by khasim ( 1285 )

        And don't forget that it is one more thing that can go wrong.

        Remember, you ALWAYS run the MINIMUM on your servers. If you don't absolutely need IPv6 today, then don't put it on.

  • by hyperz69 ( 1226464 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:59PM (#24651879)
    The the water is internet. Which comes into our houses view pipes.... OMG THAT PROVES IT. The internet IS a series of tubes! We were all sooo wrong ;\
  • It is obvious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by able1234au ( 995975 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @06:59PM (#24651885)
    99% of IPv4 traffic is bittorrent. Switch it to IPV6 and the traffic figures will spike!
  • Not quite totally dissimilar to a good comparison.

    The allowed amounts of dioxin, TCE, and many other chemicals is down in the parts per billion. So the comparison is off by about five powers of ten.

  • Not needed. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lord Apathy ( 584315 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:00PM (#24651895)

    Well at least not right now. With more allocation of IPV4 address we wouldn't be needed anytime soon. The company I work for has 56 public ip address for 3 webservers. The other 53 address are not even used, they are just parked for future use. If I was allowed to set the servers up the "right" way I wouldn't even need 3, just 1.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Lord Apathy ( 584315 )

      There should be a karma hit for not using the preview button. It should be -1, Dumbass.

      That second line should read "With more intelligent allocation of IPV4 address we wouldn't be needing IPv6 anytime soon

  • by QuantumRiff ( 120817 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:01PM (#24651903)

    measuring the percent of traffic is not very reliable. Thats like saying how much internet traffic is used for Vonage, or Slashdot.

    More importantly, how many sites can be reached via IPv6? How many publish AAAA addresses in DNS? How many ISP's can route IPv6? I know that there is tunneling for running over IPv4, how much of that 99.99% of traffic might be doing that?

  • Makes me happy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ugen ( 93902 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:02PM (#24651929)

    It may be just me, but I always felt IPv6 is a solution looking for the problem.

    There is a reason IPv4 is so well entrenched. Other than availability of software, hardware and services, it is convenience of handling IPv4 in all those things. This is what permits developers to create all those wonderful products, administrators to effectively administer them and users to enjoy them. A primary reason to that is IPv4 address size - it is 32 bit which is natively handled by all current hardware, and easily remembered by humans (short term) in its quad decimal form.

    IPv6 has neither of these features. It is difficult to deal with in software (I know, I do this for a living), does not fit into any native data type (and won't until we move to 128 bit architectures - which does not seem to be very soon), cannot be remembered or used by a human (so effective administration requires magic automatic tools), does not give itself with any convenience to routing related data structures (like radix trees). All this for dubious benefit of addressing directly (in non-hierarchical manner) of every toaster in the world. This is directly opposite to the way the Real World operates (i.e. your home has an address, but noone gets to talk to your toaster directly without going through you first.

    If I were solving this, I'd suggest separate and non-directly routable IPv4 address spaces for separate countries (and, perhaps, for other entities). And lots and lots of NAT or proxying. Of course that is kind of what is happening anyway.

    China would be happier that way too. In case of cross-border cyberattack, just cut external links and your country is self-sufficient and interconnected :)

    Anyway, I am ready to bet some cash that IPv6 will never become a major transport protocol.
    I know I will do whatever I can to keep it far far away.

    • Re:Makes me happy (Score:5, Informative)

      by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:24PM (#24652215) Journal

      It may be just me, but I always felt IPv6 is a solution looking for the problem. [..] And lots and lots of NAT or proxying.

      And NAT is a problem masquerading as a solution.

      Anyway, I am ready to bet some cash that IPv6 will never become a major transport protocol.
      I know I will do whatever I can to keep it far far away.

      And I'll keep on enjoying all the free services people provide for IPv6 enabled hosts.

      • Re:Makes me happy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by CodeBuster ( 516420 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @01:54AM (#24655133)

        And NAT is a problem masquerading as a solution.

        That depends upon your point of view. As the parent said (or at least alluded to), very few people have more than a handful of servers which need to be addressable from outside a private network [wikipedia.org] and fewer still have more than 255 (class C). Indeed, large portions of the existing address space are being wasted or not used efficiently already so why should I spend a dime to upgrade my equipment simply because other people are wasting addresses or are deluded by the relative importance of their toaster compared to the rest of the hosts on the public Internet? There is also the convenience (from a security and filtering point of view) with heirarchical centralized control of traffic and routing into one's private network. I don't know about you, but I don't wan't just anyone to communicate directly with the hosts on my private network so for me (and a great many other people as the adoption rate of IPv6 shows) the NAT IPv4 Firewall Router fits the bill nicely.

