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The Internet

The Impending IP Crisis 765

Factomatic writes "With the supply of IP addresses expected to run out by 2005 due to the popularity explosion of the Internet and the expectation that everything from your phone to your washing machine will soon have its own IP address, Alex Lightman, CEO of Charmed Technology and chairman of last month's North American IPv6 Global Summit tells the New York Times "we're going to need something like 100 IP addresses for each human being." IPv6 will increase the supply of addresses from 4 billion today to a number in excess of 35 trillion that is "so big that there's not a word for the number," says Cody Christman, director of product engineering for Verio, which offers IPv6 in San Francisco, Washington and elsewhere. The article is a good layman's backgrounder on the looming IP crisis."
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The Impending IP Crisis

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  • Great, another "we're running out of IPs, really, for real this time guys we mean it" story. I mean, sure, IPv6 will eradicate this problem (while introducing a slew of new ones) but IPv4 is fine for a while. We should just revoke the IPs for China and other firewalled nations who dont' play nice with DARPAnet.
    • Don't forget the spammers. We can take a few IPs away from them as well.

    • by Troed ( 102527 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:42PM (#6500646) Homepage Journal
      No, we should withdraw all the A-class networks that are unnecessarily allocated to US companies.

      OTH - I'd rather move to IPv6.
      • You mean like HP which now has two Class A's (HP and DEC) and a couple of class C's from the combine companies.
    • I don't see this as being much of a crisis. I've worked for several companies that employ ~10,000 people, most of which have systems connected to the network.

      I remember in 1995, every Windows box had it's own public facing IP. Then over the years, everyone who could use NAT was moved over to private IP space.

      The 'crisis' is really another example of media fear-inducing hype. Worst case senario, your ISP will begin issuing private IPs for for customers with basic accounts.

      Yes, some things will break. But
      • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:15PM (#6501164)
        > The 'crisis' is really another example of media fear-inducing hype. Worst case senario, your ISP will begin issuing private IPs for for customers with basic accounts.
        > Yes, some things will break. But there's not much out there that doesn't function in a NAT enviroment from a client standpoint.
        > It'd also save ISPs a lot of headache with customers running unauthorized services.


        Port 25 filtering would finally make sense - no more luzers with open exploitable proxies spewing bilge from,,,, and so on.

        Add to that the possibility of doing ingress filtering, and you've got something that wouldn't just be less expensive for tech support, but a little safer for Joe Luser, whose unpatched box would be on a private subnet.

        If the skript kiddie can't talk to port 135, 137, 138, 139, 445, or 1900 of Joe's box, he's gonna have a harder time 0wning him.

        • by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @03:17PM (#6502526) Homepage Journal

          I like the idea of lots of IPv6 addresses, enough to provide for ISPs to provide each subscriber with a static IP address.

          Open relay? Source of spam?

          Guess what? When re-connect you get that exact same address that is going to be at the receiving end of irate spam recipients!

          No more evading consequences through the magic of DHCP.

          And, for one-time lusers that change ISPs after each offense, the responsible ISP that has clear identifying information (I had to show a driver's license to get my account) about said spammer can post `em to a blacklist. Irresponsible ISPs can simply have themselves blacklisted wholescale.

      • Uh, this would break a lot of other stuff aswell.

        IM file transfers : broke
        Video Confrencing: broke
        voice over IP: broke
        host a game (on xbox live for example): broke

        now, i dont know about you but most of the people do one of the above things regually. IM has latley became the killer app of the internet (for the younger people).

        This would reduce the internet to one way communication - something that I dont want.
      • by Electrum ( 94638 ) <> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @02:17PM (#6501846) Homepage
        I can already see the call to tech support..

        customer "My web server/P2P/Warez FTP/etc doesn't work now that you changed my account to use a private IP."

        Customer: "Why can't I play games online anymore?"

        Consider an RTS game such as Starcraft. If you and your friend both have a private IP, you can't play. NAT is not a good solution.
  • Jeez... (Score:5, Funny)

    by TopShelf ( 92521 ) * on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:04PM (#6500103) Homepage Journal
    Who needs a new word to describe the number of possible addresses? It's just 1/2.9387358770557187699218413430556e+61st of a google.
  • by zubernerd ( 518077 ) * on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:05PM (#6500111)
    To quote the article "Such sensors could allow people to operate devices from anywhere there is an Internet connection." and "Now that the address space is available, the next step is figuring out how to use it."
    I've got an idea, a internet connected toilet. "Using a cellphone in Los Angeles", I could flush the toilet at my home remotely and have the toilet seat drop down automatically (you know, to keep domestic tranquility). I could even call the toilet to see if anyone is using it.
    I better go patent it...
    • by General_Corto ( 152906 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:12PM (#6500226)
      Fine, but I'm going to patent the Denial Of Sewage attack. Toilet blockages, here we come!
    • Re:Imagine the uses (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:59PM (#6500900) Homepage Journal
      Alright, so I'll have 100 devices that require an IP. I could see that, although I fully intend to become a luddite sometime after OS 10.5 comes out. My question is this: does each device that has internet connectivity NEED its own IP?

      And of course, the NAT community says NYET.

      The end user's desire for privacy and security combined with the world's ISPs' need to cut down on the number of machines running active web/ftp/samba/gopher/finger servers over their lines (and essentially bypassing their commercial services, which is where the real money is), will eventually mean that all consumers will be given a single IP, or less, from their provider. And you'll have to make do or pay a huge fee.

