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IPv6 and the Business-Case Skeptics 297

Julie188 writes "Experts keep screaming that the IPv4 sky is falling. Three such experts were recently asked point-blank to state an irrefutable business case for moving to IPv6 now, and their answer was more plausible than the old refrain (the lack of addresses and a yet-to-be-seen killer IPv6 app). They said that there isn't a business case. No company that is satisfied with all of its Internet services will need to move, even in the next few years. They also pointed out that Microsoft is a unique position in the industry both causing and hindering IPv6 adoption — causing through its IPv6 support in its OSes, and hindering by not extending IPv6 support into very many of its apps."
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IPv6 and the Business-Case Skeptics

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  • by dmayle ( 200765 ) * on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:22PM (#25029315) Homepage Journal
    • It's an opportunity for press, "We're the first baz widget company to offer our services over IPv6".
    • Do something kitschy and you've got potential for viral advertising, "Got IPv6? Come see our new IPv6 only thingamabob, look it's funny, share the link with your friends".
    • You can garner the attention of early adopters, "You're at the forefront of technology, and so are we. That's why you should do business with Foobar Widgets."

    There are plenty of business cases for IPv6, you just have to ask business experts, not technology experts...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:29PM (#25029421)

      • Do something kitschy and you've got potential for viral advertising, "Got IPv6? Come see our new IPv6 only thingamabob, look it's funny, share the link with your friends".

      Sounds like a great idea. Let's make a turtle dance!

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:33PM (#25029493) Homepage

      Yeah, because cutting yourself out of 99%+ of the market by going IPv6 only is a smart business decision. Face it, if you want an online service you're on IPv4 and the service won't really be any different on IPv6. Between HTTPS, VPN and SSL noone is excited about IPSec because it's already solved if less elegantly, nor has the "online home" happened. Neither my fridge, dishwasher, washing machine or toaster is online even in the local LAN so I got no use for my own /64. IPv6 is about as sexy as computers in a new shade of beige.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by wurp ( 51446 )

        If you really can find something that people will advertise to one another because it's IPv6, it could make sense. 20% of ipv6 users is much better than 0.000001% of all internet users, even if only 1% of all internet users are ipv6 users.

        I can attest that if you build it, they will not come. I built a free site to help people buy & sell either locally (location based search) or nationally ( about 4-5 years ago. It doesn't do auctions, but it's free (as opposed to eBay), and easy to

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rtb61 ( 674572 )
          IPv6 because every new internet device created can have it's IP address preset and the RIAA, MPAA and various governments et al will love that and if not preset, then every internet user will have their own personal range of addresses which they will use in their devices. So no choice at all.
      • by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @04:13PM (#25030185) Journal
        If you're one of the people who has enough static IP addresses to serve your needs, you're better off with IPv4, because that will make sure you're among the few who do. Increasing supply doesn't serve those who already have enough, which would be those interviewed.

        If you like things the way they are, where the restricted number of static IPs makes it impossible for the great unwashed to have a voice and the web is coming to resemble a television set more each day, well, you're not going to be supportive of IPv6. Plenty for everyone means no leverage, which means no profit. Which means IPv6 isn't going to get business support from the IT sector any time soon.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
        Exactly. What is needed is an IPv7 that has IPv4 compatibility. I remember a presentation explaining why IPv6 didn't caught on. There were 3 main points :

        - IPv6 is not IPv4 compatible

        - IPv6 is not IPv4 compatible WTF ?

        - IPv6 is not IPv4 compatible and this is stupid

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by assantisz ( 881107 )

          I am sorry but that explanation is lame. Is there any operating system out there that does not support dual TCP/IP stacks? Is there any mainstream application out there that does not support IPv6 in addition to IPv4? There you have it. Just configure your IPv4 system to be also capable of IPv6 and offer your services in both ways. You just need an upstream provider that provides you with IPv6 connectivity (a little more difficult but not a show stopper).

          AFAIK there is only one real problem left that will ke

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by xaxa ( 988988 )

            You don't really need an IPv6 capable ISP for the bare minimum of IPv6 -- there's an anycast address ( for the nearest 6-to-4 relay which worked with no problems for me.

