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IPv6 Ready For A Spin 193

ibjhb writes: "Sprint and WorldCom are itching to launch the IPv6. This will provided us with the 'zillions' of extra addresses not provided by the current IPv4. There's other capabilities, including increased sercurity. ZDNet carries the story ..." Seems like we've been talking about IPv6 for as long as I've been using IPv4.
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IPv6 Ready for a Spin

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, but we really do need more public addresses. As you note, public servers need public addresses. And if you want to receive incoming calls on your IP cell phone, it'll need one too. There are 6 billion people on the planet and only 4 billion IPv4 addresses. So even if we could get good utilization of the IPv4 address space (a hopeless cause), there's no where near enough.

    IPv6 provides a large enough address space to give several thousand addresses to every square inch of the earth's surface. Switching to IPv6 really will save the day.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    they'll do the most evil things no matter how idiotic or plain stupid these things may sound

    And complete together with the maniacal laughter.

  • Apparently, the moderators like it when you talk dirty to them.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    >> According to the always pragmatic Linus T., Linux is an OS.

    Well, since he's the author of the kernel, he gets to name the kernel, but I think RMS, head of GNU, who created the OS, gets to name the OS, and he calls it GNU.

    RMS *AND* Linus refer to GNU/Linux as GNU/linux

    If I replace just the kernel with HURD it becomes GNU/HURD

    If "Linux" supports something, you're referring to the kernel. Linus used GNU before Linux was around. He created Linux WITH GNU and used GNU as the OS for the Linux kernel.

    GNU can be used as the OS for MANY kernels.

    GNU was not made for linux, linux was made for GNU. GNU was made for HURD, Linux is being "borrowed" by GNU untill HURD is finished.

    Its in the manifesto, read it, its on your LINUX cd, along with the GPL'ed GNU OS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 08, 2000 @12:41PM (#948737)
    DHCP does more than hand out dynamic IPs...the server tells the client about who the DNS servers are on its network, what the subnet mask is, etc. What you're really asking is "will dynamic IP addresses die". DHCP is potentially very useful even if you're not using dynamic addressing. Nitpicking, perhaps, but I see this misconception about the purpose of DHCP far too often. It is actually quite underutilized IMO.

    The combination of DDNS (Dynamic DNS) and DHCP could be very cool. You'd never have to do any TCP/IP configuration on your machine (thanks to DHCP), but you'd still get the luxury of having the same DNS name all the time (even if the actual IP address changes from time to time).

  • Actually, typically the difference between residential and business service is quality of service and support, not the bundled services.

    For example, if you were to get T1 service and it were to go down at 2 am, you could call them up and have them run a diagnostic on your line while you on the phone and get them to come out in the middle of the night and fix it if there was line trouble.

    Also, several providers have different guarantees and quality of service ratings between their business and residential packages. Some go as far as to build a completely seperate network which has a lower saturation rate for business customers than residential customers.

    As far as DSL is concerned, consumers typically get ADSL while businesses get SDSL. While bandwidth might be bandwidth, the latency differences between the two types of circuits is much different. Telcos have been running HDSL in place of T1 circuits for some time now when it's cost effective to do so (SDSL is sometimes referred to as HDSL-2).

    Also note that more IPs given to a customer implies that the customer will have more machines on their network acting as servers and more bandwidth usage on average. It's a cheap way of doing accounting.
  • but if they want a TLA (/48), it's gonna cost them $20,000 per year. For a /35 or anything less, it will cost $2,500.

    That's reversed! the number is the number of bits in the network number. The subnet gets the rest. So a /35 costs $20000.

    At any rate, a /48 is a huge space to work with (80 bits)! That's 2^48 entire internets!.

    In practice, that is sub-divided into 16 bits for subnets (an entire class B sized space) and the rest is per-host (enough to comfortably hold the entire current internet 2^32 times!).

    At that rate, they DO grow on trees.

    The easiest way to engineer that is to buy a /48 and divide that into 16232 regional offices. Each office then can feel free to accept as many customers as it wants (and has capacity for) since the 64bit host address is guarenteed to be unique worldwide.

    The real question is which providers will be stingy and try to screw the customer for every last penny, and which will just provide the bandwidth without hassels. Since it is a compeditive industry, the former won't last long.

  • I'll bite and assume you're not really a troll... but I have no idea where you got that idea. It doesn't matter what the word size of your processor is. Software can be written to handle words of arbitrary numbers of bits. How do you think your 4-bit HP-48 can handle those huge numbers?
  • but it's 4 bit internally ... the size of one binary coded decimal number. See []
  • by Hrunting ( 2191 ) on Saturday July 08, 2000 @02:24PM (#948742) Homepage
    I think the real problem is going to be getting the end-user machines upgraded to IPv6. Five years ago it could have been done, but now that grandma and grandpa and all sorts of redneck lusers are having a hard enough enough time just getting their little Windoze machine to read e-mail and browse (or, how easy will it be to get THEM to switch? You can try to wait them out until they get a new machine, but then someone will buy their old used machine.

    Sounds like elitism to me. How many Grandmas, Grandpas, and 'redneck lusers' do you know that actually set their IP addresses? Most get them via DHCP. Most of these machines are Windows-based machines, which soon will quite easily support IPv6 (Windows ME) and may already (anyone know if Win98 supports it?). If anything, ISPs (who these end-users are connecting to) can mass e-mail their customers and say, "Look, we're moving over to IPv6. If you're running this version of this operating system, be sure to upgrade with files found here." Send that out over the course of a prep period (say, 4-6 months) and then when the time is up, just start migrating, leaving one bunch of lines using IPv4 addresses mapped to IPv6. It's not that hard.

