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The Internet United States

Dept. of Defense IPv6 Interoperabilty Test Begins 371

securitas writes "The Department of Defense has launched Phase I of its delayed IPv6 interoperability test (mirror) in a six-month project dubbed Moonv6. It is the largest North American IPv6 test ever and its goal is to evaluate IPv6 for 'network-centric military operations.' Phase II was originally scheduled to begin in January 2004 but may be delayed due to the late start of the current test. 'IPv4 addresses are 32 bits long, enough for around 4 billion unique addresses.' In contrast, the IPv6 address length is '128 bits, or 340 billion billion billion billion unique addresses.' Experts hope this will solve a predicted IP address shortage as more devices are created to use the Internet."
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Dept. of Defense IPv6 Interoperabilty Test Begins

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  • by DrEldarion ( 114072 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @03:04PM (#7283778)
    340 billion billion billion billion unique addresses.

    That sounds like a number that I'd make up as a kid. "OH YEAH? Well when I grow up I'm going to have 340 billion billion billion billion hundred million thousand dollars!"

    -- Dr. Eldarion --
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @03:04PM (#7283785)

    'IPv4 addresses are 32 bits long, enough for around 4 billion unique addresses.' In contrast, the IPv6 address length is '128 bits, or 340 billion billion billion billion unique addresses.'

    Once again proving that size does matter.

  • by MerlynEmrys67 ( 583469 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @03:07PM (#7283826)
    The 6bone [6bone.net] has been running for quite a while with MANY networks attached. Infact it is not shutting down for full IPv6 service on the internet.

    I hope the DOD isn't building a network larger than this, why the heck would they waste the money on millions of machines that would be needed to be larger than the 6bone was. I can see claims that it is the largest single entity deployment of IPv6 - now that would be a useful claim

    • My understanding is that the 6bone was not a production network.

      Also, I imagine the reason the DoD is building their own network right now, is so that they have more control over it. They don't need home users bringing havoc over the network while they are conducting their tests. It may also be a temporary network, and they could have further plans down the road to introduce further major changes to it.
  • "Experts hope this will solve a predicted IP address shortage as more devices are created to use the Internet. Otherwise, DOD officials will fast track their Laser Population Control (LPC) program."
  • IPv5? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Whatever happened to IPv5? What was special about it?
    • Al Gore didn't like the color so he killed the project and stated over.
    • Re:IPv5? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jugalator ( 259273 )
      Whatever happened to IPv5? What was special about it?

      I'm not sure if IPv5 really existed using that name, and if it did, it only existed at an experimental level. After some quick "googling", it seems "IPv5" was the real-time streaming protocol using version number 5 and running alongside IP, having some parts in common. Some people might have called it "IPv5", and "IPv6" was probably chosen to avoid confusion with this one. Here's more info about the protocol:

      - Experimental Internet Stream Protocol, Ver [ietf.org]
    • IPv5 or ST2+ [faqs.org] is circuit switched instead of packet switched.
    • Whatever happened to IPv5? What was special about it?

      Google is your friend.

      What would be considered as IPv5 existed only as an experimental non-IP real time streaming protocol called ST2 described in RFC 1819. This protocol was abandoned in favor for RSVP [isi.edu].

  • by ADRA ( 37398 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @03:10PM (#7283860)
    I am still not giving up my NAT!

    Be it the cause, or just fall-out, I don't see NAT's disapearing. In fact, I see quite the opposite. Now that protocols or firewalls are getting smarter with NAT, I can see a lot less need for public address space.

    And before someone mentions their cell phones, exactly who plans on hosting services from their phones anyways?

    Implementing Phone based IPv4 private IP's is just as difficult as implementing IPv6 public IP's. Each phone will have a MAC, and you will have a DHCP-like mechanism to establish an ip/route/subnet, etc..

    The only difference is that you can't host services on your phone that are internet addressable. Darn.
    • Yeah, but wouldn't it be fun to /. a phone? I can imagine some poor geek walking down the hallway, and suddenly his phone explodes in his pockey 'cause someone put up a link to it labeled as "Quake4 test" or something...
    • Well, with phones like this [slashdot.org] coming out, maybe it's not so unreasonable to think about someone hosting off a phone...

