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Vint Cerf On Broadband, Wireless, IPV6 And More 77

Carnage4Life writes: "There's a very interesting interview on Upside with Vint Cerf [?] who is currently senior vice president for Internet architecture and technology at MCI Worldcom. In the article he discusses the problems facing the current specifications for wireless protocols, UUNet and how it will be adapted to face the future (maybe by becoming an optically switched network), his home wireless network, IPv6 [?] and his expectations of how broadband will change the Net. " Ya ever think what the world owes these guys? Wow.
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Vint Cerf On Broadband, Wireless, IPV6 And More

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  • So, I have to ask: why didn't ISO take off due to the issues with IPv4, thus giving IPv6 a chance to fill the niche?

    Basically because there was too much political infighting in the standards committees. So you ended up with all sorts of features that were of no use to anybody except one particular vendor. As opposed to the IETF, which worked things out on technical merit. What resulted from the ISO was incredibly tricky to implement correctly, and the specs had plenty of gray areas which could frequently lead to incompatibility.

    Not that people didn't try. If you look back through rfc-index.txt [isi.edu], you can see efforts like TUBA and IP with CLNP where people tried to bring some of the good features of ISO networking into IP.

    Also, the experience of putting the Internet together gave the IETF people a far better insight into the problems of scaling very large networks than the people on the ISO committees (IMHO).

  • How does this get a score of 0, and Signal 11 babbles away and gets a least a 1.

    Yeah it's flamebait (thank you moderators) but this twitt doesn't seem to realize the difference between a registered user posting and an anonymous coward posting. Hell I don't think he even realizes his own posts are at 1, hopefully moderated down into the sub-zero land as I write.

    Or he may be a microtroll and I've bitten.

  • Well, the company i work for (Excite@Home [excitehome.net]) has more than 1.25 million cable modem subscribers. I have DSL at home, as do another half million people or so (roughly, current numbers aren't in front of me). I'd wager that most people who share the use of a T1 or higher at work or school are happier than they would be at 28.8. And I can assure you that they aren't all using the speed just for porn, music, and warez.

    Since my company's motto is "The Leader in Broadband", i can think of some darned useful and/or enjoyable uss for broadband:

    1. Almost all pages load much faster.
    2. Online radio/video becomes reasonable/listenable.
    3. Downloading demo/free software becomes much more reasonable.
    4. Online gaming quality improves dramatically.
    5. Friends who send you large email attachments remain your friends.
    6. Working from home becomes much more enjoyable, since you don't spend eons waiting for the source code to move between machines.
    7. And so on...

    I'm glad that you surf happily at 28.8, but you're incorrect to suggest that faster is not useful. Indeed, it changes ones entire relationship to the web. At slower speeds, you're not sure whether you really want to click that link, cause who knows what kind of wait you're in for. Faster means you're threshold of pain is dramatically lower.

    The uptake of mobile phones with limited bandwidth is proof of the value of mobile connectivity, not the superior desirability of low bandwidth.

    [PLUG] See home.excite.com [excite.com] for more ideas about what broadband is good for [/PLUG]


    Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies
    solely in my tenacity.
    --Louis Pasteur (1822-1895)
  • Why does each device in a house need to have it's own public IP address?

    Maybe each house could have a router of sorts, with it's own real IP address, and then send traffic as needed to the "private" subnet inside the house (192.168.0.*), etc... Different classes of devices could just communicate over different ports, a la:

    refridgerators use port 919
    coffeemakers use port 18339
    home security systems use port 683


    If you were at work and wanted to check the status of your refridgerator, you could just open a connection to www.yourhouse.com:919, and then the fridge's webserver could shoot back a picture of it's contents to you....

    I kinda sorta think that 4 billion IP addresses are enough, if we were just wiser in how we doled them out and used them...
  • That was the question which made the least sense to me. I have an "always on" cable modem, but that's not the same as "always has an IP address". He's going to have to convince AT&T/Time Warner/etc. that IPV6 is a better solution than DHCP, which is currently available on all PCs and they are trained to support.

    Sure, it would be nice to have a static IP address, and I as a client would be happy to get that (and would have with telocity DSL if my landlord wasn't in cahoots w/MediaOne (now AT&T)), but the reason I want static IP is to run a server, and it's not in AT&T's interest to encourage that on a cable modem.[*] Most users will never require static IP and are perfectly happy with DHCP.

    So until having a static IP becomes important to your average Web TV/WAP user and the user is willing to put up with getting mostly-new networking software, I don't see any ISPs being able to justify moving their networks to IPV6.

    Of course, eventually they could reach the point where even the dynamic IP pool is in constant use and I can't get an address for my "always on" device. That's about the only other reason that I could see ISPs switching over, and even at that they might just hack on NAT at their connection to the net rather than moving their whole network to a new standard.