    And, I mean, that's just one very painful solution. You could also map IPv6 addresses on your end to a block of IPv4 addresses you keep for machines that specifically need them, making the entire process.

    The whole, "Older users will be alienated!" is a cry of the alarmist. The true implementers will find a way around this. Yes, with all technology upgrades, a select few will be obsoleted, but don't you trust that the people who want to implement this have thought of ways to get around possible roadblocks?
  • 256^6 (better stated as 2^48) is the number of individual IP addresses per "IP block" (what your ISP would give you). The total number of IP addresses would be 2^128, or 3.40e38.
  • No.

    Roughly, total area of Earth == 5.11e14 m^2 (if I've done my calculations right).

    Total number of IPv6 IPs available == 3.40e38
    IPv6 density == 6.66e23/m^2

    Total number of IPv4 IPs available == 4.29e9
    IPv4 density == 8.40e-6/m^2

    So with IPv6, you will get an IP density 7.29e28 (or 73 nonillion for Americans; 73 sexiard (?) for Europeans) times greater.
  • Hmm that's a good point. Although IPv6 theoretically speeds up (or at least) eases routing, so I wouldn't be surprised if some of the major switches started going to IPv6 within the next few years. If that can trickledown to the minor backbones (armbones maybe), then it Mom and Pop ISPs should be able to offer IPv6, forcing the ISP oligopolies to compete. I still think it's over 5 years until we see the "big shift", where things go from mostly-IPv4 to mostly-IPv6, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were select colo's or ISPs offering IPv6 addresses in the major centres within a couple years.
  • IPv6 addresses are 128 bits in length in total. They are expressed like so (IIRC): word:word:word:word:word:word:word:word where each 'word' is a hexadecimal number with length 4 (i.e. 16 bits).

    When an ISP assigns you an "IP", however, it doesn't assign you a single IP. It assigns you a block. It might assign you 048a:3092:1a8e:ff44:3900:x:x:x. This gives you 2^48 separate IP addresses to use. The idea is that the remaining 48 bits correspond to your MAC address, so that as long as each computer you have connected has a different MAC, it will have its own IP. This also has the added benefit of making routing painfully easy (routing at the Ethernet level is much easier than routing at the IP level).

    I'm sure I've got something mixed up, but that's the basics behind it.
  • Not to be too offensive, but you do understand the ideas behind a free market, right? "What's in it" for ISPs is that if they don't get their ass in gear, they are out of business because everyone else has a better product.
  • by mikpos ( 2397 ) on Saturday July 08, 2000 @01:19PM (#948748) Homepage
    But unfortunately, Linux is not an OS. Having IPv6 in the kernel is fine, but it is a *major* PITA to get even the basics (ping, traceroute) recompiled, etc. FreeBSD is way ahead of the game in this case.
  • That depends. Which of those is the thing you do with dogh before you bake it ? That's the one I meant :)
  • Some OS vendors and hardware manufacturers have been delaying IPV6 support for too long.

    However even MS now runs with IPV6 if neaded. Cisco, IBM Sun all have support. Linux of course has had it since 2.0.x
  • That's right, but you will still need a router between the ISP line and your local net. And if you run Linux 2.4.0-test2 with the latest netfilter on this router, you even have a working IPv6 firewall :-). Just hope future Linux distributions with IPv6 (SuSE already announced IPv6 for 6.4, PLD ships IPv6 for a while) and 2.4.0 kernels will ship with a predefined simple firewall included.

    On the other hand, NAT usually prevents using end-to-end authentication with IPSEC (also part of IPv6), as a changed IP header will invalidate the signature over the IP packet.
  • But Linux is coming closer...

    SuSE 6.4 is announced to be IPv6 ready.
    PLD ( []) already is.
    The current rawhide contains at least basic IPv6 functionality (both ping and traceroute are there).
  • For one, 128 bit vs 64 bit vs 32 bit has nothing to do with processors when it comes to network addressing.

    There are several factors for going completely overboard with the addressing.. It is better to err on the side of overkill (when it dosen't effect preformance) in that as our need for the internet starts to expand into more areas of our life, we risk getting into the situation where we are now. That being internet addresses being a scarse resource that must be concerserved.. When your wristwatch, pda, laptop, tv, vcr, coffee maker, etc, etc, are all connected, the last thing we want to have to deal with is lack of address space.

    Granted, all that is a damn long way off. And people will have to start to get damn serious about their network security before I am going to be able to start a pot of coffee at home from an atm machine or someting wacked like that.

    Remember, when ipv4 was concieved, noone thought it would ever run out of addresses. Yet its right around the corner...
    . ""The future masters of technology will have to be lighthearted and
    . intelligent. The machine easily masters the grim and the dumb."
  • I was going to suggest the same thing, actually. Good standards never die. People are still using mainframes, television, and QWERTY keyboards. IPV4 will continue to exist in some form when your grandchildren are learning networking.
  • DHCP is just a tool, and like most tools can be used for good or evil. (heh)

    It doesn't just set your IP address. It sets your default gateway, your DNS server(s), your WINS server(s), extra routes, time server(s), domain name... all sorts of things. From working quite a bit with Microsoft DHCP, I think that particular implementation offers about 80 possible settings that can be transmitted to the clients. This is most likely documented in an RFC, but I haven't a clue which one offhand.

    It's EASIEST from a network-admin standpoint to have everyone use floating IPs. However, the existing DNS structure is not really set up to support the concept of hostnames that can change on an hourly basis. There are modifications to it that are starting to get into production, mostly spearheaded by Microsoft. (and I personally DO NOT suggest you trust your DNS infrastructure to that company -- any foothold you give them into your central infrastructure will someday be used against you as they fight to eliminate all other operating systems from your network.) BIND, the gold standard of DNS, does now support dynamic updates, but I haven't tried to get this working yet.