      (What, you think just because IP banks are massive with IPv6 that your ISP is just going to give you a shitload of them? No dice, kid. They'll make you pay just like everything else, and try to tell you it's a deal.)

      But this is not necessarily a bad thing. Most connection sharing devices -- routers, gateways, access points, etc -- also act as a pretty good form of security. They close devices off from the rest of the internet, unless you explicitly allow internet users in. I'm pretty much unworried about the threat of hackers getting into my printer; all i have to worry about is hackers getting into the router. And a single path of entry makes it easier to cut them off as well.

      Sure, you can get a personal router with IPv6. But you don't HAVE to, and a lot of people won't. So the current scheme is forcing people to use slightly better security. And while roughly 4 billion addresses isn't enough for every widget on the planet, it's far more than the number of conceptual groups on the planet. One IP per organization or per household...should be enough for a LONNNNNG while.
    • by marnanel ( 98063 ) <slashdot.marnanel@org> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @02:01PM (#6501696) Homepage Journal

      I could even call the toilet to see if anyone is using it.

      MIT got there first: http [], finger [].

  • by wayward_son ( 146338 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:05PM (#6500113)
    Sounds like a solution to me.

    It's just going to be a pain in the ass to get every one switched over, though.

    • by sporty ( 27564 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:14PM (#6500254) Homepage
      Not too hard.

      Backbones should switch over first, proxying ipv4 over ipv6, then propogate downwards.

      When it hits users, they'll have an ultimatum. Upgrade within the next 180 days, or j00 are fux0red.

      As for the OS and device makers, simply make dhcp check ipv6 first, then fallback to ipv4. That'll be transparent for all the chuckleheads who would ignore the "switch" thing.
      • by jaredmauch ( 633928 ) <> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:44PM (#6500677) Homepage
        I don't mean to flame you, but I'd like to address the technical issues surrounding your statements.

        Backbones are already upgrading to IPv6 enabled software and hardware. My employer has plans to run dual-stack IPv4 IPv6 later this year which means that any existing IPv4 customer can give us a call saying "enable v6" and we can do it that day. (assuming they have their hardware/software in place). No tunneling, no 6to4 gateways, it'll just work. I see no long-term viability of the 6to4 gateways, in the same way that we didn't see caches go mainstream for every internet user. (yeah yeah, some of you will claim bittorrent is a large distributed cache, and while that might be the case, i'm talking about for most of the general public, the AOL/IE users that don't know how to spell IP).

        If you also see one of my previous comments on IPv6 here [] about who is supporting it (note, what you might define as a backbone isn't what the rest of the network might..) and has existing routes in the tables, you'll get an idea of who is at least prepared for the new future of impossible to read ip addresses.

        If everyone runs dual-stack v4v6, you'll see the ability to access your existing services while continuing to be able to gain access to the IPv6 content. Personally, I've seen that in cases like where a RedHat release comes out, I can get faster transfer rates going to the IPv6 mirror than the IPv4 mirror. Everyone is hammering the v4, which makes the v6 available for me :). I'm just waiting for Linksys (now cisco) and the other consumer product people to realize that they need to upgrade their devices so they can do IPv6 nat for those cablemodem routers, etc..

        Here's where I think that the local loop (dsl, cable) providers can go and start to seriously make money and make IPv6 viable: IPv6 enable your network, then offer VoIP services over SIP enabled devices. This way you don't run out of numbering space (ip and pstn). (Trivia: how many ips would it take to convert the existing PSTN network to VoIP, if each phone number required an IP address).

      • by riflemann ( 190895 ) <riflemann@bb[ ] ['.ca' in gap]> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:04PM (#6500978)

        Backbones should switch over first, proxying ipv4 over ipv6, then propogate downwards.

        Please do a bit of research on the interoperability of Ipv6 and Ipv4. A large proportion of the Ipv6 effort has been on efforts to ensure amooth migration and interoperability. You dont need an ultimatum, just let both work then gradually turn off Ipv4-only services. No one will notice if its done correctly.

        As for the OS and device makers, simply make dhcp check ipv6 first, then fallback to ipv4. That'll be transparent for all the chuckleheads who would ignore the "switch" thing.


        All dual stack implementations today first attempt to use IPv6 versions of protocols, and only if that fails do they resort to Ipv4. All of my boxen for example will do the following:

        1. Do DNS lookup

        2. Get IPv6 address and IPv4 address for hostname.

        3. Attempt to connect to IPv6 address first.

        4. Otherwise try Ipv4 address

        Any correctly written application will automatically use IPv4 and IPv6 without special intervention. The IPv6 bind() call binds to both v4 and v6, for example.

        So, your concerns have already been addressed. :)

    • The problem is an IPv4-based internet. If it had been designed to allow for future expansion of addresses, there would be no problem, but since every backbone and every router built prior to IPv6 standards being implimented has 4-byte addresses, then the entire world has to be transitioned before IPv6 addresses can go into commercial use.

      Does it need to be done? Eventually, yes. Is it an emergency? Not at all. Not every single device out there has its own global IP address and they never will, people. The
  • by Tom7 ( 102298 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:05PM (#6500114) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, but those 100 IP addresses can be behind a household NAT and share a single IP address. With the way people use the internet today, I'm not sure the crisis is so serious...
    • Yea, but NAT really does cause more problems than its worth when you consider IPv6 an alternative. Things like IPSEC and such do not work through nat without non-standard encapuslation and such.

      The world would be better without NAT.
      • Idiot. *sigh* The only problems NAT causes are to crappy implementations that make assumptions they shouldn't be making. (i.e. putting address info within the data of the protocol.)

