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The exhaustion of IPv4 address space 589

FireFury03 writes "Cisco has an interesting article talking about estimates for the exhaustion of the IPv4 address space, and the inevitable move to IPv6. It predicts that the IPv4 address space will be exhausted in 2 - 10 years and suggests that it isn't worth trying to reclaim old allocations. With the mainstream use of IPv6 now potentially within the ROI period of many products the manufacturers need to start including support, but will the ISPs roll out native IPv6 networks before they absolutely have to? IMHO, ISPs providing native IPv6 support would be a Good Thing since it opens up the door for peer-to-peer technologies such as SIP without needing nasty NAT traversal hacks, but a major stumbling block seems to be a complete lack of IPv6 support on current consumer-grade DSL routers (tunneling over IPv4 is an option but requires more technical know-how from the end user)." Of course, Cisco may have some vested interest in driving up the IPv6-compatible router sales *cough*, but the bottom line is that the transition will have to happen at some point in the near future.
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The exhaustion of IPv4 address space

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  • Interesting (Score:4, Funny)

    by Legendof_Pedro ( 900265 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:37PM (#13809883) Homepage
    Interesting, but is 2 - 10 years as precise as they can be?
    8 years seems to be a long time, to me...
    • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Informative)

      by Psiolent ( 160884 )
      is 2 - 10 years as precise as they can be

      In the article, this range comes from the fact that the data can be fitted to different curves, resulting in a different timescale. Some of the curve fitting I saw in the article used polynomials, exponentials, and linear functions.
    • by kihjin ( 866070 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:43PM (#13809926)
      2 - 10 would be -8 years. So this already happened, 8 years ago.

      Welcome to Slashdot.
      • Re:Interesting (Score:4, Interesting)

        by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:51PM (#13809995)
        yup, 8 years ago they were saying the ip4 space would be exhausted in next 5 years. Heck, I sat at a presentation on IPng in 1994 where that was said. At least such a statement is more true now than it was then, but I'll bet reclaiming old absurdly huge allocations of IP space could push this out beyond 10-12 years.
        • Re:Interesting (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Hizonner ( 38491 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @02:03PM (#13810572)
          Yeah, they said the address space would be exhausted AND THEY WERE RIGHT. The only reason we're not out of addresses now is that people made a fundamental change in the network architecture by deploying NAT (primarily because IPv6/IPng wasn't ready), and using RFC1918 private addresses. NAT is a nasty kludge that breaks all kinds of things. Furthermore, NAT has been done, so it's not going to save us again.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      2-10 years?? Sounds like a Microsoft release timeline.
    • Fossil fuels (Score:3, Insightful)

      by totallygeek ( 263191 )
      Interesting, but is 2 - 10 years as precise as they can be?
      8 years seems to be a long time, to me.

      Yep, and thirty years ago they said that we would be out of oil in twenty years. Go figure...
      • Re:Fossil fuels (Score:4, Informative)

        by dustmite ( 667870 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @03:29PM (#13811328)

        Except, they didn't say that. "They" predicted that oil production would PEAK by (twenty years from thirty years ago) - "peaking" is completely different from "running out" - "peaking" means, basically, that you're at the top point of the production curve --- it means you've used up roughly half of the oil (i.e. you are only halfway), and that you will start running out ("start" meaning to be on the downward slope of the production curve - but you still have a LOT of oil at the point when you "start running out"). You're thinking of Hubbert's estimation (which was already in 1956, actually) that global oil production would peak in 2000. It was predicted that US oil production would peak by around 1970.

        See this link [wikipedia.org] for more information on peak oil theory.