    [*] Yes, I could get a dynamic IP redirector like dyndns.org, but right now I'm planning to move out and get DSL instead. Running a server at home isn't essential; it would just be nice (and it's not the only reason I'm moving :).

  • He's a senior VP for MCI Worldcom. I think he's doing just fine in the money category.
  • o, the worst part is the crackers hacking their way into my refrigerator...

    Man, you don't have no imagination.

    Think of a fully wired house with remote-controlled: locks, temperature, lights, music, toilet, the works. Imagine, for example, being woken at 4 am by a maniacal laughter echoing through the house to find out that lights don't work, the house is bitterly cold, and the lock on your door will not open...

  • I'm sorry, but did that give anyone else an erection, or is it just me?

    Who are we to comment on your choice in port?..

  • Who are we to comment on your choice in port?..

    ... Must use preview button ... must use preview ...

    I, of course, meant porN, not porT.

  • Most people in that situation would quickly conclude that the window can be opened by throwing a chair through it; in other words, a hardware solution. ;-)

    Unless you live in a high-rise apartment building.

    BTW, I forgot to mention that in five minutes everything returns to normal -- and as you stand on your front lawn looking at the broken window, you see cops and an emergency psychiatric care ambulance drive up: your automated phone system thoughtfully called 911 saying you are having paranoidal delusions...

  • > Someone, please, tell me what PHBs means.

    Pointy Hair Boss
    - think of Dilbert's boss - clueless etc.
  • Damnit, have got to reply. Moderating something "Funny" is supost to give it a +1, isn't it? Than, damn, why did this post receive an "-1 Funny" from me?????????

    *hoping the reply removes the moderation*

  • What we really need is a flag day where the Net turns the knob to IPng and goes on like that. The transition all falls down on that it is a setback to go to a (nonvalid IPv4) IPng address.

    It would also force the delopers to meet the deadline and get the fine software ready or be out of business (are we all in shape from Y2K deadline.)

    I would go for an IPng class, but not until it makes sense, and it doesn't make sense before we all got IPng addresses.

  • A mpeg movie takes about 128Kb/s.

    How big a frame (in pixels)? I'm running a 640Kpbs ADSL connection and have found the the stream is almost (but not quite) fast enough to pull in video in realtime from Adcritic.com. It's encoded in Sorenson, and looks to be (rough estimate here) about 250x300 pixels, maybe a little smaller.

  • Get real, even MICROSOFT has IPv6 support for windows! Why don't you do a little research before making such alarmist postings...

    the BSDs already have a very good interface to IPv6, and I believe linux is putting it (like everything else) right into the kernel! so what's not to like.

    for the record, I believe that the v6 'migration' will begin at the end of 2001, as all the carriers start putting in the new 'next-generation' terrabit/dwdm routing equipment. That is a big enough 'feature' upgrade to warrent doing a whole new network, and that would be the logical time to do the move to v6 for the backbone. It would then be a trivial matter to run the Public Network as a VPN, along with the Voice Network, and anything else you want to toss on it.
  • You don't have to be a gearhead your whole life to get cred.
    One of Vint Cerf's claims to fame is standing on a table at an IAHC (?) committee meeting, and as everyone debated diverging standards, stripped down to a t-shirt that read "IP Over Everything".

    Oh, and something about founding cerf.net, which was sucked up into MCI. He didn't take the money and run, he pioneered the commercial push onto the web.
  • At Microsoft's site [microsoft.com] there is a book for win2k that includes IPv6 information. As Microsoft puts support for ipv6 in their products we'll likely see the transition to it begin.

    The main hurdle is the 'average user' base, but as client OS's begin to support IPv6 that hurdle will pass.

    It would also seem prudent for the backbone networks to implement IPv6 soon and extend out as far as they can. The more of the net that is already at IPv6 (or at least capeable of routing it) the easier it is for one more host to get on.

    Speaking of which, linux users should investigate the 6bone [6bone.net] which can supply a tunneled connection to an IPv6 network, created automatically by a web page. Also, it would be nice if a 'killer app' such as napster was improved to support IPv6. Doing so would give users a reason to want IPv6 support on their network.

  • I hang out in alt.religion.kibology on a regular basis, and I thought I had the acronym game down pat.


  • Well, no references but..

    You are right in that a limit could be presented by the ability of our generation / detection equipment. However, there is also the point of the theoretical maximum.

    Sure, you can keep dividing each color band in half (start with 100 channels, then split it all into 200 channels, etc.) but each time you split it, the maximum bandwidth of each channel is halved. So it's not that just because the color (frequency) spectrum is continuous, you can have infinite channels. Each channel has to have some width, and you can only have channels up to some engineered maxumum frequency.


  • Fact - It takes FOREVER to get people to change to a new technology when there are legacy issues. Just look at how slow it's taking HDTV to really catch on. We're still using the same old type of phone lines from 50 years ago. There are still companies running 30 yr old mainframes, people with non-cableready TVs... etc.