        IPSEC works perfectly fine through NAT -- I do so all the time without "non-standard encapuslation and such". The only part of IPSEC that will not work through NAT is header authentication and the various non-standard implementations that cryptographicly sign the entire packet. If the crypto integrity covers the packet header
      • NAT really does cause more problems than its worth

        If my cable modem provider would give me access without charging extra for every computer I attach, I would be happy to do without NAT. I don't see that happening, even if they have 50 bazillion addresses available, not when they can make another 5 bux a month per machine.
    • by binaryDigit ( 557647 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:10PM (#6500196)
      That's fine but unless you're talking about incoming originating comms. With NAT, you have to rely on ports instead of ips to address specific items. This means a mod to your dns (or whatever replaces it). You can't just assume that the cell phone port is port 32768, since the household may have several different cell phones (or toasters, or tv's, or whatever). Not a huge problem, but it does require more changes than would simply assigning everything it's own unique id.
    • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:20PM (#6500341) Homepage Journal
      I agree. For a lot of those devices, I wouldn't want the IP address to be acessable from the outside world anyway.

      If I need to remotely access stupid sensors, then I'd rather remotely access a single program on a server at or behind the firewall that handles that sort of thing, and hides the particulars to boot.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:05PM (#6500115)
    IPv6 will increase the supply of addresses from 4 billion today to a number in excess of 35 trillion that is "so big that there's not a word for the number,"

    how about "thirty six trillion" ?
  • Money talks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kombat ( 93720 ) <> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:06PM (#6500127) Homepage
    As with everything like this, the powers-that-be (i.e., the telcos and ISPs) will drag their heels until they are either forced to change, or they are convinced it will increase profits. Expect the changeover to go extremely slowly. Expect providers to try every trick in the book to milk their existing network for every last day they can possibly profit from it. The fact that the economy is in the toilet doesn't help either.
    • Re:Money talks (Score:4, Insightful)

      by stonecypher ( 118140 ) <stonecypher@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:31PM (#6500494) Homepage Journal
      As with everything like this, the powers-that-be (i.e., the telcos and ISPs) will drag their heels until they are either forced to change,

      Except that there's been v6 connectivity for sale in almost every major city for years, now. Notably, Pair Networks has offered it since 1999. IIRC, and this might be wrong, Internet2 has been v6 since early on, maybe since day one.

      or they are convinced it will increase profits

      It will, as soon as the number of v4-only software and devices stops rising. Integration of IPv6 support into the RADs that all these software weenies use will help, though it's sort of a chicken-and-egg problem: nobody's gonna provide v6 connectivity until there's something to do with it, and nobody's gonna support it due to the hassle and the fact that they don't know anyone that has it.

      It would be nice if Internet2 would open some of its resources to the real, messy internet; that'd be the sort of kickstart that'd get the whole goddamn thing underway.

      Expect the changeover to go extremely slowly.

      That's why we're making another IP, instead of replacing it altogether with something new. In theory, it shouldn't much matter; NAT and some dedicated hackery should make the two sort of kind of interoperate a little bit.

      Kinda. (grins)

      Expect providers to try every trick in the book to milk their existing network for every last day they can possibly profit from it

      Yeah. That's called "good business." Besides, the fiber and wire don't need to be replaced; just the routers, and in some cases the end connection equipment (DSL modems that only do PPPoE, for example.)

      By the way, I hate alcatel.

      The fact that the economy is in the toilet doesn't help either.

      Um, yes it does. Labor costs are down. Material costs are down. Land costs are down. Telcos aren't hurting so badly that they can't keep up the constant hardware upgrades they're doing. The economy actually helps quite a bit. They do the work for cheap, make estimations based on current market usage, then the money comes back (like it always does,) usage goes through the roof when people have enough money to try to change the way we buy dog food ("the net is the future, man pass the bong, I'm gonna be rich",) telcos overearn predictions, foolish investors think they're a good investment, they get money, the ceos do something horrible and amoral, everyone gets horrified and starts asking for inquiries, all the money goes away, and so it goes.
  • Duplicate story... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by brooks_talley ( 86840 ) <> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:06PM (#6500136) Journal
    I'm sure I saw this exact same post on /. in 1998. Except then it said we'd run out of addresses by 2000.

    Hello? There's this thing called NAT, you see, and in many ways it's preferable to not have every one of your 100 IP-enabled devices sitting there on the real internet just waiting to get hacked.

    • by Merk ( 25521 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:53PM (#6500792) Homepage

      Say you have 5 servers behind a NAT box, all running SSHD. How are you going to set them all up so that they can have incoming connections? Sure, if your NAT box is a good one you can manually set up port forwarding, but that's a pain.

      What about strange services like FTP that require 2 different connections? They're always a pain when using NAT, so you need to find some means of dealing with them.

      What about games? Say 3 people behind one NAT box want to play the same online game at the same time? What about filesharing applications that want to allow incoming connections?

      NAT != firewall. If you're using it like it is, expect to get hacked anyhow. Besides, if you don't want a particular device to be exposed to the IPV6 world, you are free to put it behind a NAT box or a firewall, it just means that the machines that you want to have routable addresses can have them.

      I already want more IP addresses. I have a server which hosts websites for various domains, but only uses 1 IP address. That works for HTTP because it sends the hostname as part of the request, but nearly every other protocol doesn't. That means that I can't deal with HTTPS easily, and makes configuration of things like mail much harder. If each host could have its own IP then it would make management and configuration much easier. It would also make it possible to have much more fine-grained control over services and access to various IPs.