        And I'll keep on enjoying all the free services people provide for IPv6 enabled hosts.

        You do that, but don't whine because you cannot connect directly to a toaster on my private network because I choose not to upgrade my equipment. When the upgrade will earn me more money then and only then will I consider it. Until then it is machts nichts.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by stevied ( 169 )

          IPv4 NAT is quite a nice fit for the issue of dealing with lots machines with dubious security wanting to run 'simple' protocols, in a world with limited public addresses available.

          Having said that, at least part of the perceived "niceness" is psychological: it puts a real system boundary right at the point where one feels there's a trust boundary (the edge of the local network.) And it's beginning to look (according to Dan Kaminsky, amongst others, and not just since the recent hysteria) like that feeling

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Timmmm ( 636430 )

      "[IPv6 addresses do] not fit into any native data type (and won't until we move to 128 bit architectures - which does not seem to be very soon)"

      Wow are you serious? Never heard of structs? And we all know NAT is a very annoying 'solution'. I think the real problem with IPv6 is that is isn't sufficiently backwards compatible with IPv4 (hence all that 6-over-4 and 4-over-6 nonsense.

      That and it isn't really needed yet.

      • Re:Makes me happy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ugen ( 93902 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @08:02PM (#24652633)

        I usually do not reply to my own posts (or replies to my posts) on /., but this is one area where I think it may actually be important.

        First of all, if I were to guess, I'd say that all those who replied while questioning my background don't actually do network development for a living. While I could start beating my own chest about how most of your traffic right now probably goes through something designed by me, that would be beside the point (and noone knows you are a dog on the Internet :) ).

        That said, a few points specifically.

        1) "Never heard of structs?". Structures are orthogonal to the size of IP addresses. You can represent IPv4 address as a structure (as original in_addr used to do, exactly because not all hardware supported 32 bit natively). You could do the same with IPv6 (or you can simply stuff it into 16 sequential bytes). What won't change is ability to perform operations directly on the data type.
        You can natively compare two v4 addresses by using a == b (which will translate into a single assembly instruction). You cannot do that on a 129 bit data item. Your choices are - memcmp, or defined operation (compare first 4 bytes, then next 4 bytes, then next, then next :) ). This is inefficient, prone to error and makes code less maintainable.

        2) Radix trees. Sure, anything can be stored in a radix tree with appropriately long prefix or appropriately large number of nodes in a prefix. What can't be done, however, is keeping this tree in memory (given current device and system memory sizes, which are in low gigabytes to a few dozen gigabytes). This problem is exacerbated by the fact that IPv4 address space is very compact of necessity (not too many holes, and everything is neatly CIDRed together), whereas IPv6 is of necessity full of holes (and designed to stay that way).

        3) Performance is a relatively minor consideration in this.

        As far as NAT goes - I firmly believe that solutions (in technology and elsewhere) are of two kinds - "organic", i.e. borne of and supported by needs and circumstances, and "artificial". Organic solutions are not always streamlined or pretty. Humans are a good example. A rock of salt is pretty darn inorganic (though I wouldn't want to stretch this analogy too far :) ) NAT is the former, IPv6 is the latter.

        • Re:Makes me happy (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @12:07AM (#24654659) Homepage Journal

          While I could start beating my own chest about how most of your traffic right now probably goes through something designed by me, that would be beside the point (and noone knows you are a dog on the Internet :) ).

          I don't know if you're a dog, but I do know that you haven't designed recent hardware, or you'd know that:

          1. There are opcodes for doing 128-bit operations on modern CPUs, just like there were 80-bit FLOPs on 32-bit CPUs.
          2. One of the core design goals of IPv6 was to simplify routing, and they've succeeded. Route entries may use more bytes but there will be a whole lot less of them by design.
          3. You can represent IPv4 addresses with structs, but not an IPv4 header since they have variable lengths. IPv6 has fixed-length headers, significantly lessening processing and making hardware routing much easier to implement.

          If you like simplicity and elegance and performance, you'd love IPv6.

        • Re:Makes me happy (Score:5, Insightful)

          by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @01:31AM (#24655035) Homepage Journal

          1. Not too many processors allow you to handle 1-bit or 4-bit structures, of which the IPv4 header contains many. The difference is the direction, not the direct handling.

          2. Since IPv6 should have fewer exceptions to general cases, the number of nodes in the radix tree should be significantly lower, so giving you a net save.