    If you don't have an updateable DNS server, you can get around that problem by using DHCP reservations. I use them a LOT. They do take a bit more work, but I think the payoff is worthwhile. You end up mapping a particular IP address to a particular MAC address -- essentially tying an IP address to an Ethernet card. (which means that IP addresses follow cards, not machines, which you have to be aware of.) But you set the client to full-automatic DHCP. It THINKS it's a floating client. It doesn't know that it will always get the same IP number.

    This lets you push big changes out in X/2 time, where X is your DHCP renewal interval. (clients renew their lease when 50% of the duration expires). Instead of having to visit every client to adjust their WINS settings if a server goes down, you just adjust it at the server and the whole network soon knows about it without you needing to do anything else. You can also tell everyone to do an 'ipconfig /release' and an 'ipconfig /renew' if you need to push the settings out faster.

    Because of all these niceties, it's unlikely DHCP will go away as we transition to IPV6. The concept of automatically-configured network settings is just too useful to go away. It will undoubtedly morph over time, and Microsoft will probably rename it at some point to make it sound new so they can sell it to you again, but the basic concept is here to stay.

  • Ok, granted, 32 bits wasn't quite enough.. but what is the point of a 128 bit IP address? 64 bits would be more efficient to deal with (since we're getting 64 bit CPUs a plenty, whereas we may never see a 128 bit desktop chip) and would still provide us with 16 quintillion possible addresses. Is 16 quintillion not enough?
  • The most important thing is backward compatibility... As with DOS, 16 bit windows, x86 architecture, the sheer number of IPv4 users prevents any radical change. As long as it is not certain that the all machines hooked up to the internet speak IPv6, a switch will certainly not be made.
    The best solution would be a 'great switching day' (like with the switching from the many different european currencies to the euro on jan. 1 2002). However, due to the architecture of the internet (no one controls it) I don't see that happen.
  • Normally I keep up with current stuff like this, but I've never looked much into IPv6... Is there room for backward compability, or is this going to be one of those "please change your ip by august 31st?" type things?

    Seems like we've been hearing about IPv6 for forever now.

  • Mmm, yes, I don't know about WINS servers and time servers... But nameservers etc. are supposed to be solved by "anycast" addresses. An anycast address goes to the "closest" host performing a certain function, such as name serving. I will not be surprised if some of these other services get an anycast address, as well.

  • But unfortunately, Linux is not an OS. Having IPv6 in the kernel is fine, but it is a *major* PITA to get even the basics (ping, traceroute) recompiled, etc. FreeBSD is way ahead of the game in this case.

    Actually, the newest iputils packages have ping6, traceroute6, etc. and many other packages (e.g. OpenSSH) can be compiled with ipv6 support with relative ease. (Note that I realize OpenSSH is originally from a *BSD and I recognize and respect their support for IPv6 - but Linux *does* also have it)

    As I'm sure countless others have pointed out, there is excellent information on transitioning (borrowed word from a friend of mine at school... I'm not sure it's a real word, but hey...) to ipv6 at the [] site, as well as a Linux HOWTO [] with some easy-to-follow instructions.

    At this point, I recommend checking out some RFCs if you're wanting to set up an IPv6 box... It has all kinds of nuances IPv4 didn't have that you need to know at this point. Once it is widely deployed, IPv6 has fabulous autoconfiguration methods; however, if (like most of us) you will have to be tunneling through IPv4 to get to the nearest IPv6 host, you'll hafta set a lot of that stuff up yourself.

    That said, you know that as soon as I can get a working IPv6 tunnel at school I'll have it in a heartbeat. ;-)

  • DHCP does more than hand out dynamic IPs...the server tells the client about who the DNS servers are on its network, what the subnet mask is, etc. What you're really asking is "will dynamic IP addresses die". DHCP is potentially very useful even if you're not using dynamic addressing. Nitpicking, perhaps, but I see this misconception about the purpose of DHCP far too often. It is actually quite underutilized IMO.

    All of this is taken care of for you in IPv6 as well, albeit in a different sort of way. The subnet mask is handled by "Router Advertisements", DNS is handled by an "All DNS Servers" multicast (if I remember correctly, I could be wrong - this may be an advertisement as well), etc. IPv6 is truly a next generation protocol in *many* ways. There is a DHCPv6 spec, but I doubt that many (if any) installations will have to use it as all of the functionality in DHCPv4 is automatic in IPv6 via its 'stateless autoconfiguration'.

    For more information, see:

    • RFC 2462 [], "IPv6 Stateless Address Autoconfiguration"
    • RFC 2461 [], "Neighbor Discovery for IP Version 6 (IPv6)"
    • RFC 1883 [], "Internet Protocol, Version 6 (IPv6)"

    Every IPv6 RFC I've read (that I can remember) has been a good read, so check 'em out. :-)



    PS: Yeah, I noticed the recursion. Did you?
  • You can multicast with IPV4. Multicasting supports UDP, not TCP. You need routers that support IGMP.

    NASA is already using multicasting on some of their internal networks to efficiently send high-rate spacecraft telemetry streams to multiple destinations.

  • [] has lots of stuff for the less well informed, including the implementations [] that are currently available.

    Oh, and the Linux HOWTO [].
  • Nah. Why stop charging you for those IPs when they know you'll pay? All it means is more profit for them.

    Ideally, because if they don't you'll go to their competition and they won't get any more of your money. (Ideally...)

  • The time to turn a name into an address would be proportional to how many names there are, not how many addresses they are. (Actually, it's more likely to be proportional to the log of the names, or even faster if hashing or some other structure is used. Don't worry, you'll know what all this means very soon. :-)

    Anyway, I wouldn't worry about that. You have a lot more to worry about from proliferations of domain names than a proliferations of addresses. And frankly, I bet the system in place can pretty easily handle that as well. It's very distributed and parallizable.