    I think in the future (probably 15-20 yrs down the line), new houses will be built, already connected to the Internet, with jacks in most rooms - Standard, not a thing that the owners put in themselves. Kind of like how any house built during or after the 80's has cable jacks already built in. Houses will have a standard line (be it satellite, cable, dsl), you call your provider, they turn it on remotely for you, you plug in your appliance/computer/toaster/whatevers and they're automatically configured and on the Internet.

    Let's face it though, not everyone has the money to pay for internet, there are people who don't even have phones or cable tv. People in Africa don't have enough food to eat, why would they even think of networking their huts? This ipv6 will come but it will be slow. Not EVERYONE on the planet will need a household IP (also since there's more than 1 person living in each house, plus the 3rd world countries aren't even close to being there yet). They'll run out eventually, but not quick enough for people to be worried about it quite yet.

    My 2 cents.
  • Imagine, for example, being woken at 4 am ... to find out that lights don't work, the house is bitterly cold, and the lock on your door will not open...
    Most people in that situation would quickly conclude that the window can be opened by throwing a chair through it; in other words, a hardware solution. ;-)
  • The last time I had anything to do with this was about 5 years ago, but IIRC the ISO network protocol has variable-length addresses and isn't vulnerable to the address-space exhaustion which looms in IPv4. (I worked with a guy who was an ISO bigot and talked down IPv6 because nobody wanted to implement it... kind of the opposite of Vint Cerf.) So, I have to ask: why didn't ISO take off due to the issues with IPv4, thus giving IPv6 a chance to fill the niche?
  • Someone, please, tell me what PHBs means! I hang out in alt.religion.kibology on a regular basis, and I thought I had the acronym game down pat. This one still messes with my brane though :P

    Thanks in advance!

  • Christened after the original pointy haired boss in Dilbert [dilbert.com], PHB denotes a boss who is particularly imbecilic.

    Slashdot: Sad Sloth | Dash Lots

  • This Register article [theregister.co.uk] points to the RNID [rnid.org.uk] considering a number of projects and having already tested some WAP browsers.
    "It is even prepared to build a product itself if commercial kit is not up to scratch."

    anonymous coward: raw cod annoy sumo | Amorous? Candy now!

  • The reasons for IPv6 are speed, simplicity, and security. I'm guessing this could be used in a large closed loop type system let's use your example, a system that monitors appliances variables from a remote site outside your home. If the monitoring site doesn't have to deal with port addressing it is that much faster. When you are dealing with a large customer base and monitoring a lot of signals it makes a difference. Now whether or not my refrigerator needs that much bandwidth that is another story.
  • The problem is not on the IPv6 side but the IPv4 side. If I remember correctly there is a v4 to v6 conversion standard. But the catch is when you use your v6 address to connect to a v4 server. It's got 4 bytes allocated to store your address in. Unless someone NAT's it first (which kills the benefits gained from the address expansion), you'll overflow the servers SRC IP buffer, either crashing it (in crappy implementations), or more likely, causing it to ignore your request. There's a bit field in the IP header (it's the first 4 bits in each IP packet) that lists the version. The stack'll see a version > 4 and drop the packet. So you may be the first kid on your block to get an v6 addr, but you can't talk to no one except for yourself. Sucks, don't it?
  • No, the worst part is the crackers hacking their way into my refrigerator and either:
    1. Turning it off while I am on vacation.
    2. Telling it that it is out of milk, and that it is time to order another 500 gallons for me from the market.

  • Didn't I see that in a movie? You forgot about the sliding steel security shutters on all the windows!

    Demon Seed, 1977. (Julie Christie!) [imdb.com] CSG_SurferDude
  • Think NAT and firewall- you should have them anyway.
  • Large bandwith would sure be cool, but that's not really a priority IMHO.

    What I think is THE priority is a 24/ 24 Internet connection for everybody, at lower costs (wireless 24/ 24 would be cool too ;)).

    Here in Europe, the connection costs are slowing down the evolution and the general acceptance of the Internet as a concept and as a communication tool. If you use it as a real communication tool (E-Mail, WWW, or even IRC and IM's), you don't need a large bandwidth, even 28.8 is enough. But for that, you need to get it for an acceptable cost. we still haven't that here. (And I suspect the problem is the same in lots of other countries/ continents too).

    Just my thoughts.

  • Ive been pretty interested watching IPv6 talk come about, but im somewhat confused by what ive seen. i would have thought the easiest and most backword compadable upgrade would to go from to 64 bit 512.512.512.512 but ive seen mostly hex used in the docs that ive read. most of it was dealing with tieing ipv4 system in with ipv6 in routing tables and such. i also talked with someone who said it used a 6 place address space *.*.*.*.*.*

    not sure which is right, but i think it makes more sense to keep the 4 place address and use 16 bits per segment. this would allow for compadibility with older programs that arent being maintained.