          3. Performance is so unimportant that IPv4 latency is one of the biggest things people loath and despise about IPv4. ATM is hardly a decent protocol, the payloads are absurdly small, but the latency is almost non-existent. As grids and clouds increase in usage, network latency is going to be the only latency that people will care about.

    • Re:Makes me happy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Permutation Citizen ( 1306083 ) * on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:43PM (#24652393)

      You (and many people) are so accustomed to NAT you don't even see how wrong it is.

      There is nothing really difficult to use IPv6 address instead of IPv4. Writing (or even using) a network application having to deal with NAT is a real pain.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CodeBuster ( 516420 )
        Even if everyone switched to IPv6 overnight there would still be IPv6 NAT or something basically equivalent to outside observers simply because directly addressable public hosts are dangerous and should be limited to controlled gateways so that the attack surface exposed by a private network is limited to those hosts which really need to be on the front line. Besides, it really wouldn't be a private network if every host was publicly addressable to arbitrary incoming traffic now would it?
    • Re:Makes me happy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stevied ( 169 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:45PM (#24652423)

      If I were solving this, I'd suggest separate and non-directly routable IPv4 address spaces for separate countries (and, perhaps, for other entities). And lots and lots of NAT or proxying. Of course that is kind of what is happening anyway.

      Eww. Lots of room for bugs and weird feature interaction in the design of protocols that have to punch through NATs, either that or everyone has to role out new helper modules / ALGs each time some wizzy new app is invented.

      IPv6 is really a clean-up job. Combing the complexity back out of the network has got to be a win for reliability, ease of administration, and perhaps even security. I'm in favour, though I have to say I'm doubtful about it happening any time soon.

      I think the most optimistic scenario is this: when IPv4 exhaustion hits, particularly in countries that have to yet to have their internet 'boom' and so will have a very low number of existing addresses per capita, obviously some sort ISP side NATing is going to be required. People may decide that they might as well implement IPv6 and TRT [wikipedia.org] anyway, particularly if they're deploying new hardware / software combinations (netbooks? set-top boxes?) and so can dictate IPv6-readiness. Hopefully once sufficient numbers of IPv6-only nodes are out there, it'll seem worthwhile rolling out IPv6 on servers.

      The alternative, ultimately, is people auctioning off tiny IPv4 address blocks and exponentially bloating routing table sizes, or a horrible twisty unreliable world of multiple NAT or ALGs, where net neutrality is a quaint concept consigned to history ..

      And yes, printable IPv6 addresses are ridiculous. Admins will have to get used to trusting DNS (or /etc/hosts) when configuring stuff .. :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:03PM (#24651945)
    Make all porn only reachable through IPv6.
    • Make all porn only reachable through IPv6.

      Did you check the post above you? [slashdot.org]

      From the post's link:

      We're taking over 100 gigabytes of the most popular "adult entertainment" videos from one of the largest subscription websites on the internet, and giving away access to anyone who can connect to it via IPv6. No advertising, no subscriptions, no registration. If you access the site via IPv4, you get a primer on IPv6, instructions on how to set up IPv6 through your ISP, a list of ISPs that support IPv6 natively, and a discussion forum to share tips and troubleshooting. If you access the site via IPv6 you get instant access to "the goods".

      Unfortunately, that won't work, because it's not aimed to the industry. The ones who decide whether the public will use IPv6 or not are the ISPs, and better internet access is definitely NOT in their agenda (Hellooo Comcast!).

  • The fact of the matter is, IPv6 is a solution looking for a problem. With IP shortages and the ease of NAT/PAT, most entities realized they don't need a whole block of IP addresses. Most of the time, one suffices. Else, a block of 8 almost always fits everyones needs. It is like trying to solve Y3K problems 992 years before we need to actually worry about it.

    Also, most of the world is using Windows XP. Can you show me where in my TCP/IP settings panel I am supposed to enter my IPv6 information? Exactly.
    • by OverlordQ ( 264228 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:16PM (#24652101) Journal

      Also, most of the world is using Windows XP. Can you show me where in my TCP/IP settings panel I am supposed to enter my IPv6 information? Exactly.

      You don't. As is the benefit of IPv6, if it's installed it should be automagically configured. It shouldn't require manual configuration.

    • A simple one is just dealing with IP addresses. Not too bad to remember an IPv4, especially since in a given network most addresses are largely similar. An IPv6 one is rather more difficult, and much of the self similarity is gone since the MAC is embedded. Thus you have to start to have better management to deal with the numbers.

      A bigger one is the cost of replacing high speed routers. Real high end gear tends to do things in ASICs. It's really the only way to achieve the speeds that people want. Doing it

  • by taustin ( 171655 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @07:14PM (#24652081) Homepage Journal

    We'll be using IPv6 to run our fusion powered, flying cars to go to the moon [slashdot.org]?