  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Saturday July 08, 2000 @12:22PM (#948768) Homepage Journal

    Right now, NAT is pretty popular since it's a good way for a bunch of machines to share the single little IP address that the ISPs typically hand out. A side benefit of NAT is that you almost always get a firewall as well. They just go together, ya know?

    But when ISPs that handing out IP addresses by the thousands, I think more people (especially people who aren't security conscious -- that's 99% of the population) won't need NAT. So they'll just simpler routing, which will likely pass all traffic.

    I have a feeling that a lot of people's LANs are going to be wide open to attacks when IPv6 becomes widely used.

  • The answer is Routing. You can have a much better heirachy of subnetworks with 128 bits than with 32 bits, and it will simplify routing tables a lot. Also, the 128 bits is (IIRC) split into two lots of 64 bits, one lot to identify a particular computer and another half to identify ports / services or something (I didn't really understand it) on that computer.

    So yes, there is a use for 2^128 bits
  • ...and the digits glowed red too, what more could you ask for???
  • But RMS *didn't* create the OS. Nor did the FSF. Linus and his friends created an OS. The FSF donated parts.

    The credit for "making the OS" has to go to the people who actually produced a usable system.

    The whole debate comes down to Stallman's sour grapes as he realizes, years after the fact, that he probably *should* have put the famous Berkeley "advertising" clause in. :)
  • But it won't happen in a day. Deployment has already begun, and you would know this if you had bothered to read the article. Through tunneling, IPv4/IPv6 gateways, and such, IPv6 is being deployed over a matter of years and years. This is not some simple "flip the switch and work really really hard for one day" sort of thing.
  • Slow, aren't you? look at ss.html vs. html

    Business DSL offers secondary MX service, usenet feeds, domain registration, and primary and secondary dns for your domains. Oh yeah. And the deal about coming with a /27 by default. But that's hardly "the only difference."
  • But they don't just "grow on trees." Have you bothered to look at ARIN's allocation policies for IPv6?

    Pacbell hasn't even ventured into deploying IPv6 yet, but if they want a TLA (/48), it's gonna cost them $20,000 per year. For a /35 or anything less, it will cost $2,500.

    But then you need to ask yourself the real question: 'What am I smoking and why do I think that ISPs depend on the revenue from "selling" IP blocks?'
  • by Shoeboy ( 16224 ) on Saturday July 08, 2000 @11:39AM (#948775) Homepage
    Sprint (NYSE: FON) is also looking to IPv6 as the vehicle for far higher levels of service security and performance
    Looks like there's little bit of spin going on all right. When the spin gets intensive it'll look like this:
    Sprint is charging ahead with IP v6 technology. IP v6 will let us provide unparalelled performance to our customers. Our leadership in this area makes us the only choice.
    MCI/Worldcom will of course issue the exact same press release.
    You can gauge the health of a technology by measuring the amount of corporate spin it generates.
  • Most people are expected to get address blocks from their ISP (and the ISPs from their next-tier providers). Globally routable addresses are (as now) available from the IP registries: ARIN, RIPE, APNIC. You can go to their web pages and see what the policies are for getting IPv6 address range allocations: they're pretty stringent.
  • Did the article have any actual news? Nothing I saw there was new--- Sprint has been part of the 6bone for a while, and testing out IPv6 on the VBNS is nothing new, right? It seems we're still waiting for sufficient demand for IPv6 service before anybody bothers offering it...
  • I'm fully aware that hosts are capable of operating in "dual stack" (IPv4 and IPv6 mode), and I apologize if I gave the impression this was not possible. However, doing so means that they must have both v4 and v6 addresses. All the additional addresses v6 promises you don't matter if you still have to talk v4 to get to the rest of the world.

    IPv6 deployment will hardly be "just there". Even if all your devices are IPv6-capable, this is a far cry from enabling it, configuring everything correctly (like ensuring DNS gives out v6 addresses), and getting v6 service from your ISP.
  • No, you will not have to give up your IPv4 address unless your ISP stops offering v4 service. As far as backward compatibility, I disagree with the impression that the other commenters to your question have given. IPv6-only hosts must still use v4 addresses to talk to v4 hosts, even if the network infrastructure supports both. This must be accomplished via a protocol translator (something like a NAT gateway) with all the issues that entails. Merely assigning a range of v6 addresses to "cover" legacy v4 addresses is not the end of the problem.
  • I don't see v6 happening on the large scale any time soon, either. The ugly truth is that if you upgrade your network to IPv6, you still need to speak IPv4 with the rest of the world. So, your snazzy-new network's hosts have to go through a protocol translator (a NAT box that does v6->v4 conversion) to access anybody (read: most of the world) that hasn't upgraded to IPv6 as well.

    Compare this with using IPv4-to-IPv4 NAT. NAT is more widely deployed and understood, and probably easier to put in place than converting your entire network or setting up lots of v6-over-v4 tunnelling. Sure, you don't have globally visible addresses for each of your hosts. But new services have to be designed taking NAT into account anyway.

    Until there are enough IPv6 hosts to make speaking IPv6 useful, there's no incentive to upgrade networks and hosts. The claims of increased security and QoS over v4 are, in my opinion, vastly exaggerated--- just because v6 has a "flow identifier" field doesn't mean anybody's decided something useful to do with it.

    See "I'll stick with IPv4 for now, thank you" [] from Network Fusion for a "testimonial" from a network administrator who's just as happy not upgrading his network...
  • But then you need to ask yourself the real question: 'What am I smoking and why do I think that ISPs depend on the revenue from "selling" IP blocks?'