      I can just picture you when they finally start selling flying cars: "Hello? I already have transportation, it's called a car. In many ways it's better to move slowly in gridlock. At least that way if you have an accident you're only moving 4 miles per hour!"

  • ... film at 11.
  • by southpolesammy ( 150094 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:07PM (#6500151) Journal
    I wonder how long it will be before we have a washing machine buffer overflow...

    Apartment dwellers below the afflicted system should take precautions now....
  • "...a number in excess of 35 trillion that is "so big that there's not a word for the number..."

    Um, I think 35 trillion, 350 trillion, or whatever, is a good word for the number, don't you?
  • by *weasel ( 174362 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:08PM (#6500161)
    unless a new prognostication that 'the end is nigh, in 2005' passes as news. everyone knows it's gonna happen. just as we all know that with NAT and proxies, most of it can be safely delayed by tech companies until they have an outside fiscal force to upgrade.

    and i doubt my fridge will have an IP address anytime -before- ipv6 starts to be rolled out en masse.

    as with all pure tech - it needs that killer app. something needs to come out that is so fantastically great that everyone has to have it - and it needs to require ipv6. until then - at best we'll be going dual-mode.

    good luck finding that app, and educating users what it is, and what it does.
    • How about an IP address for the RFID chips in your clothing?

      That way your socks can tell your washing machine to ask the fridge to remind you to wash them whilst also emailing the NSA about you attending a meeting of [insert-fringe-organisation-currently-in-policial- disfavour-here] and your partner about the visit to the strip club afterwards. And obviously every CD (and CDplayer) will need it's own IP address so the embedded device (running WinCE) can connect back to the RIAA over the secret pervasive

  • overdramatic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sstory ( 538486 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:08PM (#6500176) Homepage
    Isn't this a little overdramatic? Crisis? Having to switch to an updated protocol is a crisis?
  • IP assignment (Score:2, Insightful)

    by deman1985 ( 684265 )
    Or perhaps there should be just one IP address assigned to every person and then you can have a device ID for everything they own. Why does each device need a globally recognizable unique ID? It would seem to make much more sense to go the device ID route, since then if you know a person's individual IP, you can say that I want to send a message to "so and so's pager" or "so and so's home computer".

    Making an allocation of 35 trillion addresses is all great and good, but the underlying question is... why?
  • So big that there's not a word for the number, huh?

    How about I come up with a bigger number and give it a name? Say, 1 followed by 100 zeros (10 to the power 10) and call it something funky like, I dunno, a googol.

    Huh? Whassat? Whatcha mean prior art? Someone thought of it already? Son of a...
  • Not again... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Delphix ( 571159 ) * on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:09PM (#6500189)
    Why does every human need 100 IP addresses? Home routers seem to solve a lot of the problems. A simple IP Masq fix...

    As for the days of every appliance in our homes having an IP... I think that dream of the late 90s has been shelved for a while. It'll probably be decades, if ever, before our fridges are calling up to get food delivered...

    The average home generally has a couple PCs / laptops...maybe an XBox or PS2 connected to net.
  • Oh Puleeeze! (Score:3, Informative)

    by hoggoth ( 414195 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:10PM (#6500199) Journal
    > "we're going to need something like 100 IP addresses for each human being."

    We already have 65534 IP address for each human being. They are to

    Use NAT. Problem solved.
    Enjoy the IPs. You can thank me later.

  • IP (Score:2, Funny)

    When I first glanced at the headline, I thought, oh no, not another SCO article! Well, this doesn't sound quite as serious. I, for one, don't WANT my washing machine to have an IP address. I have visions of my underwear getting 0wNeD...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:10PM (#6500207)
    While IPv6 fixes many problems in IPv4, the developed world will not embrace IPv6 until many shortcomings in the protocol are addressed.

    1. Cisco routers suck at IPv6. Many of cisco's routers use the router's CPU to process IPv6 packets instead of the fast-path. The reasons for this are explained in the next few points. While Juniper's routers are substantially better at IPv6 than cisco's, IT managers are often restrained by insane corporate policy that dictactes the use of cisco.

    2. There are too many addresses. There are 16.7 million addresses per square metre of the earth's surface, including the oceans. This is overkill. The world does not need more than the 4 billion addresses available with IPv4, and I challenge you to come up with an application that requires that many. Assuming that you can actually come up with one, it could easily be solved with Network Address
    Translation, or NAT as it is commonly known.

    3. IPv6 addresses are too large. An IPv6 address is 128 bits in size - 64 bits of which are reserved for addressing hosts, and 64 bits of which are reserved for routing. One thing that is cool with IPv6 is address autoconfiguration. Take your 56-bit MAC address on your ethernet card, ask for 64-bits of network prefix, bang it together with EUI-64 and you are set. The problem with a 64-bit network prefix is that routing tables become massive. Just do the math and you'll see that extreme amounts of memory are required to hold routing tables.

    4. The IPv6 header is too large. An IPv4 header compact at 20 bytes in length, while the IPv6 is bloated at 40 bytes. That's right people, each one of your IP packets has twice as much overhead as before.
    While this may not sound much, IP networks have a requirement that the minimum MTU supported must be 576 bytes. That means that where you might have got 556 bytes of data in your IP packets, you now get 536 bytes. This means that downloading stuff will take 3.4% longer.