            What is a problem is routers -- specifically, consumer routers with integrated modems etc -- which don't support IPv6. My ADSL modem/router worked after I'd given it a new firewall rule -- I could then use IPv6 on one PC on the LAN. But what should happen is the router gets the /64, then assigns addresses within it (like DHCP) to

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hedwards ( 940851 )

        I don't really agree, there isn't any reason why businesses have to ever go ipv6 on their local network, more likely than not ipv4 will be used like that for some time with the conversion being done at the router level.

        You also don't make these sorts of changes 100% before pretty much everybody has partial support. It wouldn't make sense, the amount of effort it would take to get damn near everybody using ipv6 would make it prohibitively difficult to do.

        As of right now there is absolutely no excuse for orga

    • by mea37 ( 1201159 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:34PM (#25029497)

      Maybe you could build a business case around one or more of those, but what you've really got there are just marketing angles.

      The question is, how is this going to make/save me money? More specifically, how will it make/save me more money than investing the input capital in some other way?

      • Being able to say I'm the first to have it? Well, that might be worth soemthing for one company in any given industry, if that company's customers care about IPv6 for some reason.
      • Unless whatever kitschy thing I might do can only be done with IPv6, I can do it cheaper without the IPv6 conversion and get the same buzz; so to make this a business case you need a specific "something kitschy".
      • Attention of early adopters might be of value in some markets, but without some detailed projections I'd be hard pressed to invest in an entire network overhaul for marketing buzz.

      I'm not saying the business case does or doesn't exist, but until you've tied it to dollars and cents (or better yet NPV), you haven't made what most people would take as a compelling business case.

    • It's also a useful bullet point these days (and becoming more so), if you're going to be selling to Big Enterprise and Government Customers and such.
    • Actually, that's Foobar Widgetz, and they've got really good items on their download page at:


    • Sorry, "It'll be really ultra-cool" does not a business case make.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stevied ( 169 )

      You might also want to ask "technology architects" rather than "technology experts."

      Some people are very good at learning the details of existing technologies, and figuring out how to mangle them to solve tomorrow's problems. Other people take a broader view and wonder how to solve next year's problems by creating new technologies. Both have their place, and there must equivalents on the "business" side of a business - people who try to foresee major economic events, the birth of whole new markets, etc. Th

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Sorry, dmayle: a business case is more than just features and advantages. A business case should include an estimate of the costs, and some estimate of the revenues.

      The problem for ISPs is that the costs are quite high, but these alleged features and advantages have almost no value because they bring almost no revenue.

      The problem for users is that the costs are high (in terms of time and effort) but the advantages are, heretofore, nil. There's nothing I could do with IPv6 that I actually want to do that

    • Being first on the market only works for something there is a real public demand for. The golden spot is to be an early adapter first to use it when it starts getting popular.

      Viral advertising will only work if others can view it. with 99% people clicking on the link and not finding the location even if their computer supports IPv6 their ISP may not.

      Yes but the early adopters will probably still have IPv4 as well. Besides these adopters are the minority having a minority and selling a product or service tha

    • by Cato ( 8296 ) on Wednesday September 17, 2008 @12:43AM (#25034805)

      The real business case is very simple:

      * IPv4 addresses will run out in around 2010 to 2011

      * Businesses that need new addresses (mostly ISPs and telecom operators) will need to go IPv6 just to keep operating in longer term (even if there are short term workarounds, they don't work forever - this is why Comcast already has IPv6 live in its core network)

      * Planning ahead will be important to avoid an interruption in business (can't get new IPv4 addreses so can't activate customers)

      * Around 2009/2010, the stock market will start to assess public companies as to whether they have an IPv6 transition plan, and the press will start to hype "IPv4 is running out - another Y2K is on the way" - companies that don't have an IPv6 transition plan will find their ratings and stock prices fall

      If you want to continue expanding as a telco/ISP, and to have a healthy stock price (after the current dip), you will need a serious plan to move to IPv6. It's that simple.

      This article was generally quite pro IPv6, the summary was atrociously slanted against v6. But that's Slashdot for you...

  • by johannesg ( 664142 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:23PM (#25029341)

    Countries like China and India, that have lots of people that might one day want to connect, but not a lot of existing infrastructure yet, and certainly not a lot of IP4 addresses, will have a far better motivation than countries that have an abundance of unused addresses.

    The killer app will come, alright - just not from the US.