      -- Dr. Eldarion --
    • NATs will definately proliferate. All it's going to take is some worm shutting down all the refridgerators it can connect to, including both home, commercial, and warehouse coolers.

      If you wanted a more dangerous scenario, there's the toilet flushing possibility. City water pressure drops, and an entire region hits a water shortage. Sewage treatment plants overflow, and thousands of gallons of raw sewage are dumped into the local water supply.

      Another possibility could be environmental controls. Imagine
    • by amorsen ( 7485 ) <benny+slashdot@amorsen.dk> on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @03:28PM (#7284088)
      One very interesting service that I would like to host on my phone is... wait for it... Voice!

      I would like people to call my phone with VoIP. That is a "service", and I need an IP address for it.

      • If the telcos are anything like they are today (or maybe through federal regulation), you'll be using the telco's voip servers to receive the call, not directly from the sender of the call.

        ME -> My Outgoing VOIP Provider -> My friend's VOIP provider -> My Friend

        Realistically, who wants to risk their phones being hacked, DOSed, hijacked, wormed, virused, etc? How do you expect to block tele-marketers that can use dynamic IP's across the planet to connect to you? There are so many reasons that this
    • by noahm ( 4459 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @05:03PM (#7285038) Homepage Journal
      Get this through your head:
      NAT != firewall
      In case you missed that, let me say it again:
      NAT != firewall

      NAT was not designed for security. It was designed to delay the end of the world until IPv6 could come and save it (OK, that's a bit of a parabole...sue me).

      Firewalls are just as (in-)effective in a NAT-free environment. NAT is just as (in-)effective in a firewall-free environment. By exchanging NAT for IPv6, you aren't "giving up" any functionality, you're gaining it, and giving up a nasty kludge that never should have been invented.

      It's time for NAT to die a long overdue death.

      noah

  • would probably not notice or care if they're behind a NAT. Then the few that do could use the remaining IPs. We don't have a shortage now - not even close - unless you count the artificial shortage created by leaving several class A's in the hands of old universities and businesses.
    • Shortage, perhaps not, however why do I have to pay more for more than 5 static IPs with SBC? Why does another local SDSL provider (Arrival.net) charge $5/month/ip? If there was no shortage, and some ISPs were just giving away addresses like it was nothing, then I would say it wasn't a problem. Right now, the problem is that there is a finite amount of addresses, so ISPs will only give out as many as you can justify, as they have to justify them to ARIN/RIPE/APNIC.

      The same is somewhat true of IPv6 alloc
  • by Amiga Lover ( 708890 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @03:10PM (#7283871)
    In contrast, the IPv6 address length is '128 bits, or 340 billion billion billion billion unique addresses.' Experts hope this will solve a predicted IP address shortage as more devices are created to use the Internet."

    They HOPE that 340 billion billion billion billion unique addresses will solve the shortage...

    That's like "hoping" that a 100megaton nuclear weapon will dislodge the stubborn tree stump near the driveway. I think it'll work.
    • But for how long? The 32 bit space was suppose to last until ~2040. It has not.
      Chances are good though, that this will get us through about 20-30 years. Hopefully that is good enough.
      • Chances are good though, that this will get us through about 20-30 years. Hopefully that is good enough.

        I don't think you quite understand the scale of what we're dealing with here. IIRC, IPv6 has a large enough address space to give every atom in the known universe its own IP address, and then some.
        • IPv6 has a large enough address space to give every atom in the known universe its own IP address, and then some.

          Try squaring that number and you'll be closer.

          However, 340 undecillion addresses will be enough for anything we could possibly do here on earth, unless of course 339,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,000,000,000 of those addresses are reserved for Class AAAAAAAAAA networks.

        • I don't think you quite understand the scale of what we're dealing with here. IIRC, IPv6 has a large enough address space to give every atom in the known universe its own IP address, and then some.

          I don't think YOU quite understand the lessons to be learned from the past. Just as two-digit years and 640K turned out to be insufficient, this newly expanded address space will fail as well. There is already research underway [mit.edu] to WiFi-enable individual subatomic particles. Try taking off your blinders and

    • That's like "hoping" that a 100megaton nuclear weapon will dislodge the stubborn tree stump near the driveway. I think it'll work.