    Sure, IPv6 allows for nice hacks, but is it really ready for prime time?
    • Bullshit! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Fefe ( 6964 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:32PM (#6500516) Homepage
      IPv6 is bad because Cisco routers suck. No, wait, "Many of Cisco's routers" suck. You can' be serious! Once IPv6 gets off the ground, IPv6 will become fast path and eventually IPv4 will be dropped to legacy mode.

      About your point 2: IPv6 does not actually give out all those 2^128 IPs. The first half is for the network part, the second 64 bits are for the host part. This is necessary because autoconfiguration (which is really great, by the way!) uses a 64-bit part. The IPv6 autoconfiguration is stateless, by the way, which means it will also work without a DHCP server and it won't need reboot if the routers were down when the autoconfiguration process started.

      The point about having this many addresses is that you never ever want to have to come into the remote possibility to have to switch to IPv8 because IPv6 is too small. And when you rant about the IPv6 header being 20 bytes larger than the IPv4 header, consider that the overhead of the TCP header (20+ bytes), the HTTP header (300 bytes), the Email header (500 bytes?), ... most of the internet protocols are very wasteful. On the other hand, they are easily debuggable with relatively simple tools. This is a trade-off, obviously, and IPv6's choice is not per se good or bad, it's just different. We will see whether it will have a significant overhead. I say getting rid of spam is a better way to reduce bandwidth requirements on the internet than talking about header sizes.

      IPv6 is ready for prime time. People are using it (I, for example). You can buy access to IPv6-native backbones. All the major OSses support it. There is really no excuse not to be already using it.
      • Re:Bullshit! (Score:3, Interesting)

        IPv6 is bad because Cisco routers suck. No, wait, "Many of Cisco's routers" suck. You can' be serious! Once IPv6 gets off the ground, IPv6 will become fast path and eventually IPv4 will be dropped to legacy mode.

        On most Cisco high-end routers, upgrading to larger IP addresses requires soldering (or replacement of fundamental router components, which amounts to the same thing). At the moment, only one or two linecards for the GSR series support IPv6 routing at wire speed (and the multi-purpose CPUs on the
    • by riflemann ( 190895 ) <riflemann@bb[ ] ['.ca' in gap]> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:52PM (#6500781)

      1. Cisco routers suck at IPv6.

      Cisco is working on hardware support for IPv6 for most platforms. As it becomes more widespread, they will develop full hardware routing for all devices. It's a chicken and egg problem, but a lot of people have decided to start somewhere.From what I've seen, there has been more interest in getting IPv6 running in the last 6 months than there ever has been.

      2. There are too many addresses.

      NAT doesnt work when you have devices that need to be addresses externally. What NAT-Portfw port is your device 'X' listening on? Hmm?? IPv6 is designed such that address space is _not_ a resource, but a method of being able to access _any_ device attached to the net. I dont _want_ to have to explain to someone why I want an address. I just want the thing to work.
      Another benefit is address management. With Ipv6, the days of deciding how big your subnets are will be numbered. Every subnet has trillions of addresses. Nowadays you have to wonder whether your subnet needs a /24, /25, /26, etc. Yuck! With Ipv6, you never have to worry - there's enough space in _one_ subnet to scale indefintely. No more subnet-resizing games.

      3. IPv6 addresses are too large.

      Ipv6 is designed to be very hierarchial. The top organisations get /32s, the next one down get smaller subnets (/48), etc. The routing table will no longer be populate with tiny piddly subnets (eg /24s today). Go into an aggregate and things will behave.
      And as for the routing table size, modern routers have oodles of memory, on average 512Mb RAM. A full BGP table of 130k routes takes up around 64Mb of that at most. IPv6 will have better aggregation, so smaller numbers of routes, and my the time it gets large, standard memory on routers will not have a problem storing the table.

      4. The IPv6 header is too large.

      3.4% longer if you use a 576 MTU. Use a sensible 1500 byte MTU and your downloads will not be much slower at all. Anyway, the elimination of fragmenting, the simplification of subnetting, and the many other benefits will far outweigh your 20-byte concerns. See my other post on security too (no more network host scans).

      IPv6 is not ready to fully replace IPv4 overnight now, sure. But it's gaining a heck of a lot of momentum and by the time your concerns will actually become enough to be worried about, they will have been either solved or rendered moot.

      Another nice thing about IPv6 (at least now), is that it's a return to the good ol' days of the net when everyone was friendly with each other. 15 years ago you askes someone for addresses or transit and you were quite likely to get it for next to nothing. Ask for addresses or transit/peering with IPv6 today - you're likely to get it, with a friendly response. it's a great community.

    • "There are too many addresses. There are 16.7 million addresses per square metre of the earth's surface, including the oceans. This is overkill. The world does not need more than the 4 billion addresses available with IPv4, and I challenge you to come up with an application that requires that many."

      How about the PC? Since there are around 6,306,837,471 people on the planet right now, so already there aren't enough addresses even theoretically possible for everyone to connect to the internet, forgeting all
    • by Brandon Hume ( 73471 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:08PM (#6501048) Homepage
      I'm not sure you know what you're talking about.

      1. Cisco routers suck at IPv6 because Cisco has been dragging its ass getting a production release of IOS which supports v6 out. That will be fixed this summer, I'm told. And considering the problems Cisco has been displaying in IOS, are you sure it handles IPv4 that much better?

      Your points 2, 3, and 4 are just the same thing repeated: "IPv6 addresses are big".

      2. IPv6 has ROOM TO GROW. It takes the /64 link-local address, and pastes on a 64 bit length for routing, and gives you an IP. You get your autoconfiguration, and your routing, and it's nice and neat. 64 bits is a perfectly reasonable size of data to expect to deal with at any particular time; we're already moving into a 64-bit computing world.