    I'm not smoking anything. Money is money, and when the only difference between several of PBI's Consumer and Business DSL packages is the size of the subnet, instead of bandwidth, then I think they make money from renting larger subnets. Duh.

    Kevin Fox
  • Regardless of what that page says, I've received everything on that list except for a secondary MX service with my 5-ip home account. Functionally, the only differences between the 5-ip home and /27 business are the extra IP numbers.

    I understand though, how experience can often be confused with stupidity, especially if you're the sort who always believes what you read, even from PBI.

    Kevin Fox
  • Along with the concept of free market economy is the concept of a cartel. If a business can make more money withholding a service, they are likely to do so as long as their competition does so as well.

    Witness the (until recent) stagnation of ISDN and DSL, in favor of higher cost T-1 and fracT-1 lines, astronomical gas prices in the western states, and airfare wars.

    The free-market model doesn't hold well in this particular instance because for IPv6 to really take hold will require its implementation
    (at some level) by ISPs.

    Kevin Fox
  • Hopefully this will be the end of it, but somehow I doubt it:

    Your in-depth factfinding mission was based on the assumption that I only have one domain name, That assumption is incorrect.

    If you had dug a little deeper, you'd have noticed that was registered before anyone offered DSL service, and before PacBell offered dialup internet service at all.

    If you dug deeper than that, you'd notice that I have three domain names registered, and that two of them fulfill all the criteria you mentioned, except for the backup MX records. As I said on my earlier post, I don't use PBI for backup MX service.

    To respond to your final query, anyone who wonders why someone might choose to use two ISPs for their business isn't someone I'd want in my IS department.

    The point I was making in my original post, since you obviously missed it, is that for those people who want more than 5 IP addresses, regardless of other services, PBI grants no other option than to step up to a level of service that costs a great deal more.

    That this expanded service offers more bells and whistles is immaterial to those consumers who don't need them, and serve only to distract managerial boneheads from the fact that they're being forced to pay a great deal more for what, in their case, amounts only to more static IP addresses.

    I hope this answers your questions.

    Kevin Fox
  • by KFury ( 19522 ) on Saturday July 08, 2000 @11:30AM (#948785) Homepage
    While I understand that every ISP out there would like to have a virtually limitless number of IP addresses to alocate to their subscribers, won't this damage their business model?

    If I pay PacBell nearly twice as much so I can have 5 IPs instead of one, or pay five times as much for a 32-address subnet, will they still be able to justify charging more for multiple IP addresses when they grow on trees?

    Will the switch to IPv6 end up costing them a good deal using this revenue model, or will we all switch to (horror of horrors) a per-byte revenue model?

    Kevin Fox
  • When IPv6 comes into use on the net, will I be able to get my own block of IPs for cheap? How much?

    How many IPs fall into the lowest level "block?"

    If I buy a block from NSI or whomever, can I "symbolically link" it to say, a SW Bell DSL line?

    Just little things I'm wondering about, I'm not too versed in internet architecture.

  • Surely you can't expect to change the workd in a year? The switch to IPv6 is not a small or easy task, and the fact that it is just beginning now is a sign of things to come: busy Sysadmins, busy programmers, busy tech support centers. If you don't yet have a job in IT, now's your chance.
  • We use mulit-cast to do system o/s installs and software installs. It is really cool actually. You use a boot disk that is pre-configured to listen for a 'start up' packet. I love watching a room full of systems all installing at the same rate at the same time... especially the reboots.

    Really good for the power breakers :-)

  • Uh - wouldn't that mean we have 225 IP addresses for every square metre of the earth now?

    Not a flame, but if we keep adding IP's in proportion to the number of users (unrealistic) then it won't be that long at all before numbers are getting tight again.

    Or has this all been adressed before?
  • Yes, but for all the places out there who currently have class A's they will be given a block of ipv6 addresses based on their ipv4 address, which means that instead of the class A having their usually 16 million addresses, they will probably not have trillions upon trillions of addresses, mainly for the sake of simplicity in the switch. Once this is switched over, the new ip addresses will be assigned in a totally different way, and won't be waisted. Plus its highly possible for those Class A's to give back a trillion or so addresses once things get cleared up.
  • Would someone kindly explain the significance of "029A:7734:029A:7734..." to me? Thank you.

    The 29A is 666, but I don't have a clue what 7734 is - it's 30516 in decimal, but what signifigance could 30516 possibly have?
  • AHhh... and now it all makes sense. I had tried playing with 7734 in it's decimal form, never even occured to me to treat it like just a normal number. DOH!
  • if you convert the numbers back to base10 you get: 666:30516:666:30516.

    the 666 seems obvious, but the 30516 stumps me, it's sorta similar to 3:16 but it obviously isn't. oh well.

  • Ok, i'll bite. I dont get the joke...
  • I know this is OT, but what're you using to do that? =] Right now we're using Ghost over IPX and that kinda slows down the network a bit when we try to put images on a whole lab a once... i'd be very interested in seeing a multicast system for this ;)

  • And besides, a little
    ifconfig eth0 hw ether xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
    can have your hardware address changed very nicely... works on this ne2000 I have, at least ;)

  • Because that's not the way it works. You don't take 16 quintillion computers and number them from 0 to 16 quintillion minus one.

    Instead, you take the number of bits in your address and you hand out these. So you decide, say, that the top 3 bits will be equal to such a value (say, 001) for such an addressing scheme, under which the next 13 bits will be used for the top-level aggregators (top-level ISPs), and the next 8 will be reserved because we don't know in which direction things will grow, and then another 24 will be shared between the next level aggregators (lower-level ISPs), and then the next 16 to the site-level aggregators, and the last 64 bits will be equal to the interface ID. (This example is the aggregatable global unicast address format, which, IIRC, is the latest chosen addressing scheme.)

