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The Internet

IPv4 vs IPv6: The Road Ahead 334

jeffy124 writes "With the world moving towards having every device under the sun being Internet-connected, is the Internet going to be too large? This article off examines this potential situation. They look into the problems of switching networks from IPv4 to IPv6, and the inclusion of inter-operability between the two. Benefits of moving to IPv6 are looked at, but so are the critics of it who point out that if we don't have a problem now, why fix it? While low of technical details, the story points out that not many systems out there currently support IPv6. "
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IPv4 vs IPv6: The Road Ahead

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  • Will IPV6 fix DNS?
    Will it give back that huge class A domain that MIT still has?

    Will my cable modem ISP with IPV6 give me more than 1 IP address so I can turn off NAT and DHCP? probably not.

    • If IPv6 is properly administered, DNS (per se) will cease to exist. IP addresses will be dynamically assigned, be transitory, and be mobile.

      In consequence, there will be no real point in a DNS system, as it exists today. There would be no way a centralized system could keep up with the changes.

      With IPv6, I suspect you'll find that DNS is replaced with self-identifying systems, using the Anycast protocol. Each machine would then be responsible for knowing what it was called, at that time. (Which sounds reasonable to me!)

      We haven't seen that, so far, because Anycasting is still too new and few existing IPv6 stacks support it. However, when IPv6 starts getting seriously used, it could become the most important protocol of all.

      • Let's see - DNS lets you type in and get an IPv4 or IPv6 address. Anycast lets you type in a long hexadecimal IPv6 address in your browser bar. Why do you think Anycast could ever replace DNS? It may well be used in some niches, e.g. to talk to a server farm, but it's not going to be relevant and will never replace DNS.
    • I'd suspect it would depend on how much IP addresses cost, under IPv6. As it stands, if you want your own range (not a range delegated from your ISP), it's Not Cheap, and I recall you had to get 3 class C's (which struck me as really odd).

      If the cost of an IPv6 block dwindles to about ten bucks a year per thousand (pulling numbers out of the air) then I suspect each ISP account would come with 16 or so addresses.

      And man, would I like that. Ever try playing a DirectPlay game behind a NAT firewall? It's fine with one client and a bunch of blind portforwards, but you're on your own if you have two systems behind it that want to play. (admittedly, that's not IPv4's fault, it's that nobody knows how to read the stream to make an ip_masq_directplay as far as I know)
    • Will it give back that huge class A domain that MIT still has?

      A class A is 1/20,282,409,603,651,670,423,947,251,286,016th of the total IP6 namespace. Why not let them keep it?

    • Yes it will (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Srin Tuar ( 147269 )
      According to the RFC's, even a lowly dialup users will be given more routable addresses than the
      entire internet contains at the moment.
  • I think the best part of this article is the summary of the problem: it's chicken & egg in that IPv6 won't be implemented by the backbone people until customers want it, while customers don't want it until the services are there. It reminds me very much of the current problem with HDTV, in that viewers don't want to buy HDTV systems since there's little programming that takes advantage of it, while the stations don't want to go to HDTV since no audience people have HDTVs. Of course, in this case, (We hope) government regulation will make the transition required. The switch to IPv6 is yet still only an informal agreement via the standards body and has no force of law yet to make it occur.

    • Of course, in this case, (We hope) government regulation will make the transition required.

      I certainly don't hope that. I was all for HDTV at first, but since the vendors seem far more concerned with trying to destroy time and space-shifting than actually making a quality product at a reasonable price, I wouldn't mind at all if they went down in flames.

    • Hmm. So let me get this straight. You *want* HDTV to succeed? Even though they're currently busy making it so that you can never make copies of anything broadcast over it, even well within your fair use rights?

      And you then want this backed up by law?

      I'm sorry, but if anything is going to be succeeded by anything, making the government do it is not the right way. It's not even their job! Hopefully, what's going to happen is that the backbone providers will see IPv6 as a great technical or strategical boon and they will more or less (through hopefully non-bullying means) convince their customers to switch over.