      If you want an application that requires loads of addresses: cellphones. Pagers. PDAs. You can NOT use NAT for millions of remote communications devices trying to talk to *other* remote communication devices. NAT *breaks* things. Anyone who has tried to connect a machine behind a NAT to a remote machine which is also behind a NAT knows what this is about. (And if you have to manually configure a port forwarding, or designate a DMZ, then something is broken!)

      I'm getting tired of the "IP-enabled fridge" remarks. Someone suggested something like that a long time ago as a "you possibly could", and people who don't understand the technology and don't want to understand the technology jumped on it as an example of pointless waste, as if such things were the driving force behind v6. It isn't.

      3. You don't understand how IPv6 routing works. IPv6 does NOT take the IPv4 world of "a.b.0.0/16 is reachable via c.d.e.0/24 which is reachable via z.y.0.0/16 AND x.w.u.0/24 and..." IPv6 routing is a strict tree to explicitly combat that problem. How do you get to abcd::/32? You go through abc::/24.

      *Reducing* the size of the core routing tables is an EXPLICIT DESIGN GOAL of IPv6.

      4. Again, you haven't done any research. IPv4 networks have a minimum MTU of 576 octets. The minimum MTU for IPv6 is *1280* octets. Yes, the header is larger. But the payload capacity has risen to match it. Your transport efficiency has not decreased.

      I think you need to do some more reading on this protocol. And try, if you can, to not fixate yourself on the size of the address. If that was all that mattered, we'd all be using Appletalk.
  • I wonder if once the world goes to IPv6 the old IPv4 numbers would become more valuable, sort of like a low numbered /. account.......
  • by gclef ( 96311 )
    "Coming crisis?" We've presently got about 100 /8's unallocated to anyone right now. According to a previous slashdot story, we go through them at a rate of 2 /8's per year. Goign by that math, we've got 10 years left. In reality, it'll happen before that, but in two years? No way. There's just no way in hell that we're going to allocate 100 /8's worth of IP space in two years.

    Don't get me wrong, IPv6 is kinda cool, but there's no rush. Anyone who tells you otherwise is selling something (like this
  • by pstreck ( 558593 ) * on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:15PM (#6500263)
    Why on earth would you need 100 addresses per human being? I can for see needing two at most, one for your home and one for your "mobile communication device". Your home would have a router and use private addresses for all your home devices. Your "mobile communication device" would have a router and use private address for all your other devices via bluetooth or whatever comes next. Does this not make sense, or I am being short sighted?
    • by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:33PM (#6500527) Homepage
      Because your other devices will want to keep their identity even when not at home. Imagine having an IP-based telephone as a (slightly contrived) example. You want to be able to route to it no matter what network it resides on at the moment.

      I use my laptop in a number of places; home and at the department is the most common places but also others. Moving from place to place is a bit of a pain, though - I need to get a new IP address, change the SMTP server and so on, and setting up other stuff so I am allowed to access it no matter where I am is painful and error prone. If my laptop could keep its identity irrepsectively of where it is physically located on the net it would simplify life a whole lot for me.

      NAT works pretty well for the stuff we do today, but it precludes a lot of interesting uses, and is actually quite painful compared to the possible alternative.
    • I think when they say we need 100 addresses per human being, they may be referring to the total number (so about 650bn?), not the number that each human uses. Not all IPs are tied to individuals... Slashdot, Google, games servers, FTP servers, DNS servers, all kinds of services require IPs, and so I suppose they're saying that if we dished all of these out to individuals, we'd each get 100. Sounds a little excessive to me, but what do I know? :-)
  • more info on IPv6 (Score:4, Informative)

    by H0NGK0NGPH00EY ( 210370 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:15PM (#6500270) Homepage
    ...simple info on IPv6: http:// []
  • by pacman on prozac ( 448607 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:18PM (#6500310)
    ...that IANA decided to hold onto 80 or so class A's. I doubt they could even allocate all that space by 2005.

    Dont believe me? get it straight from the horses mouth []

    Perhaps if the organizations bemoaning the lack of IP space stopped hogging so much of it there wouldn't be such a shortage.
  • There are people who have stated that we've only used up around 60% of the IPv4 space and we have plenty more to last for a long time yet.

    I want to see IP as more of a general resource like electricity or water. You just plug anything into your wires/pipes, and it gets full access to the resource. Want more things getting water such as a washing machine? Then just run another pipe to it and it's got access. The current hacks of NAT are equivalent to only being allowed to install one tap in your house, and "proxying" the rest with buckets. Why cant it be like a water or electricity supply?

    Those saying 'we have plenty of space left' obviously dont realise that the reason for this is that the current allocation policies for IPv4 make it impossible to get space for arbitrary devices. Yes, if you only allocate one IP address per gateway, of course you wont run out for a while. But that then mandates the use of ugly hacks such as NAT. A single tap per house/organisation.

    To make full use of the potential of the net, one must be able to freely allocate IP addresses to any devices that want them, no matter how trivial it may seem today. Back when IP was invented, it was never in anyones wildest dreams that there would be an address shortage. There were barely a hundred hosts yet 32 bits of space. Look at what's happened in 20-odd years!

    Lets not make the same mistake today.

  • These articles remind me of FOX news... total sensationalism to drive advertising & page views.