  • Here's mine: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:26PM (#25029389) Homepage Journal

    "Boss, I can get an IPv6 tunnel for free so that we can start experimenting and testing. We work with the Department of Defense, and they say that this stuff is important, so with your permission I'd like to spend $0 to start playing with it."

    And that's how we came to be on IPv6.

    • by sunking2 ( 521698 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:46PM (#25029717)
      Boss says, 'You want to be paid to do that when you haven't even recovered the email for me that I deleted last week? You aren't paid to play. Dance monkey boy, dance. And don't forget your pager when you leave tonight.'
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Just Some Guy ( 3352 )

        It sounds like you work for an awful boss. Have you considered taking night classes to help land a job that rewards intelligence?

    • by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 ) <> on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @04:50PM (#25030751) Homepage

      That will work only if your boss is an idiot and doesn't realize that you cost money. Personally I'd rather ask for a couple of days off on full pay.. you're effectively asking for the same thing but it's more fun.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:27PM (#25029401) Homepage

    IPv6 will happen when China demands it. China's growing need for IP address space will drive the issue. China needs at least a billion IP addresses. Especially since the Chinese government would like a system where each device has a permanent IP address.

  • Not exactly true (Score:4, Informative)

    by Cajal ( 154122 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:28PM (#25029411)

    There's no business case if you don't care about growing your network. If you do, you need to care about IPv6, becuase in a few years, it's going to become increasingly difficult to get new public IPv4 addresses.

    Actually, Microsoft supports IPv6 in several of its core products. IE, Outlook 2007, Windows Mail/Live Mail and Exchange 2007 support IPv6, as do many of the services in Windows 2008 (IIS, DHCPv6, DNS, POP, CIFS, LDAP, Kerberos, Remote Desktop). Some of these also have IPv6 support on Windows XP (IE, IIS, Remote Desktop, CIFS).

    • Re:Not exactly true (Score:5, Informative)

      by Paralizer ( 792155 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:43PM (#25029661) Homepage

      There's no business case if you don't care about growing your network. If you do, you need to care about IPv6, becuase in a few years, it's going to become increasingly difficult to get new public IPv4 addresses.

      Many companies do not need public IP addresses, yet they have large networks. For example, imagine a company that has a location with 2,000 employees. The company does not offer web services but they do need internet access for their employees to be able to send/receive email and use business applications between sites (via VPN tunnels). In this case the company may only need a handful of IP addresses and NAT all of their private addresses through the pool of 4 or 5 public IP addresses for that location. They can easily add a new building to their location and just expand their LAN as they have an entire A block providing millions of IP addresses. NATing between the internal LAN and the internet they can get up to ~250,000 entries (provided their hardware can support that), allowing each of their 2,000 users to be using, on average, 125 internet applications (or open connections) at once.

      This situation I suspect is typical of almost all companies. Most already have enough public IP addresses to satisfy all of their internal users and lots of room to expand on their LAN side.

      • by Cajal ( 154122 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:59PM (#25029939)

        NATing between the internal LAN and the internet they can get up to ~250,000 entries (provided their hardware can support that), allowing each of their 2,000 users to be using, on average, 125 internet applications (or open connections) at once.

        What's going to be more expensive: A massive NAT box or an IPv6-enabled router (as many already are)?

        What's going to be more expensive: Adding NAT buster support into many apps, or using IPv6 (many apps are already IPv6-aware)?

        At the APNIC 26 conference [] last month, NTT presented some ballpack numbers [] for how many people can be comfortably put behind NAT. They're not encouraging. Basically, the common "Web 2.0"-type apps open a lot of background connections, which chews through your ephemeral port space quickly, limiting the number of people that can be NATted. Google echoed those claims loud and clear []: "AJAX applications break behind excessive NAT."

        Also, consider that by 2012 we'll have run out of public IPv4 addresses. But only 25% of Earth's population will be online []. Do you propose to put another 3.5 billion people behind NAT? I'm pretty skeptical that NAT can handle that load.

        While NAT will likely be needed in the short term to deal with IPv4 address exhaution, I'm highly skeptical of its long-term scalability.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Paralizer ( 792155 )
          Well not all 2,000 users in my example are going to open 125 connections simultaneously so the NAT table on the router isn't going to be that enormous, but maybe just a small fraction. Your typical enterprise Cisco/Juniper router/firewall can probably handle that load fine (I'd have to double check on that), or maybe you can load balance between multiple routers each with different public IP pools.