      *That* is how progess happens. Remember that "law" and "progress" are seldom used in the same sentence on purpose.
  • From what I understand, Linux and Windows NT have had IPv6 support for quite some time now. The bigger barrier to adoption is that router technology for IPv6 is not quite ready for primetime. When Cisco and Nortel get their act in gear, IPv6 should be up and running in the wild in no time.
    • Cisco has support for IPv6 in the newer versions of IOS (12.1T and above I believe). Check the Cisco Web Site [] for more information.
    • CISCO has had an implementation for some time. So has 3COM, Bay, Telebit, and many others. It's ready for prime-time, alright.... Well, it would be, if they could agree on what protocol to use. The 6bone was a MESS, the last time I looked, with the only good protocol (a heirarchical version of RIP, from the looks of it) coming in last.
    • by BigBlockMopar ( 191202 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @02:34PM (#2226301) Homepage

      From what I understand, Linux and Windows NT have had IPv6 support for quite some time now.

      The problem appears to be more subtle than that. The routers are mostly compliant, I wouldn't worry about it.

      The smooth transition is going to require that everyone on the 'Net start to switch over. Even half-wit Windows-95 AOL-point-and-drool users.

      Surely, we can release patches to the operating systems. And users can upgrade to new applications programs which aren't crashing when they request a DNS lookup and get something longer than they expect.

      But you know they won't.

      As evidence, I submit to you the Code Red worm. You'd have to be living under a rock for the past two months to not know about it. Yet, I still get hit by infected machines. Follow the link on my .sig.

      I haven't studied or attempted to deploy IPv6, but it will have to be backwards compatible with IPv4.

      In the 1950s, Europe upgraded their TV system to color. The new PAL and SECAM color standards weren't compatible with their old 405/441-line black and white standards [], leaving consumers with far too many confusing choices. Arguably, European TV never recovered.

      By contrast, RCA came up with an ingenious way of making a color signal ride on top of the existing North American black and white system. Old black and white TV sets were eventually replaced with color, but there was no great format change. You bought a color TV or a black and white set, and you weren't at the mercy of finding out whether or not there was still a black and white station in your area. People transitioned more gently and weren't put off by having their two-year-old oak-cabinet investment turned into a paperweight by moving out of a 405 line service area.

      IPv6 will have to be deployed in the same way or adoption rates will wane.

      • You have to remember that the 405 line service started earlier than the US 525 line service.

        405 line was first introduced in 1936, and temporarily shutdown in 1939. During the war, the european countries were too busy to do anything, but by 1940 the US decided to standardize on 525 lines, not a huge amount above the British 405 lines systems, but enough that in the mid sixties when colour was coming along, NTSC could be built on top of 525 lines, but no acceptable colouring system could be built on top of 405 lines.

        However, with new TV stations broadcasting only in 625 lines, as soon as PAL came out, you could get monocrome PAL sets. Indeed, monocrome PAL was all that was available for many years. At that time, the tube & the colour decoding was the most expensive part, and by ommitting those, you could make a cheaper set.

        I doubt if anyone lost any investment in 405 line sets. 405 line was offically obsolete in 1964, when the first 625 line channel (BBC2) was introduced. There was never a 405 line BBC2 signal. Colour was introduced to BBC2 in 1967, but 405 line service continued on until 1985, 49 years of broadcasting.

  • Who would start the change, since nobody is "in charge" of IP out there. If DNS root server A upgraded, would everyone else follow? So far, everybody is watching everyone else, nobody is making the first move.

    How about if AOL made a systemwide change, or ATT, Excite, and MCI all together?

    • Actually, I believe ARIN [] (American Registry for Internet Numbers) is in charge of IP (for the USA).
      I imagine they would be the ones to initiate the change to IPv6.

    • Bind [] has supported IPv6 records since version 4.9.4 (which is pretty damn old). DNS isn't the problem with IPv6. It's really getting the IPS's and backbone providers to bother implimenting IPv6.
    • ALL it would take is for one of those to change, and then to have IPv4IPv6 gateways at the borders. The customers would then be using an IPv6 stack, and gaining all the benefits, REGARDLESS of whether the rest of the Internet ever switched over.

      FURTHER, because they were using IPv6 stacks, companies would have an incentive to write IPv6 apps, which would pressure other ISPs into changing over, too.

    • How about a killer app? The problem is that right now if you start using ipv6 you are pretty much alone. Actually you might as well unplug your network cable, since you won't be able to do much useful stuff with it.