    Whether you "approve" of NAT or not, the truth is that it is a very effective band-aid that has hindered the progress of IPv6 because it works so well. We'll be on IPv4 for at least another ten years.
  • by riflemann ( 190895 ) <riflemann@bb[ ] ['.ca' in gap]> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:32PM (#6500515)
    IPv6 has a nice advantage over IPv4 that I havent seen mentioned many places before. This is one on security.

    One of the major contributing factors to problems such as spammers and crackers is that it's so darn easy to scan subnets in IPv4 for open hosts. It can take under a minute to scan a complete /24 for hosts with open ports.

    Now with IPv6 this situation is different. Each subnet has 64 bits of address space. That is, 18446744073709551616 IP addresses per subnet. Now, if someone could portscan at the rate of 100 addresses per second (pretty impressive), then each subnet would take 5.8 billion years[0] to scan for hosts. For one subnet! And to put this in a wider context, each site in ipv6 has 65,000 subnets. Effectively making network scans a thing of the past, and massively increasing security of the 'net.

    Of course, one can still scan known hosts (eg from web server logs), but doing that is a heck of a lot harder - you'd need to get them in the first place.

    [0] Said with appropriate finger quotes.

  • Impending?! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mekkab ( 133181 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:33PM (#6500524) Homepage Journal
    As a networking engineer, I am very concerned about the impending doom of IPv4 addresses running out.

    But I am even more-so concerened about the sun burning out, because that would mean catastrophe for the human race! (not to mention it would mess up our nift wi-fi stuff!)

    Seriously- with stop-gaps like NAT and ISP's recycling IPs from a pool for all users, its not gonna kill us.

    Let cell phones work out this ipv6 thing, then tunnel, then upgrade piece by piece.
  • by packethead ( 322873 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:39PM (#6500611)
    It's probably been mentioned, but what about companies that have a single or multiple CLass "A"s that could just NAT? I was at a Ford dealership recently and noticed that they had a printer on a public address. Now it was probably NAT'd behind a router, but 5h1t! NAT an RFC 1918 address, not a public one!

  • by adenied ( 120700 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @12:48PM (#6500723)
    2^128 is: 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,45 6

    Which is: 340 undecillion, 282 decillion, 366 nonillion, 920 octillion, 938 septillion, 463 sextillion, 463 quintillion, 374 quadrillion, 607 trillion, 431 billion, 768 million, 211 thousand, 456.

    A far cry from "35 trillion". To give you an order to this magnitude, some Australian scientists recently announced [] that there are 70 sextillion stars (give or take) in the known universe.

    It may be pedantic, but someone who is so blinded by their work that they make hysterical claims that there's no word for the number they're pushing doesn't make me want to buy into their idea so quickly.

  • Is that right? Lessee:

    2^128 = 340,282,366,920,938,463,463,374,607,431,768,211,45 6

    A number which everyone knows should be verbally expressed in English as:

    Three hundred forty undecillion two hundred eighty two decillion three hundred sixty six nonillion nine hundred twenty octillion nine hundred thirty eight septillion four hundred sixty three sextillion four hundred sixty three quintillion three hundred seventy four quadrillion six hundred seven trillion four hundred thirty one billion seven hundred sixy eight million two hundred eleven thousand four hundred fifty six.

    That's in the American naming system, of course. In the British system, it would be:

    Three hundred forty sexillion two hundred eight two thousand three hundred sixty six quintillion nine hundred twenty thousand nine hundred thirty eight quadrillion four hundred sixty three thousand four hundred sixty three trillion three hundred seventy four thousand six hundred seven billion four hundred thirty one thousand seven hundred sixty eight million two hundred eleven thousand four hundred fifty six.

    (Interesting to note that the British version is nine characters shorter, plus has the capability to scale much higher without extension).

    In the interest of brevity, I shall forgo the Spanish, Italian and French versions, and I regret to say that I can't count that high in any other languages, though I'm certain it's possible.

    So, I think the number is *quite* adequately named, thank you. Now there's not a single word for it, but few numbers have single-word names, simply because there are too many numbers, too few phonemes and no real need. If you want a single-word approximation, "undecillion" should do nicely, or "340 undecillion", since Mr. Christman seems to find that form acceptable. The ideal expression is, of course, "two to the hundred twenty eighth", which is short, completely accurate and gives a strong hint as to the origin of the value (a string of 128 bits).

    Yes, I *am* the guy everyone avoids at parties.

  • by blueworm ( 425290 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:15PM (#6501153) Homepage
    I don't think IPv4 addresses will run out by 2005, especially as more and more people/organizations implement more NAT. I work for a statewide ISP, and we've found that the new IP addresses we just got from ARIN a year ago are being returned to us in large numbers (thousands) by customers who are now persuing NAT solutions and using smaller subnets of 16 addresses or less.
  • by handy_vandal ( 606174 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:26PM (#6501299) Homepage Journal
    Of course we'll run out of IPv6 addresses.

    Not right away ... but surely something will be invented that calls for more addresses.

    For example, teleportation might require separate addressing for all possible energy states of all elementary particles in the teleported object.

    Don't say it can't happen. Remember when 64k was all the memory anyone would ever need? and a megabyte hard drive was out of your price range?
  • by Merk ( 25521 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:46PM (#6501521) Homepage

    I can't believe how many people have commented that there is no need for IPV6 because of NAT. Are you really willing to put up with the limits of NAT when you could give every computer its own routable address?

    NAT does a decent job of allowing you to surf the web using a non-routable IP address. For anything more advanced it starts working less and less well.