  • Maybe they were just doing their jobs, and it's their ideas and intellectual products that we judge them on, but I welcome some public recognition for them and others like them. I don't mind saying that Jeff Hawkins of Handspring and Palm has been a personal hero of mine since we worked at GRiD in the early 1990's. Here's a real nice piece in Business Week [businessweek.com] on his design principles for things like the Palm Pilot.

    I think there are geek stories that the general public can understand, relate to, and hold up as role models for the young'ns.

  • Well Rock, I have to ask you.. When was the last time you downloaded a windows service pack? Or linux kernel, or any kind of update to either of the more common desktop operating systems? Takes forever, the speed is rather handy to allow more effective operation of computer users who do a lot on the net. And when the price is right broadband WILL be popular with customers. Not all but I am way sure enough to create enough demand for it to be worth while.

    Web cam's streaming media news whatever. You are generalizing and saying what people do period. Whats good for you is not good for me. And I have a web enabled phone because it is convenient I would still like broadband access at home.

  • ...for the most part they do not want broadband...

    The question is 'what is broadband'. My parents are on the net with a 56K modem and they complain more and more because of the slow speed. Well, speed, if they click on something they want to see it immediately, they don't want to wait. So they should move on to ... cable, you say?

    And then, after gifs and jpegs, mp3's and especially mpegs are coming. We'll want to look at movies (Video on demand) and that's when broadband is needed.

    People just want everything to be there fast. And if a movie has to be there fast, the network should be capable to have big bursts of megabits. A mpeg movie takes about 128Kb/s. So, even with my cable modem i can't look at one (i have only 80K/s :So we definitely need it!

  • It's just you.
  • Be joke? Guess I missed it too, care to explain?

  • Bitten... you are quite the fool.

  • At the end of each episode it says: "to Be continued"

    The 'B' is blue and the 'e' is red (I think the colours are that way round). These are the case and colour of those letters in the old BeOS logo.
  • Of course as anyone who has watched Serial Experiments:Lain [pioneeranimation.com] knows the real problem will come with the version 7 protocol.

    p.s. It was several episodes before I got the Be joke at the end.
  • It's fascinating, but not all of us get erections...am I the only female who visits this site?
  • Possibly in some areas. I hear american DSL is expensive, but i'm not sure if that's just a rumor. Here in Ontario, DSL from Bell Sympatico is the same price as "At Home" Cable service.

    DSL may vary greatly, but in my area at least, they don't offer it more than 3Kms from the main backbone. The tech support is much easier to get a hold of, and slightly more competant. The speed of Cable in the entire area goes down dramatically during peak times of day. I havn't noticed that with my DSL at all.

    During good times of day, though Cable should be twice as fast, or comparibly, my friends on cable get about 30% faster downloads. That doesn't even make a difference with most sites I visit, since they are run from bogged servers.

    The downside is I'm using PPPoE and my IP changes every time I re-login, which is like daily for me; bad video card. 8-)

    sorry, hope that was on topic.

  • refridgerators use port 919

    Sigh, I can see the skript kidz hitting port 919 constantly now. D00D 1 0WN J00R CH33Z3 WH1Z!!!1!

  • ...Why upgrade to IPv4?...

    I'm sure he meant IPv6...
  • The problem with Internet we know today is that it was intended for something totally different. ARPA first planned to have a dozen computers or so connected, with no fears of security except for direct nuclear attack on one of the nodes (one of 4 inital national supercomputing centres). Hence the weaknesses of IPv4 we're using today: it wasn't meant to reach the limitations on address space, and it wasn't meant to fend off intruders in electronic sense.

    IPv6 sets out to address thopse issues and then some, i.e. it is geared towards modern needs of the Internet (the wretched Information Super Highway). But IPv6 is not the only thing coming around the corner to help us cope with the problems we have today. We also have Internet2 [internet2.edu] steaming about. Fortunately, it doesn't get much media attention so it is not so much a buzzword, but this I fear will change soon.
  • "'...lambda for wavelength, so lambda means color, really. One fiber can carry a number of colors -- there could be as many as a hundred, maybe even more. Each color might be transporting as much as a terabit of capacity'

    I'm sorry, but did that give anyone else an erection, or is it just me?"

    Heh heh...yeah. It's pretty amazing for someone like myself, without a background in the technology but with an interest in its future, to read about transmitting vast amounts of digital information via colored light. It sounds like high magic.

    It strikes me, though, that a fiber carrying white light with information coded into portions of the total frequency bandwidth posesses the capability to carry a nearly infinite number (as opposed to "hundreds") of discrete channels depending on how the stream is color-modemed at each end. There are, after all, an infinite number of colors...

    My question, for those familiar with the technology, is: Is there some ultimate limit to this? Some minimal range of color that may be distinguished from other colors? And what is the practical limit afforded by current technology? Some good references would be appreciated.