      What is needed is ipv6 only services (e.g. mp3 peer2peer filesharing) AND an easy way to get an ipv6 number for your clients/servers that can coexist with your current ipv4 number (i.e. your computer has both an ipv4 and ipv6 number). The easy part is essential because that prevents that people start creating ipv4 gateways to such services (thus removing the need for getting an ipv6 number). There are plenty of ipv6 numbers available so getting and registering one should be made as easy as possible (something like a distributed, global dhcp server that would automatically get you one based on your mac address would come in handy). Come to think of it, why not just automatically convert those mac addresses into ipv6 numbers (mac addresses are supposed to be unique anyway but I'm not entirely sure this is a great idea)

      As I understand it, ipv6 can be tunneled over existing ipv4 networks, so it shouldn't be a problem if some routers inbetween ipv6 hosts are ipv4 only.

      This would cause the amount of client pc's with ipv6 numbers to gradually grow. Also since lots of PCs don't have static ipv4 numbers, the amount of servers on ipv6 would also grow. Eventually, there will be a critical mass of ipv6 servers and clients and the switch can be made.

      Currently there are a lot of p2p applications in development. I imagine, implementing such stuff would be a lot easier using ipv6 with its improved features. Another killerapp could be streaming multimedia (you want to see this great movie, get yourself an ipv6 number now!!).
      • The problem isn't getting an IPv6 node number. There's already a pre-defined IPv6 number range for IPv4 addresses. The problem is that there need to be IPv6 routing protocols for routers, and backbones that use them.

        You're thinking about this completely wrong. What was it that made TCP/IP the 800 pound gorilla standard in the first place? The US Government, especially the military, standardized on it. What we need is to get the US Government to start requiring IPv6 in contracts.

  • famous prophecies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Telek ( 410366 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @01:41PM (#2226029) Homepage
    if we don't have a problem now, why fix it?


    "640 kB should be enough for everybody"

    "I see a worldwide market for 5, maybe 6 computers"

    and one that I can only assume:

    "yeah, use 2 digits for the year. Bah, the year 2000 is 20 years away, nobody will be using this stuff then anyways"

    And besides, if you wait until the problem is upon us, it'll be too late to fix it.
    • "If we don't switch to ipv6 by late 1997, the net will run out of addresses."
      -- many many pundits
    • "I see a worldwide market for 5, maybe 6 computers"

      "We now know he overestimated by four."
      -- Clay Shirkey, in a talk on Napster

    • 640 kB should be enough for everybody

      Bill Gates never said this. Its an urban legend.
  • Windows NT will be ready. Windows NT was the first network operating system to support IPv6, and also includes support for the next-generation MSIPv8, also known as Microsoft IP 2004. MSIPv8 enhances the usability and managabilty of the Internet Protocal through versitile .NET servives and intuitive Web-enabled application diversification.

    We're living in a wired world, and Windows NT provides the computing tools that we need to do ebusiness, as well as iPlay. Remember, Microsoft Windows NT: it doesn't get any better than this!

  • A group migration to IPv6 may never be necessary. With NAT now being pervasive, There only needs to be one or very few IP addresses per company.

    The original quote (around 1989) was: "My god! At this rate, we'll be out of addresses by [1992]"

    That obviously hasn't happened now, has it?

    When ALL of an ISP's web clients can function on a single IP address at port 80 using header redirection, I don't thenk we're going to need the additional address space for a long time.

    (IP addressing by latitude and longitude, while a cool idea, always seemed to be a solution looking for a problem.)
    • Network Address Translation only provides one-way connectivity. It allows a system behind a NAT to establish connections from external sites and retrieve data.

      What it *doesn't* allow is anyone out on the internet to go and connect to the machine behind the NAT, which is kinda essential for anything beyond web-browsing.

      The internet is not just port 80. Many people treat it as such, and I hope they have fun. But don't delude yourself that you have a full internet connection, because you don't. You've just got a fancy TV with a few more channels.

      NAT is a stop-gap measure at best. IPv6 is essential for allowing the internet to scale the way you want it to.

      Think about it: it's not outrageous that MIT and similar institutions have class-A networks - it's outrageous that *you* don't. IPv6 can fix that.

      Ask your ISP about their plans to upgrade to IPv6 - and what their IP allocation policy will be. If the ISP doesn't intend to give you lots of IPv6 addresses, start looking somewhere else.

      Dynamic IP allocation sucks in the same way that NAT does. Many of the peer to peer projects nowadays, in order to keep functioning, have to build their own namespace and addressing structures just to work around it.
      • MIT's IP scheme has allowed them to build a by-the-books network. They use their IP scheme to make it really easy to figure out where a machine is by IP. For added fun, they don't use firewalls. In fact, MIT discourages firewalling. They recommend using real security, and recommend that you use Kerberos for everything... while not supporting Kerberos (in a useful manner) except on their UNIX machines.