          If you agree with that assumption then you can say your business class router/firewall that can handle both
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by againjj ( 1132651 )

          Also, consider that by 2012 we'll have run out of public IPv4 addresses.

          That is not the hard fact it sounds like, but depends on a number of assumptions that may or may not pan out. This has been proclaimed for quite a while now, and the date keeps getting pushed back. Why? Because assumptions keep getting broken by things like NAT and CIDR. The next big thing I imagine will be the reallocation of class A addresses: why should the likes of HP get multiple class A's?

          I predict that the allocation of IPv4 addresses will not have a hard stop, but rather will trail off over ti

        • by springbox ( 853816 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @09:30PM (#25033647)
          What about putting NAT behind NAT?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by profplump ( 309017 )

        What happens when that company wants to setup a VPN to another company that also uses the address space? Now I need a NATNAT device that invents a whole new set of addresses to let machines inside the two private networks talk to each other.

        I'm not saying that everyone needs to be directly on the Internet with a public address and no firewall. But even if you are going to assign private addresses internally, there's value in having (or being able to easily obtain) a globally unique address so that

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by egamma ( 572162 )
          My company solves that problem on a frequent basis. It's not that hard--it's called a "reverse-NAT". you simply NAT the other guy's IP addresses to or something and they do the same. Neither side knows that they are being NATed, and they don't care--all they know is that 172.16 is the "other" network.
      • Even if you said "Here, have a /8 completely free, use whatever you like," they'd still want to do NAT. Why? Privacy and security. NAT automatically gives a good measure of security. You have an inbound firewall by default, simply because of how it works. You have to explicitly set up any inbound ports to be forwarded. Also this means that to get to any system that doesn't have a forwarded port, you'll have to get access to a system that does. With public IPs, there is always the possibility that the firewa

        • Repeat it until it sinks in. In some cases it is possible to tunnel through NAT routers. And there are several attacks that do not depend on the victim having a public IP address. If you want security, use a firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware technology.

        • With public IPs, there is always the possibility that the firewall fails or is shut off and you can get at a system. With NAT, you have to get inside to be able to get at anything.

          In that sense, it's also always possible that the NAT gets shut off -- thus implying that a handful of computers on your network have live Internet IP addresses, and the rest are denied DHCP access -- or it's possible that it fails, as is the case with things like NAT hole punching.

          Privacy you also get just by the way NAT works. Since you have many people using a few (or one) IP addresses, it is much harder to track what any given computer is doing.

          An anonymizer may make sense for an individual behind the NAT, but I doubt it helps the corporation at all. In fact, if I get a ton of spam, and I send mail to your domain saying "It's from <IP>", wouldn't you rather know e

  • Consumer rollout (Score:2, Interesting)

    For the consumer how will this roll out? Moving to IPv6 means that I can't use NAT anymore for my home network. That means I need a block of IP addresses assigned to me. So does my telco/cable company have this set up and will it cost me a huge amount to get a block of IPs? If it does, I can see the resistance.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Moving to IPv6 means that I can't use NAT anymore for my home network.

      I don't believe that's accurate. What's supposed to happen is that your ISP gives you a /64 block and you don't need NAT, but nothing says you can't use NAT if you want to (or if your ISP doesn't play nice).

      • My current routers assign private IP addresses to my computers at home. My understanding is that with IPv6 this would not be allowed and that my router would have to assign real IPs. Now if my telco/cable company sells me a block of them with my service that would be great. However, are they ready to do this and will they try to charge me a great deal for a block as opposed to a single, rotating address. That is my main question.
        • by molo ( 94384 )

          The block they assign to you will probably vary (you will probably still have to pay extra for a static), just like DHCP does now. But your router will be able to advertise the available block to your subnet, and it can dynamically change. Check out radvd for an example of this.


        • My current routers assign private IP addresses to my computers at home. My understanding is that with IPv6 this would not be allowed and that my router would have to assign real IPs.

          NAT for IPv6 was implemented in Linux in 2004, so it's clearly possible. How would someone go about making it "not allowed"?