  • mmmmmm...baby...juz look where we're headed...nothing like wireless vice, ready to shoot 24-7 ;)
  • It is quite annoying seeing many of the new companies frontlining DSL and all of the coverage DSL recieves, some view DSL as the wave of the future for internet access. Misinforming the consumer. Every techie knows how much more expensive DSL is comparibly to Cable, and they also know how much faster Cable is, and how Cable speeds don't vary so much according to distance (DSL speeds are DRAMATICALLY different according to the distance from your house to the DSL base station). The main reason these companies are frontlining DSL, aside from them being stupid and not caring about the un-knowing consumer, is because it is too hard to have a Cable Broadband company, cable modems are more commonly sold by the local cable companies, it is much easier to get in to the DSL market though as I see over 3 companies in my area with DSL access that are not even affiliated with my phone company.

    Some may mention @Home and others, but @Home is provided by your local cable company, while I see loads of DSL companies where the DSL is not provided by your phone company.

  • Would IPV6 prevent Denial of Service attacks?

    It seems that this would be a prerequisite for any successor...

    Just curious.

  • I like the bandwidth for downloading my favorite open source software and Quake patches.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Am I the only one who thinks that this article reads just like one big advert for MCI Worldcom? This aside, just what is this fixation with bandwidth that people have? I surf quite happily with a 28.8 modem - the only reason people want/need broadband internet access is for the downloading of pr0n, MP3 and warez. The attempts to provide more bandwidth seem to be a classic case of the technology being in advance of market requirements, resulting in the industry telling the market what it needs.

    I think the argument that customers do not want or need broadband is proven by the rapid uptake of internet-enabled mobile phones. These phones are enormously popular despite having neither the bandwidth nor storage capacity for the downloading of warez and pr0n.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    There was one exchange that surprised me, however:

    UTe: If all the ISPs are competing for address space, won't ISPs that want to offer always-on DSL or cable modem have a business incentive to go to V6?

    Cerf: That's a good point, and I hadn't thought about making that point to the ISPs in fact, but that's a good one. You know, generically it's clear that you use up more address space with all these on. But it didn't occur to me until you just mentioned it that maybe that would be a good way of persuading other ISPs to go to V6.

    Vint Cerf is an acknowledged genius. Isn't this "revelation" really just commen sense? You would think that in his position at MCI that he would have been making this point a couple of years ago to his own people.

    At any rate, I enjoyed his views on the move to optical switching. That has been talked about in the past on slashdot and I hope to hear more about it in the future.

    On an off-topic aside, I wonder what it must be to work at Microsoft. Per Vint Cerf's comment regarding their network speed, and their move to wireless LAN's, they must have a great working enviorment. At my current place of employment, I'm lucky if I ever get download speeds comparable to my home DSL service.

  • Did you read my post, smart ass? So FreeBSD is IPV6 ready, and so has been Linux for almost 2 years now ... so what? The only thing you'll be able to do with it is ping, FTP, and telnet. GREAT!!!
  • I think you've mis-remembered what Vint Cerf said - IPv4 was designed in the mid-70s; before that point, ARPANET was based on the NCP, a sort of combination of TCP and IP in one protocol (e.g. it did reliability at the router level).

    The ARPANET grew well beyond 9 nodes even while still running NCP - it had 15 nodes by 1971, according to http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~jea/papers/2Nets.html - and I'm sure the IPv4 ARPANET had many more than that.
  • Have you actually tried looking for IPv6 apps? For example, searching freebsd.org for ipv6 produces http://www.freebsd.org/ports/ipv6.html, which lists Apache, Zebra, and numerous IRC, email and news clients, not to mention GNU Emacs.

    Most of these should port easily to Linux, but there's also a Linux IPv6 apps list at http://www.bieringer.de/linux/IPv6/status/IPv6+Lin ux-status-apps.html - elsewhere on that site there are pointers to Polish and Japanese distributions that integrate IPv6 support. Debian and Red Hat have also started IPv6 support work.

    Hint: do a web search before posting next time...
  • You've just changed the problem for the worse - now you have to allocate port numbers from the already cramped port number space (see www.iana.org for the list of known port numbers, which is not necessarily those used).

    When you install a new fridge, you'll have to somehow work out the port numbers it uses and then allocate them to public port numbers on your NAT. This will be a manual process, and of course if you install two appliances that want to use the same port number, you end up having to allocate different port numbers, then remember them all...

    IPv6 is so much easier it's not even funny - just plug a device in, it autoconfigures itself with IP addresses, finds out the nearest router, and then maybe hooks into SLP (service location protocol) or an LDAP directory so you can query your new fridge. Spot the lack of manual configuration...
  • If you've ever used a broadband connection, you'll notice that response times are much better, like the man says.

    Of course broadband is not necessary, neither is the Internet, or bookshops, or anything beyond basic needs - however, it's convenient and pleasant to use faster connections.