        For added fun, MIT gave an entire B-class (well, 1/256th of their A-class, not technically a B, but you understand) to each dormitory and each fraternity. MIT groups aren't starving for IPs, which is nice, but the rest of the Internet is.
  • 6-BONE? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ethereal ( 13958 ) on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @01:44PM (#2226044) Journal

    Why not run the conversion like the 6bone has []? That is, start off with virtual IPv6 between IPv6 supporting sites over IPv4 links, and gradually shift to native IPv6 where possible as more and more of the intermediate "link" sites convert to IPv6? At some point, you switch over core routers one by one so that they're running virtual IPv4 over IPv6 transport, and switch out the last of the IPv4 hardware as it becomes obsolete.

    Not that this necessarily provides an incentive for IPv4 users to switch, but IMHO, as a person that's not too knowledgeable about IPv6, I don't see why technically a migration has to be too difficult. Maybe you could make the incentive something like rewarding you with more IPv6 addresses as you move out of IPv4 space - that would definitely move big network operators along, at least.

    I'm still not sure how to force a more equal global assignment of the dwindling IPv4 address space. It seems like if the IPv4 afficianados aren't careful, China will just switch to IPv6 immediately, and the rest of the world will get dragged along just so we can continue to communicate with that huge percentage of the human race.

    • Re:6-BONE? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by farmhick ( 465391 )
      A reward that would definitely make a big impact would be to offer Microsoft the first publicly available Class A block in IPv6. they would switch in about 3 seconds, and drag everyone else kicking and screaming along with. The whole of MSN would be on it, including Hotmail, and the .Net side of MS.

      But the Chinese government might not really care about this, since they don't want their people to access the Net anyway, with all the political stuff and all.
      • I'm guessing MS can buy all the IPv4 addresses they need. Why should they move to IPv6?
      • IPv6 doesn't have 'Class A' blocks - everyone can get a large amount of address space with IPv6, not just the mega corporations. The main drivers for IPv6 are going to be:

        - 3G mobile phones - IPv6 is mandated by UMTS R5, the 3G technology for GSM network operators

        - Asian markets - Asia was late to the party in IP, and only got a tiny amount of IPv4 address space. This is why NTT is already running a commercial IPv6 service in the US and Japan.
    • Not that this necessarily provides an incentive for IPv4 users to switch, but IMHO, as a person that's not too
      knowledgeable about IPv6, I don't see why technically a migration has to be too difficult.

      The problem with the 6bone is that it pretty much requires a static IP address to connect to, and more importantly, that there are no free service providers (that I know of) which allow you to run it through a firewall.

      If you want to deploy ipv6 really fast just create a PPTP tunnel and a freenet. With the ability to get a static block of ipv6 addresses which work through a dynamic IPv4 (via PPTP), and IPSec (which is standard on ipv6), you can easily create a freenet-like system. The idea is that each of your fowarded connections go through a separate IPv6 tunnel.

      Implement something like napster, provide an easy to use installer, and provide the 6bone tunnel, and IPv6 will be deployed in a matter of months. Plus you can probably escape a lawsuit since the only service you're providing is an IPv6 tunnel. Release the napster client part anonymously.

    • Re:6-BONE? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by LiteForce ( 102751 )
      It's a nice idea but I have been trying to join the 6bone for absolutely ages now.

      My upstream ISP (Demon Internet []) is a participant in the 6bone network; so I e-mailed their 6bone contact and requested a small allocation of IPv6 addresses with which I could use on my internal network (all Linux; therefore all capable of IPv4).

      I received no response from them whatsoever after three seperate e-mails. I *want* to switch away from IPv4, but my upstream ISP won't let me, while they are making out to the outside world that they are 'spearheading' the IPv6 revolution by announcing that they are a member of the 6bone.

      Yes, I have considered applying to other 6bone networks, such as JANET [] and other UK ISPs, but my upstream ISP would have been ideal for my IPv4IPv6 tunnel (zero routing overheads). Besides, it is a matter of principle.

      Anybody running a 6bone site reading this care to comment ? - before you say it, yes, I fulfil the criteria for joining the 6bone (according to [] anyway).