    The whole point of having a large address space is fragmenting it in bits little rather than doing the very dubious reassembly of little fragments that we've been doing with IPv4.

    Otherwise, 32 bits would be enough. We still don't have 4 billion computers in the world right now.

  • I may be wrong in my assumptions, but I think DHCP (or a close relative) will be even more needed.

    Will the ability to give a fixed address to anyone on the planet who wants one be embraced

    The way I see it, you could only have a fixed address with one ISP. If you change ISP's, your IP's would have to change to keep the routing tables consistant.

    In the future, I believe that conventional computers will take up only a tiny bit of the used IP's. The other used IP's will be assigned to appliances of some sort or the other.

    Which do you think would be more likely to be accepted by the mass consumer market, a refrigerator that you had to telnet into and setup networking parameters (that you don't even understand) after you purchased it, or moved it, or changed ISP's; or one that you just plugged in that got the necessary configuration info from your ISP automagically?

    What I do see is a proliferation of the DYNAMIC DNS services that match up your "common name" with the current IP that you are assigned. => 248:183:53:3:

    When I move and my refrigerator gets a new IP, I can be assured that the Dynamic DNS gets informed of this behind the scenes without me even thinking about it.

    Most users won't even know that there is any sort of number behind the name that they use to access their refrigerator.

  • DHCP in v6 will not exist in the form we think of now in v4. The equivalent is the adding of a MAC address to the end of your local network upper address. Since v6 is tied to an actual geographical route, you just have to tack on the MAC address to the end to get a unique IP.

    Of course I could be wrong on this but this is my interpretation of the RFC's.
  • Some day it'll be only 2.2*10^20 addresses per solar system. And then? IPv8 will have to feature time traveling packets (send know, receive yesterday), self filling contents (send a packet and let it automagically collect its content) and of course an extended address space of 12345*10^4321 addresses per molecule. There is very little chance of addresses running out.
  • More than likely trying to figure a way to make administrator's lives easier when they release it.

    Release "it"? What's it? IPV6 in the wild? The specs have been out there for a long time, and people are already running it. It's not as if now, after a long and tiring process, Sprint and Worldcom are saying, "Here it is! ipv6!"
  • true. short of routers rejecting ipv4 packets from *all* the router macnufacturers, it isnt going to happen. heck, i have ipv6 enabled on my linux boxen and i cant get routed because the ISPs router doesnt support it.
  • I realize it might still take a little while, but it will be nice when this is all finally implemented. I long for the day when there are enough IP addresses to go around, and PacBell doesn't want to charge me an extra $100/mo for 2 or 3 more IP addresses.


  • Nah. Why stop charging you for those IPs when they know you'll pay? All it means is more profit for them

    Actually, they're not... I'm not paying them... just using IPMASQ... it just makes it a little more inconvenient for things like hosting Diablo II games...
    But you're right... they aren't terribly likely to stop doing something that makes them money. :(


  • Actually I got this from a Sun Microsystems article and this is how they put it:

    IPng supports addresses which are four times the number of bits as IPv4 addresses (128 vs. 32). This is 4 Billion times 4 Billion (2^^96) times the size of the IPv4 address space (2^^32). This works out to be:

    340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211, 456
    This is an extremely large address space. In a theoretical sense this is approximately 665,570,793,348,866,943,898,599 addresses per square meter of the surface of the planet Earth (assuming the earth surface is 511,263,971,197,990 square meters).

  • Good to know. The information I was reading up on came from Sun Microsystems and just basically stated that the Extensions for IPv6 options could have Fragmentation and Reassembly under that extension.

    Could you give a breif description on what ICMP is and how it works? If not, any clues on where I can read up on this?

  • I think I read somewhere that IPv6 would include more information about the host, so that it would be easier to trace back? I can find it if your interested, it involved some of the additional extension headers.

  • by Fender21 ( 44071 ) on Saturday July 08, 2000 @12:07PM (#948809)
    I am actually doing a report on this and found some really good articles and other tidbits at the following: Paper.html#CH2

    As far as compatibility goes, they (Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)) have really worked hard on making a solid set of standards for this. The resource I posted goes into pretty good detail on how this will all come together.
    Before reading this article, I was totally under the impression that the ONLY need to go to IPv6 was due to lack of IPv4 addresses but that is not the case at all. IPv6 has a ton of nifty add-ons as far as the extension headers and the size of this new header is really only about twice the size of the IPv4 header. The new extension header includes:

    Routing - This is considered Extended Routing which is based somewhat on the IPV4 source routing steps.

    Fragmentation- This will allow headers to be fragmented and be able to reassemble itself back together.

    Authentication- This will include integrity and authentication checks to enable better security over the IPV4 standard.

    Encapsulation- This also deals with security and enables the packet to be kept Confidential.

    Hop-by-Hop Option- this will allow hop-by-hop processing.

    Destination Options- Optional information that will be examined by the destination node.

    Also some cool facts:
    The issue of the number of addresses availible for IPv6 works out to be around:
    340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,45 6 addresses.
    And this breaks down to about 1,500 IP addresses for each square meter on the surface of Earth and that an estimated fifteen percent of the address space for IPv6 would be used in the initial switchover from the old standard to the new standard.
  • Does anyone here think that, when the whole of the Internet has moved to IPv6, DHCP-like autoconfiguration will die? Of course DHCP helps when a large group of intermittently-connected hosts share a small block of addresses, but will this ability be needed when IPv6 gives enough bits to address every atom on the planet?