    Mobile Internet is very useful, which is why people will put up with low speed connections (although with small screen and memory it's not so useful to have broadband perhaps). Once there is fairly low cost broadband to the mobile, it would be nice to listen to Internet radio, or your own MP3 collection stored at home, through a stereo headset attached to the phone.
  • so what? The only thing you'll be able to do with it is ping, FTP, and telnet

    It's the fault of the stupid ass developers. Steven's has info on coding for IPv6, and probably has for years. Unfortunately we won't be seeing any new editions of his fantastic books.

    But you don't really need to completely switch to IPv6 right away. It is straightforward to run v4 over v6, so you can run all 300 of you napster clients.

  • We've been talking about running the Net to everything in the house, and the current IP protocol just can't handle it.

    Well, you probably don't want to make every appliance in your house freely accessible from the 'net (I wonder how much fun it will be to hack toasters... "Drat! My toast's burned again. Damn hackers!" :-). A much more reasonable solution would be to set up the house as a private subnet behind a router/firewall combo. And in this case you only need one IP address per house.

    You want IPv6 mostly because it's a better protocol, not only because it has a larger address space.

  • the only reason people want/need broadband internet access is for the downloading of pr0n, MP3 and warez

    You make that sound like a bad thing...
  • Well, if they hadn't been silly and given away their work they might have made some money... oh well...
  • ... then there wouldn't be any internet and we wouldn't have to put up with your trolling.
  • It's a sad day when Slashdot feels it has to explain who Vint is. Vint is more than the guy who wrote TCP/IP; he's also one of the people who has lead and driven the Internet all these years, and worked to keep it open for all of us. He's also a really nice person to meet. He's one of the ubergeeks of the Net, alongside Jon Postel; one of the real greats.

    Fortunaltely for us all, though, Vint is still very much with us!

  • Actually to use four numbers in decimal format to represent 64 bits it would have to be four sets of 16 bits. A 16 bit number is from 0 to 65535 so the format would be:


    a little unwieldy, no? And that's only 64 bits. IPv6 has 128 bits, I believe. So as you can see, sticking with the 4 place addresses and decimal format is really out of the question.
  • the only reason people want/need broadband internet access is for the downloading of pr0n, MP3 and warez

    No way!! Do you know how fast you can reload Slashdot on an unloaded T3?? Hell, over DSL you can still get almost 100 refreshes a minute!

    Can we say 'First Post Baybee!'?? C'mon now! Say it with me! 'First Post!!'
  • Ive been pretty interested watching IPv6 talk come about, but im somewhat confused by what ive seen.

    So it seems.

    i would have thought the easiest and most backword compadable upgrade would to go from to 64 bit 512.512.512.512 but ive seen mostly hex used in the docs that ive read.

    Err...huh? 512 is 2^9, so you're proposing a 9*4 = 36-bit address. This would entail exactly as much work as going whole hog to a 64-bit address (2^16*4), as you'll still need 2 32-bit words for the address (which means absolutely everything has to be rewritten), but it would only double the address space. The reason those docs use hex is that it makes dealing with binary arithmetic easier, 0xFFFF is rounder than 65536.


  • Even at 4 billion, AND having some type of router/pseudo-router at each house, we will still run out of addresses. There are currently (approximately, of course) 6,060,884,438 people in the world. ( http://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/ipc/popclockw [census.gov], which means that some 2 billion people don't get their own IP address. ;-)

    It gets even worse when you realize all those companies that have 1 or more computers (IP Addresses) per employee. I guess all of them get to play games with their firewalls too!


  • The points he makes about IPV6 are extremely valid. We've been talking about running the Net to everything in the house, and the current IP protocol just can't handle it. 4,162,314,256 (254^4) addresses just is NOT enough. The only question is when will the current implementation fall apart due to scaling factors?

    We've been hearing for years (At least since 1993) that we will run out of addresses in 2 years. Somebody always manages to come up with a work around, but at some point, we will run out of workarounds. It sounds like (finally) somebody is taking the bull by the horns and making it happen.


  • IPV6 does have lots of promise, but like the article said, there's not enough ppl damanding it.

    Not to start a flame war, but when big companies like Nortel and AT&T produce decent products that will do Voice over IP with the services we're currently used to, you'll see a big demand for IPV6.

    Companies are currently hiding before NAT Firewalls, which luckily is helping out the shortage to some degree, but once Voice over IP actually 'works', It'd be difficult not to have each station/phone not have a valid ip address.

    Since the merger of Nortel and Bay Networks, I forsee some Voice over IP solutions coming out putting more of a damand on the Router Vendors for IPV6.