  • Do we want everything connected to the Internet?

    Who has pushed for universal connectivity of most things to the Internet and why do they want it that way?

    Is the Net reaching a growth limit because of the IP numbers being used for the benefit of the Net and efficiency in the transfer of information, or so New Yuckers can trade stocks on their cellphones?

    Consider the NASDAQ, which has sold its soul to technological change. It expands its trading capacity every year. The sellers of trading tools anticipate this expansion, and the traders overload the system again every year, driving a further expansion.

    We can get to longer and longer fingerprints for our digital devices, or we can decide to better allocate IPs. This decision is directly related to our decisions about what we eventually want the Internet to be for.

    Do we want the Internet to be a marketplace, a teacher, a trainer? I would rather have limited resources allocated to training, skills enrichment, and exposure to art and culture, than to a thousand million Doom-playing boxes and gabby cellphones.

    Think about it. Which places in a given city get services such as DSL first? Is that the best social choice, for both the city and the Internet?

    • "Do we want everything connected to the Internet?"

      Whenever I've thought about IPv6 and its "suggested applications", this is the first thought that's come to mind. The answer is clearly "no, I don't want the entire world to be able to connect to my fridge." But don't you imply that level of connectivity when you assign your fridge an IP address? Not necessarily. What we should see with the switch to IPv6 is a shift of focus from "addresses" to "routes". Let me explain:

      Right now, particularly in the ISP world, packet destinations are very address-centric; each customer has one or two IP addresses, and if a packet arrives at those addresses, it is delivered to the customer, either directly or through a hub.

      With the number of IP addresses available in IPv6, it would be silly for an ISP to only give you a few addresses, or even a few hundred addresses. Instead, they will give out entire class B networks, and (here's the key), simply route any packet addressed to that network over the customer's connection. Since you can't just stick several thousand devices on a lan, having a full-featured router in your home will be a requirement to sort out all the incoming packets.

      Once there's a router in everyone's home, it's trivial to set them up as firewalls so that someone can't hack your fridge from the outside. Sure, your fridge can still initiate a connection to the supermarket and order more milk, and everything works with no NAT hackery, since the fridge has its own IP address within your subnet. Or, you could require authentication when connecting to the fridge from outside, but still be able to address it by its unique IP from anywhere.

      So, the bottom line is: more IP addresses leads to required home routers, which are trivially set up as firewalls.

      -- Brett

      • But you could do this right now with NAT and a single address. Why do you need IPv6 to do it?
    • Do we want everything connected to the Internet?

      I don't know about you, but I certainly want it. I want a single PDA that can do everything, and that's always connected. I want a big desktop computer that is the frontend for all the real work I'm going to do. I want my fridge connected so I can check what's in there from my PDA when I'm standing in a shop, I want my washing machine connected so I don't need to go home before I would know it's finished, and I want my car connected so I can lookup in maps, and download ogg vorbis files to the stereo.

      And I'd be happy to pay for it.

      What I'm worried about are the privacy issues. With all this being logged, things can go wrong. We need laws that says you're not allowed to record a lot of information. Strong privacy laws. And that you own whatever information is recorded about you.

      Do we want the Internet to be a marketplace, a teacher, a trainer? I would rather have limited resources allocated to training, skills enrichment, and exposure to art and culture, than to a thousand million Doom-playing boxes and gabby cellphones.

      As I see it, one of the fundamental pillars of the web is that it is universal. It has to be all. It has to be a marketplace too, but we need to make sure it isn't only a marketplace, because if it becomes, it dies. Now, the web is part of the internet, so the internet must be universal too.

  • I can't wait for the book! It'll be filled with commentary equally lacking in technical details, written by a mildly deluded harvard graduate.
  • "For instance, do people really want a unique address for a refrigerator -- allowing hackers to spy on individual eating habits -- or order you a truckload of milk?"

    Do not fear, Consumer/Citizen #238o47234-9. We have taken care of the threat of the evil hackers. We have applied Purchase::Courts in order to prosecute, convict & incarcerate [] Evil Hacker Units for crimes we think they'll commit in the future, preventing them from ever happening. We call this "time-shifted law enforcement".

    Do not fear, Consumer Units. We will prevent Technology::IPV6 from being used to order too much Commodity::Milk.