  • Why bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Epsillon ( 608775 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @08:15PM (#24652765) Journal
    Until such time as some of the larger sites like, say, oh, I don't know, how about SLASHDOT get their finger out and install IPv6, people aren't going to bother. As a probably flawed analogy, would you buy a top-of-the-range games console with wireless everything and teraflops of processing power if there was not a single piece of software to run on it? Actually, this being Slashdot, you probably would just for bragging rights, especially if said CPU had a cool name like cellPwner pro or something. I know, bad analogy.

    ; > DiG 9.3.4-P1 > slashdot.org AAAA
    ; (1 server found)
    ;; global options: printcmd
    ;; Got answer:
    ;; ->>HEADER ;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 0

    ;; QUESTION SECTION: ;slashdot.org. IN AAAA

    slashdot.org. 3149 IN SOA ns-1.ch3.sourceforge.com.
    hostmaster.corp.sourceforge.com. 2008080600 14400 1800 604800 3600

    ;; Query time: 0 msec

    Go figure. This is why IPv6 isn't taking off and a pox on anyone who says otherwise. Trying to blame sysadmins for not deploying IPv6 is a downright insult. We're ready, Slashdot. Google's ready. A whole raft of other sites have connectivity and are ready. Looks like you're not.
  • by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Monday August 18, 2008 @09:25PM (#24653425) Homepage Journal

    I'm actually in one of the rare areas that have more than one ISP. We have three available here. Our current ISP doesn't implement IPv6, so I can't use it. I checked with the other two. Neither of them allows IPv6, either. None of the three admits to any plans to implement it.

    Most people have only one ISP, of course. What incentive does that ISP have to permit IPv6? I mean, here where we have three ISPs, none of them has an incentive to do it.

    I don't see how we can ever switch to IPv6 until the ISPs stop dropping all IPv6 packets, and start forwarding them properly. And that clearly ain't gonna happen without a bit of "government regulation" ordering them to do it or else. But with the current political setup here in the US, that ain't gonna happen, either.

    Anyone have any idea how to persuade the ISPs to come around?

  • by bytesex ( 112972 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @03:39AM (#24655607) Homepage

    Both IPv4 and IPv6 suck. IPv4 sucks because it should have been just: dest-address, source-address, ttl (byte), flags (byte), size (short). 12 bytes instead of 20. IPv6 sucks because it wants to be too much and at the same time, simply isn't modern enough. How's about variable length addresses (my home network needs only 1 byte) ? How's about flags that say something about the scope of the packet (I don't want these packets to make it accross a router; I wouldn't have to spec certain address 'areas' as 'special') ? Why drop ARP (really, it was just fine) ? What's with the f^@%ing jumbogram (4 gigabytes of payload ? What concentrator is going to cache 4 gigabytes of payload ?) ?

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @04:58PM (#24664383) Homepage Journal

    To the MANY who think a few nat devices makes it all better, please think again.

    For one, most ISPs for home service already only give out 1 IP and we're still running out. Do you want your NAT to be behind another NAT (that you cxan't configure port forwarding on)?

    Virtual servers don't help a lot either. Believe it or not, not everything on the net is a web server. Do you want to discover in a few years that you CAN NOT get a colo box hosted, but you are free to get a "virtual" home page on a one size fits all web server?

    Unless IPv6 deployments get a lot more common, the other choice is to colo in IPv6 where perhaps one in a million people can even actually connect to it.

    While we're not out of v4 addresses yet, actually getting a block from ARIN has become increasingly difficult unless you're AOL, Comcast, etc. Years ago, you could just ask for a class C and receive within a day. Now, you have to send in increasingly detailed "justifications" and they are increasingly likely to be found "insufficient". Next I suppose you'll have to include the results of your last colonoscopy as well. New customers want IP assignments NOW, but ARIN doesn't want to give them out until you can prove you have a current need for them. That pretty well assures that only large providers will be in the running. Don't you prefer a net where there are small and more responsive providers out there? Perhaps some who are a little less quick to automatically yank your site down if the *IAA grumbles that one file might be copyrighted?

    As for why so many addresses this time rather than just adding an octet, consider that v6 has been specified for 10 years now and the adoption is pitiful at best. Do we really want to be right back here again in 2018?

    Part of the freedom of the net is inextricably linked with the ability to get an IP address to be on the net with. If you don't want net access bottlenecked and controlled more than it already is, you should support a move to IPv6.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.