      From the opposite angle, it's like the engineers on the Manhattan Project who were "pretty confident" that it wouldn't start a chain reaction that would destroy the entire earth.

      I love it when engineers consider their margin or error small enough to justify risking wiping out all life on the planet. You can just imagine the apology, "Oh bugger! I'm most terribly embarrassed. I
  • by semanticgap ( 468158 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @03:11PM (#7283875)
    - Sir, what is your IP adress?

    - It's eight five six charlie zero fox alpha three niner zero six file nine charlie fox fox nine charlie zero six three two zero one one zero zero one alpha one two four eight five six charlie...

    - I am sorry, can you start over?

    - IT's eight five six charlie zero fox alpha three niner zero six file nine charlie fox fox nine charlie zero six three two zero one one zero zero one alpha one two four eight five six charlie zero fox alpha three niner zero six file nine charlie fox fox nine charlie zero six three two zero one one zero zero one alpha one two four.

    - Sorry, I didn't get the part after "zero zero one"?

    - ONE ONE THREE CHARLIE FOX SIX THREE

    - Three?

    - @#$^%$#$%!!!

  • 340 billion billion billion billion unique addresses

    I'm going to guess a few... any I miss?
    1. Imagine a Beowulf cluster of these!
    2. How many LOCs would that be?
    3. Does it run BSD?
    4. Does it run Linux?
    5. Let's see the RIAA top THAT!!!
    6. If you say that to a chick, she'll be impressed and will immediately want to sleep with you!
    7. (Modded as "Troll") That's how many times Cowboy Neal has explored somebody's backside...

    How would that compare to the number of molecules...

    1. In an Ipaq?
    2. In my body?
    3. In your avera
  • But first... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jo42 ( 227475 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @03:20PM (#7283988) Homepage

    Here is a web site and project that tracks how IPv4 addresses are allocated and misused, i.e. hijacked: http://www.completewhois.com/statistics/index.htm [completewhois.com].

    The way I read it, a huge percentage of IPv4 addresses are not even being used...

  • Security (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rf0 ( 159958 ) <rghf@fsck.me.uk> on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @03:25PM (#7284064) Homepage
    With built in things like IPSec + Auto Config it will help the DOD deploy things quickly and securly. Of course for the rest of us it might take another 5-10 years before all running on IPv6

    Rus
    • Not to mention the Security through Obscurity aspect.

      If you thought port scanning through a 32 bit address space was slow, try it with a 128 bit space.

      Hey, I'm out here in B345:9E84:*. Go ahead, try and find me!

  • Why IPv6 (Score:3, Informative)

    by richard_willey ( 79077 ) <.moc.liamtoh. .ta. .yelliw_drahcir.> on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @03:49PM (#7284296)
    IPv6 improves upon IPv4 in a number of ways:

    One of the principle design goals of IPv6 was to simplify the workload for routers. IPv6 achieves this in a number of ways:

    1. Part of the reason that IP addresses are so long is that part of the address space is being used for an improved addressing hierarchy. In turn, this will allow routers to maintain much shorter routing tables.
    2. IPv6 routers not longer fragment IP datagrams
    3. IP Header checksums are been removed

    As many people have noted, the IPv6 addressing structure supports a much larger number of IP addresses. Experts are predicting that the number of IP addresses required are going to increase enormously in a relatively short amount of time. Most people are familiar with cell phone adoption rates and the impact on IP address assignment. Potentially a more interesting example is the impact of new PC bus architectures on networking models. Intel has announced a new bus architecture titled PC-Express. What makes PC Expressing interesting is that it applies a data networking model to the PC bus. [Thinking addresses, flow control, retransmissions, etc] Where this gets interesting is that PC Express can be scaled from the level of a PC bus up to an enterprise class switching fabric. Once this gets widely deployed, there is no reason why the processor on one system could not control the video card on another. We are rapidly migrating to a model in which all sorts of peripherals - processors, sound cards, hard drives - will need to be configured with their own IP addresses.