    Everything has been rendered extraordinarily safe.
    • We the Consumers of This Great Nation(tm) are delighted at the news you bring us, Shopper sllort. Indeed, it is gratifying that Crime(tm) was prevented by Our FBI(tm) in such an effecient manner, such that Shopper Bell can be Reformed(tm). While regrettable that Shopper Bell's Consumer Credit(tm) will be limited for a period of ten years due to his incarceration for Unapproved Speech(tm), it is important to the serenety of our Shopper's Paradise(tm) that such potentially dangerous Shoppers be detained and Reformed(tm) early in order to insure their quick return and continued contribution to Our Consumer Economy(tm).

      Yours in Consumption,

      Shopper FreeUser.
  • quoth the article:

    To ease the transition, engineers are developing ways for networks on v6 to talk with those still on v4. It'll be like running two separate Internets, with boxes in the middle to connect and translate seamlessly between the two.

    great! if we are gonna effectively have two internets anyway, lets have the IPv6-based Net do away with the current DNS monopoly and let anyone register a TLD. .web, .sex, .JoeSchmoe, whatever. Open DNS is the way to go.

    all someone would have to do is, write a plugin for a browser that lets it seamlessly navigate IPv6 networks. But at the same time, also allow the user to choose from a open list of DNS servers at the same time. YOU choose your root ! as it was intended to be.

    my apologies to JoeSchmoe for any offense. thpbt :P

  • "Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology each got a block of 16 million IP addresses -- more than what's available to latecomers, including the entire country of China"

    someone was being greedy eh? Comeon folks, time to share..

    Seriously though, the article does a good job at least trying to cover all the bases even if some of the arguements are weak. We all know that it's a big change and that it's going to take years to make the transistion from 32 bit addressing to 128 bit addressing, but the people saying "why fix it if we dont have a problem?" had better get their heads out of their asses. It's just like standing in the street and saying "why should I buy a car when my horse and wagon works fine?".

    I agree that some ideas are way over the top (tell me again why my toaster should be networked??) but with computers getting smaller and cheaper the number of networked devices will continue to grow. We need a new system that can handle assigning addresses to them all. It's going to take time, effort and money to switch everything over so get started and quit complaining.

  • Vital IPv6 links (Score:3, Informative)

    by DaSyonic ( 238637 ) <DaSyonic@y[ ] ['aho' in gap]> on Tuesday August 28, 2001 @01:54PM (#2226108) Homepage
    Some good MLP:

    good IPv6 homepage []

    IPv6 HOWTO []

    IPv6 Standards []

    IPv6 Tutorial (PDF) []

    And the 6bone []

  • If you want to have access to 20+ devices in your house while you're away, then giving each one an IP is ridiculous. You get a server for the house, and communicate with each of the devices through the server. The server has an IP address, the devices have names (or the standard internal network addresses, 192.168.0.x). You access the devices by name, using the server as a proxy. I'm sure somebody will come up with some XML based protocol for this if they haven't already.

    Also, right now the worlds population is about 6 billion, and 4 billion address are possible with IPv4. Based on everybodies estimates on the adoption rate of internet access, we still have a decade before we're screwed. So, take the time to get it right instead of screwing up everything at once.
  • If we stick with IPv4, the argument will be made that we are running out of IP address space. Residential Internet connections will switch over to NAT or PPPOE "to conserve valuable IP address space." When that occurs, it will break just about everything from peer-to-peer networking to home FTP and web servers.

    So who would be in favor of that? Just the RIAA, MPAA, SPA (Software Publishers' Association), BSA (Business Software Alliance), and every other organization that believes that elimination of peer-to-peer and residential FTP and web servers would reduce piracy. ISPs would love it because servers on residential connections sometimes use an inordinate amount of bandwidth. Law enforcement would be happy because ISPs would have to process the packets, meaning that they had an easy way to monitor which user connected to which IP addresses. And ISPs could more easily perform content filtering if, say, Adobe's lawyers wrote a letter and said "IP address has a downloadable program that decrypts our e-books. Please assure that your users cannot access that IP address."

  • The hardest part to change will be all of these new embeded devices that use IPv4 at some level. Not to mention all the cable modem and DSL routers and other misc equiptment that does not update easily.

    Try explaining to the average AOL user why his new net radio gizmo no longer works. Or why he has to replace his cable modem firewall when it works just fine.