  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Thursday April 13, 2000 @07:09AM (#1135091)
    I think it'll be some time yet before IPv6 is adopted on the 'net at large. While the infrastructure is getting close to being there, the sad truth is that the "dot coms" will do the typical corporate dance and ignore the problem until it affect their bottom line. "Why upgrade to IPv4? It costs more, and doesn't get us any new customers" they'll say. And then some fine afternoon ARIN will announce we've run out of IP addresses. Then everyone will panic and try to upgrade their hardware overnight.. millions of ISPs will experience network blackouts and brownouts, router loops, and all kinds of other madness as software and hardware updates go awry. Usenetters will proclaim it's the end of the internet.. again. Slashdot will run an article on it.. a few weeks later after billions are wasted in capital everything will start working again, people will forget all about it.. and it'll be blamed on somebody else. Probably us, of course, for not telling them this would happen sooner. As if.

  • by Cato ( 8296 ) on Thursday April 13, 2000 @08:35AM (#1135092)
    First of all, I agree IPv6 has some nice features beyond address space - however, they are not all unique to IPv6, many are also in IPv4.

    > Speed (simpler headers and simpler routing)

    This should happen, but all the ASICs in existing routers need to be changed (unless the designers were very far-sighted and wasted some silicon on v6 support). Headers are bigger in v6, but it should be easier to do fast silicon because they are more regular (header options are faster to process too). As it happens, Intel's IXA and similar network processors may make it easy to do very fast routers using many parallel IXA-like chips (one vendor is doing a 180-IXA-chip router), for which IPv6 is simply a software upgrade.

    IPv6 does make it easier to keep the size of core Internet routing tables down, but it seems that stub networks (e.g. enterprises or mobile phone networks) will migrate to v6 first, leaving core networks till last.

    Probably speed will not be a deciding factor either way.

    > Mobility (mobile IPv4 has relied on all stations involved having forwarding systems)

    IPv6 has some advantages for mobility, because mobile IP was built into IPv6 hosts, but I can't remember what they are...

    > Autoconfiguration (no more messing with DHCP or BOOTP configuration files)

    Yes, but DHCP does more than ND (Neighbour Discovery) and RADV (Router Advertisments) - e.g. it configures DNS servers, domain names, etc. So DHCPv6 will still be needed in many environments.

    > Security (IPSec is mandatory)

    IPSec is mandatory, but it won't be turned on as default until someone solves the scalability and performance issues of IKE (Internet Key Exchange protocol, which authenticates both parties and sets up keying material). PKI is the only scalable way to do IKE currently, and PKI is a nightmare. Also, IKE has quite long delays (in the seconds) when setting up sessions, which is perhaps why it is typically used between IPSec gateways in tunnel mode.

    > Optimised Connections (anycasting allows you to locate the nearest active server of the type you want)

    Anycast is very cool, but not yet implemented in the IPv6 stacks I've seen (e.g. Linux). I think the IETF is still working on how this will be implemented.

    > Quality of Service (another mandatory feature)

    In what sense is QoS mandatory? I have Linux IPv6 set up at home, but I don't have RSVP installed. I work for a company that does QoS provisioning software, and the only QoS feature I can see in IPv6 that is different to IPv4 is the Flow Label (a 16 bit field that optimises the classification of app to app traffic flows, for use with RSVP). The Traffic Class field in IPv6 is identical in format to the TOS byte used in IPv4, and will use DiffServ in the same way.

    > Multicasting (yet another mandatory feature)

    Not sure exactly which bits are mandatory here, either. Multicast has been designed in, and is probably better supported in IPv6, though I've not looked at this in detail. Multicast routing protocols are a separate issue to IPv6 vs v4, they simply need updating to be able to route IPv6 multicast traffic. There is quite a lot of practical work in network management of multicast to be done still, whether on IPv6 or IPv4, though it is seeing some deployment. QoS is probably a pre-requisite for most people to deploy multicast - until you can control multicast apps' use of your network bandwidth, it's tough to allow them to be deployed except if you control the app servers very tightly.

    I think the killer apps for IPv6 are:

    * Address Space - this will drag people kicking and screaming into IPv6, in order to support always-on (good point from Vint Cerf about increased duration of IP address usage), lack of massively scalable NATs (let's see someone NAT 10 million cable TV users...), cellphones/smartphones with IP, home appliances, etc.

    * Getting rid of NAT hassles - trying to get applications to work through NAT is a pain and sometimes impossible by design (e.g. IPSec transport mode). This is probably not a killer reason, but will help the decision, particularly where the end host must act as a server (e.g. sending short messages or news updates to a mobile phone).

    * Mergers and Automatic Network Renumbering - if two companies merge, you currently have to NAT traffic between their networks, or go through the pain of manual renumbering. IPv6 lets you auto-renumber from a single point, everything 'just works'. Since 'within the firewall' applications in a merged network would still have to cross the NAT, and many protocols such as DCOM, CORBA and so on are NAT-hostile, this may be a strong motivation.