    IPv6 provides much better support for autoconfiguration. This is critically important for the consumer electronics manufacturers in the Asia/Pacific.

    IPv6 requires IPSec, so we might finally get pervasive network layer security. I'll be very happy to get rid of abominations like "SSL VPNs".

    There is a LOT of good stuff coming down the pike.
    • Okay, I understand and agree with most of your post. But how is getting rid of the IP header checksums a good thing?
      • Re:Why IPv6 (Score:3, Informative)

        by Thuktun ( 221615 )
        Okay, I understand and agree with most of your post. But how is getting rid of the IP header checksums a good thing?

        Error detection and/or correction is generally already being done at the link layer.

        If each physical network hop has reliable transfer, a header checksum is really only useful if something along the way corrupts the packet during forwarding. (One could probably argue that receiving and processing such corrupted packets should expose the corruption problem more quickly than rejecting them.)
  • by njdj ( 458173 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @03:54PM (#7284354)
    Does anybody know why TPTB decided on 128 bits for IPv6? 64 would have been more than enough. IP addressing is not like memory or disk space, where you can envisage ever-increasing requirements. It's an addressing scheme for devices. 64-bit addresses are big enough to have nearly a billion uniquely addressable devices for every human being on Earth. Why isn't that enough, even allowing for some spare bits to make address-assignment easier? Do you plan to ask for a billion addresses for the billion devices you plan to attach to the Internet?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Sure, it seems like enough, but when each of the billions of nanites/microbots in your body has their own separate addressable IP address you'll be glad -- GLAD I tell ya! -- they had the foresight.

      Well, ok, maybe not, but I'd rather have them pick a ridiculously large number out of the hat than a number they think *might* be sufficient in the future.
    • by leerpm ( 570963 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @04:11PM (#7284553)
      Probably so that in 25 years, they don't have to revisit it again and implement an IPv8. Also, the design of IPv6 is very different than IPv4. The 128 bits are actually two distinct 64bit identifiers combined together. The first 64 bits indicates the subnet. Of that first 64 bits, 48 are there to be used in partitioning the network in different ways (it's an oversimplification I know and I am dumbing down some details). The last 64 bits are your 'interface identifier', this is the equivalent of your 48bit MAC address. Only now the MAC address is going to be part of your address.
    • by amorsen ( 7485 ) <benny+slashdot@amorsen.dk> on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @04:18PM (#7284621)
      Ease of routing is the reason. With 64 bits you have to be careful how many IPs you give to each ISP. If you give too few you have to renumber or add disjoint addresses, polluting the routing table. If you give too many, you could still run out. You would also give just a few addresses to end users, say 256. That makes it impossible to do proper routing at the customer end, and addresses still have to be carefully assigned by hand or by DHCP. With 128 bits you can afford to embed the MAC address in the IP address, guaranteeing that it is unique. Goodbye to (stateful) DHCP.
    • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <wesley@felter.org> on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @04:18PM (#7284631) Homepage
      The reason is that 64 bits are used for the network part and the remaining 64 bits -- automatically derived from the interface MAC address -- comprise the host part. This allows stateless autoconfiguration, which makes IPv6 networks easier to administer.
  • I've read somewhere that the number represented by 64bits is larger than the number of atoms in the universe. But what if every quark needs an IP, will it be enough then?
  • by RDPIII ( 586736 ) on Wednesday October 22, 2003 @04:48PM (#7284896) Journal
    Experts hope this will solve a predicted IP address shortage as more devices are created to use the Internet.

    This falls into the general category "Death of Internet Predicted". The internet is not running out of IPv4 addresses at the rate predicted in the early '90s, for a number of reasons, including NAT (whether you like it or hate it) and the simple fact that not everyone who wants to browse the web needs a publicly routable address.

    Much better reasons for adopting IPv6 is that autoconfiguration is to a large degree built into the protocol (including its associated ICMP messages) and doesn't have to be done by a separate mechanism like DHCP. Also, IPv6 has a fixed length, small packet header, which should make it easier to do all sorts of routing tasks.

    If you're running a Linux or BSD kernel, check out one of the many 6to4 tunnel brokers to get onto the 6bone or your own friendly neighborhood IPv6 backbone.

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