    The problem I see with DHCP is that it is a hindrance to the little guy, a way to enforce unnecessary ISP pricing structures, and even somewhat of a barrier to free speech. When an ISP makes its users configure their hosts with DHCP, they keep that host from having a permanent address. It is somewhat more difficult to run a public Internet server when the server's address changes constantly. Services exist to dynamically point a DNS name to a DHCP-configured host (I use []), but this still represents a hassle and undermines the reliablility of the server's network connection. Plus, if your ISP gets tired of your practice, you may be faced with an ultimatum: lose your account or upgrade your connection to the highway-robbery level. That's right; if you wanna play, you gotta pay -- even though you're paying an arm and a leg more for the same technology as before.

    So what will it be? Will the ability to give a fixed address to anyone on the planet who wants one be embraced, or will dynamic addressing still be enforced on the lowly ISP subscriber?

  • I read it. Thanks for the information. I'm actually using DHCP (I have a cable modem), not PPP, but your information has helped out nonetheless.

    Thanks everyone, for setting me straight about DHCP. :)

  • IPv6 does support Mobile IP so you can actually be somewhere and have the internet route your IP to the correct place.
  • We can only hope.
  • " Most of these machines are Windows-based machines, which soon will quite easily support IPv6 (Windows ME) and may already (anyone know if Win98 supports it?). "

    Windows 98 does not support it out of the box, and neither does Windows 2000, for that matter. It is possible, though, to download the Windows 2000 patches from here. [] &nbsp An Intro into Microsoft's take on Ipv6 can be found here []

    NTT in Japan started using IPv6 commercially in March, according to this article here []
  • >> I think the real problem is going to be getting the end-user machines upgraded to IPv6.

    This is right on target. It'll be pulling teeth getting people to upgrade. So I don't think there will be much of a push to get people to upgrade.

    >If anything, ISPs (who these end-users are connecting to) can mass e-mail their customers and say, "Look, we're moving over to IPv6. If you're running this version of this operating system, be sure to upgrade with files found here."

    No, it really won't work this way. There is a much smoother migration path than this. We're just going to have to live with dual stacks and other kludges for quite a while.

    > The whole, "Older users will be alienated!" is a cry of the alarmist.

    Mostly true. For a long time, we'll have dual stacks or gateway machines and such, so old stack users won't be alienated. But there will come a day when servers start doing ipv6 alone (not just security conscious sites which will come sooner, but fairly generic sites like search engines and, and then the last ipv4 holdouts will be alienated.
  • Guys, this will probably get moderated into the dirt and have me coming up with a -4 score, but I honestly see IPv4 as the metric system in America, how long now as the US been switching the the Metric system? 50 years? I think we're looking at the same with IPv6.. everyone is talking about how great it's going to be, and how wonderful all these new features are going to be.. but honestly if you look at ALL the servers all the everything on the internet that's using IPv4 (well.. lol that IS everything) for us to have to stop all that and change to different protocols and stuff, it isn't just going to happen anytime soon or at all.. I don't care if major companies DO jump on the IPv6 band wagon, I just don't see as becoming big as some people would like to see it happen.. of course this is coming from the mind of a 17 year old systems admin and I haven't been in the field that long so who am I to say that? but thats just my .02.
    -Thanks bubu_.
  • by _iris ( 92554 ) on Saturday July 08, 2000 @07:37PM (#948840) Homepage
    I'm clueless in this area, so treat me like I'm 2 years old, please (not by slapping my hands). Anyways, was there ever an IPv5? If there was, assuming we don't use it because it was essentially broken, why was it dropped and not re-engineered to become what we know as IPv6. If there wasn't, then why not?

    --Drew Vogel
  • IPsec (encryption on the network layer) is mandatory for IPv6. See for example RFC 1825. Linux has an IPv4-only implementation of IPsec, see []. Hum, tracing,.. IPv6 by default builds host addresses from a prefix (kind of subnet mask) and the 48 bits ether hardware address. Since the latter are supposed to be uniq, voila, even better than intel's pentium serial numbers. But IPv6 allows many addresses per interface, so you could use the automatically generated ones only for, say, booting from the net, and use chosen or random addresses otherwise. Have a nice Day.
  • I can't help but wonder who'll be first to get stuck with 029A:7734:029A:7734...

    Well, 0x029A = 666. so I see where that comes from... but where the fsck does 7734 come from?
  • I think that we're going to be a few bits short of 1 bit for every molecule on earth (I get about 6e13 addresses per gram of matter), but it doesn't matter. With minimum 64bit subnets it's going to be an extremely SPARSE address space (which has it's advantagess). Even so, I don't think that it's going to be an issue for very long time. If humanity's population expands exponentially into the known universe (presuming that most stars have habitable planets with no intelligent life capable of putting up a fight) it would still take a century or two before we couldn't assign each person their own 64bit subnet.

    When IP4 came out people KNEW that, unless the internet collapsed under it's own weight (a recurring prediction at that time) that the address space was going to 'fill up' mostly due to sparse address assignments

    • IBM, the CIA, and various other 'important' entities of the time each have 16 million address tied up in class A subnets... Guess how many they're using?
    • I know somebody else who has a 'personal' class C routable address (from long before address space started getting 'tight') of which he's probably not using more than 16 addresses.
    • I personally know of one company with less than 200 machines that has 4 Class 'C' subnets from two different ISPs.
    These are not unexpected events. The issue at the time (as I remember it) was really around machine capability. This was at a time when a SUN workstation with 1/2MB of ram was considered HOT (actually, they hadn't been built yet), 2 MIPS was considered decent for a mainfraime, and the work it would have taken to disassemble a variable-length address would have been noticable.

    For those (and, I would expect, other) reasons, it was decided to go with 'only' a 32 bit address space and work on a more 'realistic' address space for later when machines wouldn't care about the extra cost. That time is now.