    • Got IPv6 from my FAI. I got both IPv4 (192.168.x.x local adresses) and IPv6 with a prefix for each of my machines.
      I think that IPv6 NATing is not a problem: it works very well here, and no matter if I put IPv4 or IPv6 adresses (I'm in France, my FAI is Free, and NATing uis done via my "box")

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Just Some Guy ( 3352 )

      Moving to IPv6 means that I can't use NAT anymore for my home network.

      You technically can, but there are few sane reasons for wanting to.

      That means I need a block of IP addresses assigned to me. So does my telco/cable company have this set up and will it cost me a huge amount to get a block of IPs?

      Correct, yes (they will), and no (it won't). I have a free /48 allocation from Hurricane Electric [], giving me a home netblock of 2^80 addresses. If your ISP tries to rake you over the coals, I could probably peel off 2^64 or so of those to lend you.

    • Tell me again why you can't do "NAT" if you use IPv6? (That's a serious question, what technology prevents you from using port-forwarding with IPv6?)

      More to the point, do you really want to do NAT if you have IPv6?

      Having all IP addresses public is not any less secure or vulnerable, given a correct firewall configuration. If you deny by default, and open exactly what should be allowed (address and port tuple), you are as secure as the firewall can do, short of advance features like protocol specific inspect

      • You can do port forwarding without NAT.
        And he's wrong, nothing's preventing you from doing NAT on IPv6, except that it's probably never been implemented since it's kinda pointless.

      • by mckyj57 ( 116386 )

        It amazes me that the IPv6 people never talk about the *benefits* of NAT, which is that the individual's user and all it's vulnerable services are not readily accessible to the Internet at large.

        And don't talk to me about firewalls, either. In actual practice, firewalls have turned out to be firesieves way too often. If you have a strong enough firewall to matter, you might as well NAT because you aren't getting to that machine anyway.

    • And nobody's preventing you to use NAT, except that you might have to code it yourself.
      Me I'm on IPv6 thanks to my ISP ( having implemented it; but there isn't much to do there.

    • Well, you still can use NAT on your home network, it's just that you don't have to. You won't need to get a block of IP addresses assigned to you, you'll get one by default. The smallest assignment your ISP will be able to give you (without violating the IPv6 spec) will be a /64. Since IPv6 addresses are 128 bits, that gives you a 64-bit block (4 billion IPv4-sized networks) to assign your own machines in. For the average user who doesn't care about subnetting within their home network, that means just allo

  • For a long time, IPv4's limited address space looked to be a problem. And that was the #1 business case behind IPv6.

    The problem is, NAT came around at just the right time. Most businesses only need a couple of external addresses, and many end-users don't need one at all.

    • Most businesses only need a couple of external addresses, and many end-users don't need one at all.

      That's right! As long as you originate 100% of your traffic, don't host VPNs, and never need to use an end-to-end connection, you'll be just fine behind an Internet-breaking NAT. Just pray that you never need to SSH to your home server which is also behind one.

      • Agreed, NAT is a particularly ugly solution whereas IPv6 is much more elegant. However, there seems to be a business case for NAT, in that it helps maintain the idea of consumers vs. producers. If you want Real Internet (TM), get a business account.

        Actually, I'm probably spoiled, since many Finnish ISPs give you 5 public IP addresses. My current ISP doesn't even distinguish between private and business contracts, though they do provide higher-grade services as well.

  • Microsoft and IPv6 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BhaKi ( 1316335 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @03:43PM (#25029663)
    Actually, Microsoft is the last company to add IPv6 support to its OSs. By the time of arrival of WinXP, most other OSs including Linux, Solaris and BSDs had it atleast for 2 years. And WinXP offered it as an optional protocol that had to be installed manually. Vista is the first version of windows to offer IPv6 in a default install.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by 0racle ( 667029 )
      Windows is the most used though. In this sense, Microsoft did more to bringing IPv6 to everybody then switching ever other OS over would have. On top of that, Microsoft was not the last. Windows NT and 2000 had an IPv6 implementation available, with the first release of that in 1998, the same year Solaris 7 was released which also had a IPv6 add-on as Solaris didn't ship with IPv6 until Solaris 8 (2000). While the first release of IPv6 for Linux happened earlier (1996), it was unmaintained and almost useles
  • The reason no one upgrades is that the new "standard" is not simply interoperable with the old. When color TV came out you could still watch the same programming on you B/W. It is not the case with IPv6. You need new routers, new software, new DNS and to train your people. Sure Apache 2.0 and Vista work but an Apache configured just with IPv6 can not serve people on the "internet" (yea yea build a bridge yada yada yada)

    Please, the spec is bad just for this reason. The simple basic requirement for new addres

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by profplump ( 309017 )

      Have you ever actually looked at what's required to parse an IPv4 header vs. an IPv6 header? There are plenty of good reasons that IPv6 decided the IPv4 structure was not a good plan.