    And I am not going to even try and think about what IPv6 will look like once Microsoft gets their hands on it...
  • I say this article sucked.
    Clueless hype is all that's out there these hot summer days. It's ridiculous. They did concede that IPv6 is inevitable, but they sure spent some time wringing hands over totally irrelevant crap at the same time. I saw that link on CNN earlier in the evening and didn't read it because I knew it would suck and only went back and read it only because I saw the link here on /. and knew I could vent.
    For those of us old enough to go ahead and got busy organizing networks here and there back when ICANN was getting started and you could just ask for net numbers --as I and many others did-- the problem is all too clear. The beauracratic, financial and legal powers that became involved over the years totally twisted the original premise. If you want a frickin' number you get one. If you want a thousand, you get a thousand. They're just numbers. Deal with it.
    But that's not what it turned into at all. Vast portions of those billions of IPv4 numbers don't go anywhere because network routing is a financial issue closely intertwined with a technical issue that few people outside of open source are familiar with.
    It's irrelevant though because IPv6 is inevitable and this has already been covered in so many other ways.
    And, to top it off, dynamic domain names makes it all meta anyway. Yeah, I'm not crying about the way things are by any means but more numbers is such a rational idea. And why stop at IPv6, next step is get rid of this restricive domain naming stuff. They've already started using Chinese characters at some domain registrars. So let's just name domains like long file names so we can use popular phrases! Shit, you don't think there will be a gold rush on that shit? There's a limited set of English phrases. You take that from an English major.
    • I saw that link on CNN earlier in the evening and didn't read it because I knew it would suck and only went back and read it only because I saw the link here on /. and knew I could vent.


      more numbers is such a rational idea


      next step is get rid of this restricive domain naming stuff

      Well, I think we have been selecting our own domains on the premise that shorter is better. You can't even get a three letter .com domain anymore because they are all taken. Longer is not necessarily better when your customers have to type .com

  • For instance, do people really want a unique address for a refrigerator -- allowing hackers to spy on individual eating habits -- or order you a truckload of milk?

    Wow, that kinda puts a new spin on the old too much milk problem from my Operating Systems class in school. Brings back bad memories.

    (For those of you who don't know/remember this problem, it is an example of resource locking, needed in OS design. I would say all Computer Science/Engineering students take that class, at least the did at my university).
  • First off, my toaster,TV,shower,alarm clock, and bed do not need to have an IP address on the internet. 99.995% of all internet users do not need an actual IP address on the internet. Yes, we are getting close to using up all the Class C network numbers. but if many of the messed up ISP's and co-lo farms actually managed IP's better it would, quite possibly, become a self controlling problem. when I Had my server on the internet I was given 8 IP addresses by my ISP. What the heck for? I asked for one, they said, "here! take 8!" so there's 7 Ip addresses that are now unuseable by others.
    Now you might have the reason that you need to run dns,smtp,www,pop3,ftp,etc... on different machines... ok, you still dont need more than 1 Internet IP address. that's what your routing equipment is for, to manage IP addresses. They magically route that request from to and that to

    any shortage is because of slipshod management of the IP space.
    • That's obnoxious. Packet mangling (and DHCP) is an ugly hack and breaks many network protocols (IP Telephone, Incoming services, PtP filesharing, etc.) With IPv6 neither technologies are necessary.

      Do you really think that NAT is the solution for the future?? I believe that the right answer is for every electronic device to have routable addresses and apply packet filtering as appropriate. Then everyone can have their own /48 address space.

  • I want an IPV6 address. I'm going to run my internal home network on IPV6 and run a translator to make my IPV4 addresses translate to internal IPV6 ones. Where do I get a number space? I know the lower 8 bytes are suppose to be a MAC address, but what about the upper 8?

  • not how IPv6 will deal with the increased addressing range, but how it will handle issues of security, and more importantly, WHO will control that security and will the specifications be OPEN?

    The internet as it stands suffers because it is trust-based and there are all too many willing to abuse that trust. Many untrusting-internet ideas have been flown, and most of them involve more identity checking and awareness of the originators of packets. Would this "new" internet (I hate to use such an overused term but it seems appropriate) - would this "new" internet retain any opportunities for anonymity (and thus more secure freedom of speech), or will it be a case of "let's crack down on anonymity online because anyone who doesn't want the totally benign government to know who he is must be a terrorist or a child molestor! Why do you want to be anonymous, do you have something to HIDE?"

    A lot can be done towards preventing the latter if the specs for any new internet communications protocols being open or hopefully even GPL'd. Is this likely?


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