    A 128 bit address space isn't just frigin huge. it's close enough to infinite for just about any practical purpose. Physics is probably going to get in the way before we run out of IP6 addresses. Designing a system that was extendable beyond 128 bits would have been ASKING for trouble. There wouldn't have been need for most people to implement it. This would have meant that we would have these atrophied pieces of code that would be generally unused, untested and misunderstood for years because 'we really don't need that'.

    It would also introduce unnecessary coding complexities.

    I guess that the short answer is: KISS . . . Keep It Simple, Stupid.

  • I always kind of wonder whether this will divide the whole internet along monetary lines. When this switch happens, networks in the third world are likely going to take significantly longer to upgrade, if they do at all. Also the transition would create a glut of very cheap, very good IPv4 routers that might be just too tempting to someone who has to create a network on a very small budget.

    Since you can browse an IPv4 network from IPv6, but not vice versa, this creates pockets of the internet only accessable to people with the cash to upgrade their routers. Maybe I'm wrong, I hope I am, because I don't much like the ramifications of having two "internet classes"

  • by fluxrad ( 125130 ) on Saturday July 08, 2000 @11:29AM (#948856) Homepage
    while i don't have the code in front of me, i have looked at it. ipv6 is REALLY fscking cool.

    The designers understood the inherent need for backwards compatibility and so it was there from the start. (you can check one of the older issues of 2600 for the code - as well as everywhere online) - for your comfort. ipv6 is fully backwards compatible with ipv4 - i believe an ipv4 addy would look something like 0:0:0:0: - you get the picture. In addition, colons can be substituted in the place of zeroes...something like :: ( note: this is off the top of my head so don't expect it to be syntactically accurate ;-)

    There are basically 2 basic things to remember with ipv6. 1) It's hex - so good luck remembering your subnetting tables, etc. hehe 2) The transition from 4 to 6 can be as quick or as gradual as you need. - check your local linux kernel as well...there's already ipv6 code living in it.

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • by Megane ( 129182 )
    Classful routing died five years ago because the routing tables were going out of control, and because class C was too small, but class B was *way* too big.

    So they came up with CIDR (classless inter-domain routing) which uses variable net masks to group routing blocks geographically. They divided up the rest of class C and used that all up, so now they're cutting into the old class A. So lots of cable modem customers have 12.*.*.* addresses now.

    For more info on CIDR, see RFCs 1812, 1817, 1860, etc.

    However, with 128 bits, it is likely that end-users will get *at least* 48 bits (enough to use Ethernet addresses and reduce the need for site-local DHCP), probably 64 bits, for their own use. So a block with a 64 bit prefix will be treated like a single 32-bit address today.
  • I think the real problem is going to be getting the end-user machines upgraded to IPv6. Five years ago it could have been done, but now that grandma and grandpa and all sorts of redneck lusers are having a hard enough enough time just getting their little Windoze machine to read e-mail and browse (or, how easy will it be to get THEM to switch? You can try to wait them out until they get a new machine, but then someone will buy their old used machine.

    Sure, sites with DNS entries can always be given an IPv4 address for backwards compatibility, but that doesn't solve the problem of all the jillions of potential client machines out there with ancient IPv4 protocol stacks that may never be able to connect to anything with an IPv6 address but no IPv4 address. (Though I suppose a sort of reverse-NAT could be done if you combine a NAT box with a DNS server and have it spit out 10.x.x.x addresses.)

    It's also a problem for those with legacy machines, including antique computer collectors.

    I personally expect to be ready when it comes, but I'm pretty damn net savvy and I'm still not sure what I'll need to do to get IPv6 compatible.

    It could become a fiasco on the level of the metric system, and it could create a new divide between the "haves" and the "have nots".
  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Saturday July 08, 2000 @01:25PM (#948862) Homepage
    Any kid who grew up in the '70s can tell you that 7734 is the word "HELL" upside-down on a calculator. :)
  • When IPv6 comes into use on the net, will I be able to get my own block of IPs for cheap? How much?

    With 6to4, you can get a whole subnet for free, and you don't even need to wait for your ISP. ISPs will probably assign either individual addresses or whole /64 subnets to users.

    How many IPs fall into the lowest level "block?"

    The lowest level block is a 64-bit subnet, with 2^64 addresses.

    If I buy a block from NSI or whomever, can I "symbolically link" it to say, a SW Bell DSL line?

    No, that would destroy the global routing database. You can't do it today with IPv4 and you won't be able to do it with IPv6. I think ICANN is actually the ones allocating IP space these days, although I'm not sure how ARIN fits in.

    I'm not an IPv6 expert, so if any of these are wrong, just correct me but flames aren't appreciated.
  • You don't have to use a MAC address; you can use any address that's not used on your subnet if you're concerned about privacy.
  • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <> on Saturday July 08, 2000 @11:37AM (#948871) Homepage
    And you don't even have to wait for your ISP to support it. Just turn on 6to4 [], and with one IPv4 address you can get quite a few IPv6 subnets (each of which contains 2^64 addresses).

    Windows [] already supports 6to4, BSD [] probably does, and I don't know about Linux.
  • I understand Mac OS X to support IPv6 natively. Are they positioned to take advantage of this switch like no other "consumer OS"?
  • IP version 5 was allocated for something called "ST Datagram Mode". RFC1190 (Experimental Internet Stream Protocol, Version 2, October 1990) has more details, but like most RFCs it's heavy reading.

    Suffice to say it was for an experimental protocol that was supposed to be more amenable to handling voice traffic. As far as I am aware it never moved from "experimental" status.

  • by Control C ( 208733 ) on Saturday July 08, 2000 @11:47AM (#948921)
    FreeBSD []'s 4.0-RELEASE [] branch supports IPv6. If you're interested in getting your own IPv6 Internet address and being connected to Internet6, the Kame [] project is what you're looking for.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.