      Beside that, there's no practical way to add address length to IPv4 headers that wouldn't break old equipment. Moreover the kind of breakage caused would be harder to detect and repair -- old equipment would see the IPv4 header, not know about the new extensions, and likely do the wrong thing (like forward traffic to the addres

      • by stevied ( 169 )

        Bingo. That's why I never understood DJB's similar little rant []. You can't grow the address space and expect backward compatibility, because there's no way for a legacy node (router or host) to preserve the additional address bits (I suppose if you've got bits in another field that are always preserved and not used for anything important, you could use those. But we haven't, so that's the end of that particular story.)

    • by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @04:16PM (#25030245) Homepage

      Except that the IPv6 design is backwards-compatible. Any IPv4 address has, per the IPv6 spec, an IPv6 representation, so any IPv6 machine can talk to a machine that has only IPv4 connectivity. Likewise, if your IPv6 machine also has an IPv4 address, there's a defined transformation to allow traffic to it's IPv4 address to be handled by the IPv6 stack. Most IPv6 stacks include all this functionality internally already.

      And yes, IPv6 is radically different from IPv4. It's different for the same reasons a Freightliner semi tractor's radically different from a Mini Cooper: it's designed to do things the Mini's incapable of. Sure, you can redesign a semi tractor to be similar to the Mini, use the same parts as the Mini and all that, but in doing so you'd make the tractor cease to be a semi tractor and cease to be capable of doing what you wanted a semi tractor for.

      • by gclef ( 96311 )

        Any IPv4 address has, per the IPv6 spec, an IPv6 representation, so any IPv6 machine can talk to a machine that has only IPv4 connectivity.

        But, if your IPv4 host has no IPv6 address, it has no way to reply to the IPv6 host. This is one of the reasons people wanted things like NAT-PT, and why killing NAT-PT was a bad idea.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by stevied ( 169 )

        IPv4-compatible addresses [] are deprecated, and IPv4-mapped addresses [] are basically only there so you can write an "IPv6 only" application and still transparently handle IPv4 connections. The actual system the app is running on still has to be dual stack.

        IPv6-only hosts can't talk to IPv4-only hosts without help []. As noted above, what could an IPv6-only node put in the source address of an outgoing IPv4 packet that would ensure it got to see any responses?

        And and that risk of looking like I'm deliberately try

    • That's a great idea, as long as you can find another 96 address bits in the IPv4 header. Oh, and update every router in the world to handle IPv6-style routing (which is not the same as IPv4 routing because we've learned a few things along the way). And figure out a way to require IPSec support. And multicast.

      Do you really think that IPv4+6 would be any easier to support than IPv6 itself?

  • by stevied ( 169 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @04:04PM (#25030031)

    This is a bit like saying there is no business case for doing something about climate change. Sure, I can't tell anyone that specific bits of their infrastructure are going to get wiped out by hurricanes, or that particular segments of their markets are going to be bankrupted and / or drowned by rising sea levels, but that doesn't mean it's not a good idea.

    Similarly, I can't forecast what the oil price is going to do, whether it will be higher or lower in 12 months time than it is now. I don't know when we will hit peak oil, or if we've hit it already, and I don't know the exact consequences of that. But that certainly doesn't mean that looking at ways of reducing energy requirements, and alternative sources for them, isn't a good idea.

    I can't say what will happen as IPv4 address scarcity hits. Will people be denied allocations outright? I doubt it. Will small blocks of addresses in random parts of the address space be auctioned to the highest bidders? Seems more likely. Will dealing with the huge routing tables caused by all those disconnected little blocks put stress on routers, causing reliability issues and more money to be spent on upgrades? Quite possibly. Will we see people rolling out multiple layers of NAT, and all sorts of ugly application-helpers? Probably. Will it be reliable? I doubt it.