    Ultimately, address space is the single biggest reason, particularly in Asia (which was late to the Internet and got a tiny allocation, allegedly smaller than some US companies have).
  • by Noer ( 85363 ) on Thursday April 13, 2000 @07:14AM (#1135093)
    Ok, IPv4 uses 32-bit numbers (four dotted-bytes). IPv6 uses 16 dotted bytes (128 bits). I don't see why the current IPv4 network can't be treated as one network within IPv6, with 12 of the bytes set to a constant. That would make translation pretty easy, though of course software still has to be updated. I.e. for example would map to, and the range that's all ones would gradually expand to include other networks.
  • by I0ta ( 158475 ) on Thursday April 13, 2000 @07:37AM (#1135094)
    Here's the direct quote from RFC2133.txt: "
    This address format allows the IPv4 address of an IPv4 node to be represented as an IPv6 address. The IPv4 address is encoded into the low-order 32 bits ofthe IPv6 address, and the high-order 96 bits hold the fixed prefix
    IPv4-mapped addresses are written as follows:
  • by Nicolas MONNET ( 4727 ) <nicoaltiva AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 13, 2000 @08:12AM (#1135095) Journal

    IPV6 has been out for years. 5 years? 6 years? And we still haven't got a transition strategy. I mean, the questions Cerf raises in this article are the same that 5 years ago! They are the same than in the IPNG RFC! The truth is: nobody has any idea how to do the transition.

    Because, simply, the problem is NOT in infrastructure. Putting IPV6 in the backbones is almost trivial -- I mean, it could be done now already, you just encapsulate IPV4 in some way.

    Now ... on the client side, it's another story. There is NOTHING ready on the client side. Absofuckinglutely nothing ready. Oh yeah, a whois client, and a name daemon. Maybe a telnet and FTP. And that's it.

    Now, I have to ask myself, as a programmer, how would I do to support IPV6 in my programs? I don't have the slightest idea. I would'nt even be able to test them properly. Would there be an IPV6 compatible Apache, I would'nt be able to use a whole bunch of Perl modules with it. Of course, I would need an IPV6 enabled Perl. Etc, etc ...

    This is a BIG problem. A lot of cash has to be thrown into this, like in a consortium or something .. but who will have the incentive to do this?

  • by stickytar ( 96286 ) <joseph_swenson@hotmail.com> on Thursday April 13, 2000 @07:06AM (#1135096)

    For what it's worth, Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn came here to Montana a while back and in a small packed conference room at the university we were able to field some questions to these guys.

    I was intrigued by what they had to say about the history of them developing TCP. The whole ipv4 that we have now comes from their original general assumption that at most only 9 network nodes at most (colleges, and research centers) would ever be using this silly thing. Now the much needed? shove towards ipv6 has even our toaster beeming with glee. What impressed me the most wasn't Vinton Cerf, but Robert Kahn. Cerf took the money and ran so to say. He has a BIG job at MCIWorldcom and is highly recoginized, but the real meat and potatoes programmer, Robert Kahn, does not have the big glitz job. He is quietly doing research as we code away at nights. This is the man that deserves recognition for the internet. He did the majority of the coding for the stack and was the driving force at it's implementation. Not to down on Cerf because they are both brilliant minds, but it seems the real coders out their never get their due share. For what it's worth...

    -------------------------------------------------- -
    refrig: copy that toaster:2 transmitting butter now.

  • by Sharkey [BAMF] ( 139571 ) on Thursday April 13, 2000 @07:02AM (#1135097) Homepage
    "You've got your fiber layer, and you're going to carry some number of wavelengths on each fiber -- the term that is used is lambda for wavelength, so lambda means color, really. One fiber can carry a number of colors -- there could be as many as a hundred, maybe even more. Each color might be transporting as much as a terabit of capacity"I'm sorry, but did that give anyone else an erection, or is it just me?Sharkey
    www.badassmofo.com [badassmofo.com]
  • by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak.yahoo@com> on Thursday April 13, 2000 @07:05AM (#1135098) Homepage Journal
    One of the reasons it ISN'T more widely deployed is that that is all it is perceived as being, by the PHB's with all the cash.

    Usually, though, NAT and firewalling give you essentially the address space you want, with no extra deployment costs. Hence, the total lack of interest.

    BUT, IPv6 also offers:

    • Speed (simpler headers and simpler routing)
    • Mobility (mobile IPv4 has relied on all stations involved having forwarding systems)
    • Autoconfiguration (no more messing with DHCP or BOOTP configuration files)
    • Security (IPSec is mandatory)
    • Optimised Connections (anycasting allows you to locate the nearest active server of the type you want)
    • Quality of Service (another mandatory feature)
    • Multicasting (yet another mandatory feature)

    I dunno about you, but I think ISPs that can get a feature list like that would be far more interested than if they're told they get more IP space to sell. There are only a finite number of customers in an area.

Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. -- F.M. Hubbard