    I, personally have had many troubles with NAT:. Games which don't work properly unless they have huge ranges of ports exposed to the net. Instant messenger apps which fail in subtle ways. Brain-dead DHCP servers which don't properly pass on DNS settings, etc. Add to that the fact that the DHCP/NAT combination in most consumer boxes (like Liksys routers) is awful. You can port-forward from the router to a fixed IP address, but if you're using DHCP, you never know what machine will get that IP address! Even when it does work, there are far too many programs that don't work right when something is on a non-standard port.

    In fact, I don't just want each of my machines to have its own routable IP address, I want some machines to have multiple addresses. That way I can host multiple domains on a single machine and truly administer them differently. Right now HTTP sends a host neader so that you can have multiple domains on a single IP and things just work. On the other hand, HTTPS doesn't work like this, so you need a work-around if you want to use HTTPS. The simple truth is that today if you want to have multiple domains using anything other than straight HTTP on a single machine you really do need multiple IPs.

    For many people, NAT is a comfort thing. They think they don't have to worry about patching their systems because they're behind a dinky broadband router. Hint: that's security through obscurity. The devices you're buying aren't meant as firewalls, they're meant to let joe-consumer connect two computers to the Internet easily.

    The main reason I want IPV6 now is so that my damn Internet provider can't get away with charging extra for extra IP addresses. At the moment they can because they're relatively scarce, but I can't see them getting away with that with IPV6.

    If you're content with your buggy whip, that's great. But I personally have a use for at least 20 IPs that NAT won't solve. So don't make a blanket statement that IPV6 isn't necessary. Maybe not for you, but some of us can't wait to have it.

  • by sabNetwork ( 416076 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:48PM (#6501542)
    I'm not an expert on IPv6 (nor IPv4 for that matter), but there is some practicality in question here.

    Can you memorize Maybe not at first glance, but after you type it in a few times, you probably will.

    Can you memorize FEDC:BA98:7654:3210:FEDC:BA98:7654:3210? Definitely not at first glance, and very unlikely unless it is something which you must type every day.

    Some people's jobs depend on entering IP addresses, and IPv6 addresses are just so unnecessarily long that typing them is a total drag.


    Here's my RFC. 40-bit addresses. That gives you roughly a trillion addresses (a bit more actually), which is more than we should ever need. And you can write them in dotted-decimal format.
    Can you memorize 430.168.957.249? Probably.
  • by christophe ( 36267 ) * on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @01:55PM (#6501638) Journal
    Fast forward 50 or 100 years... Everyone has Internet-enabled tools, chairs, glasses... whatever, because everything has a RFID inside, because the TPAA (Things producers Ass. of A.) wants to track everything, because some geeks have found a use to a connection between my pen and my fridge, because it is so easy and cheap...
    1) BUT this tendency to Internet-enable everything will expand to any file on my computer. A CD has a RFID/IP to connect it to the desk, why not every of my MP3? Why a book and not on e-book ? A computer will needs millions of IP addresses.
    2) Worse: we'll finish as virtual beings in the in virtual words (think Ultima Online in 2100). And we'll want everything in this world to have Internet addresses too. I'll ask my little desktop computer to create my own little Matrix, for me alone... and everything there has an address of the IPv6 space (to help me interconnect the real and the virtual world).

    And if it's not enough:

    3) Cyber beings (a few billions humans, much much much virtual intelligent creatures) find the world rather small for so many entities. Not enough computers on this small planet to compute all the worlds that each entity wants created for itself (and to run the compilation of the 10^15 lines of the brand new Linux 2.80.0). So the Metamegamatrix expands to Jupiter, Saturn and creates a Dyson sphere aroud the Sun, converting every joule of energy into computational power for the simulation.

    And in 2203, Slashdot makes headlines on IPv9 with 2048 bits addresses.
  • by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @02:13PM (#6501811)
    I'm gonna subnet like it's
  • by LuxFX ( 220822 ) on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @02:28PM (#6501950) Homepage Journal
    IPv6 will increase the supply of addresses from 4 billion today to a number in excess of 35 trillion that is "so big that there's not a word for the number," says Cody Christman

    Well let's take a look. IPv6 looks like this:


    So the highest number is 16^32, right? Which is roughly 3.4028 x 10^38.

    Which is a little over 340 undecillion. Want it exact? It's 340 undecillion, 282 decillion, 366 nonillion, 920 octillion, 938 septillion, 463 sextillion, 463 quintillion, 374 quadrillion, 607 trillion, 431 billion, 768 million, 211 thousand, 456.

    Plenty for everybody!

    Check out more names of big numbers [].
  • by mactari ( 220786 ) <> on Tuesday July 22, 2003 @04:00PM (#6503271) Homepage
    How much does it cost me to get an IP address for a year? About $150 including server space.

    Where I used to work (on-site gov't contractor) each machine had a "real IP". That's nothing 192.168.1.* can't fix. The issue is with the way people purchase huge blocks of IPs at once. If we'd stop selling 134.*.*.* to one entity, we'd be fine for a while longer.

    From one of the linked articles:
    In one solution, a single IP address is assigned to an entire network, which then gives out its own addresses to the devices attached to it.

    But such approaches are not long-term solutions, said Alex Lightman, chairman of a conference... to discuss the next generation of IP addressing, known as Internet Protocol version 6, or IPv6.

    I think Mr. Lightman is being a bit alarmist. There's no reason any ISP needs more than one IP.

    At any rate, as long as any schmoe can go and purchase an IP at an ISP/web host for nuttin', I can't imagine we're even close to out and that there aren't millions of IPs that we can consolidate before we get so alarmist.

Matter cannot be created or destroyed, nor can it be returned without a receipt.