    Times are hard economically now, and as a result people pull their horns in and look for hard, specific reasons to justify effort and expenditure, particularly immediate, short-term reasons. But short-termism got us into the current (economic) mess in the first place. Step back, look at the big picture. Yes, it's fuzzy. That doesn't mean there aren't obvious trends, obvious problems -- and also some reasonably obvious, big-picture solutions.

    • This is a bit like saying there is no business case for doing something about climate change. ...

      Oh, no! Now we have a Global Warming take on IPv6 adoption!

      I think it's time for a new version of Godwin's law with Global Warming / Climate Change substituted for NAZIs:

      As a scientific, technological, or political discussion or grant proposal grows longer, the probability of an assertion of a tie-in to climate change approaches one.

      = = =

      I realize you may have had a serious point. But (like NAZI analogies) the

  • Sure - let's blame Microsoft for IPv6 adoption as well! I know there are tunneled IPv6 connections available that are free, but there should be more support from ISP's for native IPv6 connections. I work in a major data centre and the IPv6 adoption rate and carriers that offer IPv6 connections is low. Microsoft being 2 years late in support IPv6 is a poor excuse.
  • I've noticed recently that an awful lot of *nix based software is now supporting IPv6, either in the upstream source or added by distributions.

    A lot of the demand for new addresses (and hence possibly for IPv6) will be on the smaller and / or more portable devices (phones, netbooks, set-top boxes) that often run Linux anyway.

    I also note that the KDE guys are porting to Windows. I don't specifically know whether their apps generally support IPv6 already, and if so whether their Windows ports will, but I can

  • Comcast Business case is for you to pay per PC just like you do with the cable boxes / cable cards.

  • If you are running Debian or Ubuntu (or another Debian derivative) and want to run IPv6, go to: - IPv6 for Debian and Ubunutu []

    This site generates an IPv6 configuration specific for your machine. The only thing you need is a working internet connection, which you have, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this.

  • Stages of Grief (Score:5, Insightful)

    by georgewilliamherbert ( 211790 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @04:39PM (#25030605)

    Network architects and admins with clue are currently at the "Depression" stage (4th stage).

    Why Slashdot feels that putting up a commentary authored by someone who's still in the first stage ("Denial") is useful to anyone is beyond me.

    IPv4 exhaustion is coming. CIDR got us from the mid-90s until now. But it's coming now. Please stop denying, being angry, trying to bargain it away. Hopefully we'll all move past depression into acceptance (as vendors and infrastructure gets ready) before it hits. But I know a lot of smart people who would prefer to retire in the next 2 years instead of be there when it hits.

    They probably won't, but would like to...

  • Instead of fixing some of the known flaws in IPv4, IPv6 is just spackle over the cracks. I'm not going to go into detail on it here, but if you care what they are, read John Day's 'Patterns in Network Architecture'. Really, the only reason to go IPv6 is to get more addresses, which is only sufficient and compelling if that is the reason you need it, just like there's no compelling reason to go from XP to Vista unless you need DX10.

    But Vista has MS shoving it down everyone's throats (by trying its damndest t

  • by Teun ( 17872 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @05:21PM (#25031149) Homepage
    From the techs at my ISP I understand there are serious problems with availability of IPv6 hardware, especially good load balancers seem to be non existent.

    So until then they won't be pushing IPv6 although it is available and even supported for the curious and brave.

  • by SirShadowlord ( 32925 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2008 @07:02PM (#25032301) Homepage

    ...In _one_ customer deployment We're deploying 1.7 million devices over 1200 mobile subnetworks in under 18 months. Each device needs to be capable of self addressing and migrating from subnetwork to subnetwork subject to the local RF conditions.

    These devices need to be uniquely addressable from existing Unix hosts, as well as capable of being monitored from current Enterprise Network Element Managers.

    We've further hypothesized that by 2012 as many as fifty of these networks will be in existence, each of which may need to have all their nodes addressable by multiple vendors.

    There is your business case for IPV6.

    Ironically, internally, in our company, and on all of our servers - we are 100% split stack. No desire whatsoever to run IPV6 pure environments. NAT does everything we need. Don't even run IPV6 on our IPSEC Remote Access VPN or 802.11 environment.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.