  • Already rolled... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jamesgamble ( 917138 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:39PM (#13809893) Homepage
    Most of the major ISPs have already rolled support for IPv6. They started the rollout about five years ago when the lack of IP address began to be a problem. I know for a fact that Sprint is ready to roll it, they are just waiting for other networks to support it. T-Mobile is also ready to roll it as is AOL. It's not really a big deal. It's already been done. Everyone is just waiting to push the big red button and turn on the support. Hell, even Windows supports it.
    • Re:Already rolled... (Score:5, Informative)

      by FireFury03 ( 653718 ) <slashdot@@@nexusuk...org> on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:53PM (#13810009) Homepage
      Everyone is just waiting to push the big red button and turn on the support

      Why do you need to wait to turn it on? IPv4 and v6 can run side by side. I've been running v6 for a few years using 6to4 tunnelling to provide connectivity since my ISP doesn't do native IPv6... infact I haven't seen *any* ISP (in the UK) offering IPv6 connectivity over DSL. Just providing a 6to4 anycast gateway on their core network would be a start.
      • Re:Already rolled... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by comcn ( 194756 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @01:06PM (#13810119) Journal

        Try Andrews and Arnold [aaisp.net.uk]. I've had IPv6 (via a tunnel from their network) for the last two years with them. Native IPv6 (without a tunnel) is integrated into the new router they are developing, and should be live by the end of the year (only problem is finding an ADSL router that will support it, but you can use an ADSL modem and Linux, for example).

      • by fm6 ( 162816 )
        Why do you need to wait to turn it on? IPv4 and v6 can run side by side.
        If they run it, they have to support it. Not an extra expense they'll want to bear before they need to.

        Everybody seems to think that the added costs of a new software product end with deployment. Not so.

    • Re:Already rolled... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Spetiam ( 671180 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:57PM (#13810035) Journal
      All I know is that if, once my broadband ISP serves up IPv6, they want to charge me extra for a static IP, I'll be pissed.
    • is home nat routers. They effecively prevent you using either 6to4 or native IPv6 unless the nat router itself explicitly supports it.

      and they are effectively closed devices so adding support requires the manufactueres cooperation.
    • by Bob_Robertson ( 454888 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @02:16PM (#13810708) Homepage
      I recently asked my cable ISP what their IPv6 gateway was. They said, "We don't provide that service. Maybe you should upgrade to a business account."

      They only offer multiple client services on business accounts, so technically I'm already in violation of their rules because of using a router and NAT even though I run no "server", just a couple of PCs.

      Yes, Cisco has a vested interest in replacing all those legacy IPv4-only cigar-box routers like mine. Yes, my IP provider would love a reason to raise rates or otherwise push me into a "business" account (and thereby charge me more).

      Fact is, I won't be buying a new router, I'll just recycle one PC into place as a gateway and continue to hide behind NAT because I don't care to pay business rates for home PC use.

      No matter how much I dislike IPv6 because of its "second system" bloat, I have yet to find a free IPv6 tunnel provider. Yes, it's my fault, people tell me they're out there I just cannot find them.


  • by saskboy ( 600063 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:39PM (#13809894) Homepage Journal
    Why don't more routers that are sold today tout their IPv6 compatibility? Are they not compatible with the new protocol? If not why not?

    NATs at home can only hold IPv4 together for so much longer. Soon a killer ap will come out that just doesn't want to be NATted, and the whole Internet using public will demand direct addressing [at least they'll demand a solution that requires direct IP addressing].
    • Why don't more routers that are sold today tout their IPv6 compatibility?

      Because IPv6 isn't yet a buzzword that non-technical buyers are looking for. This will probably change in the next few years when the business world becomes concerned with it. Once a company CIO hears that his internet connection will die without IPv6 support, there will be a huge marketing effort on the part of Cisco and other router makers.
    • Why don't more routers that are sold today tout their IPv6 compatibility? Are they not compatible with the new protocol? If not why not?
      You know what's really ironic? Not even the Linksys WRT54G, which is made by Cisco, supports it with the default firmware.
  • Is NAT Better? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HugePedlar ( 900427 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:40PM (#13809901) Homepage
    I remember reading a while ago that NAT actually turned out to be better than IPv6 by virtue of it "solving" the limited number of addresses problem and simultaneously providing a defence against simple hacking attempts by hiding your real IP address.

    Can anyone explain whether this is true or not and why?
    • Re:Is NAT Better? (Score:5, Informative)

      by amalcon ( 472105 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:48PM (#13809971)
      The one "benefit" of NAT over IPv6 is that you can't access ports which aren't forwarded to that computer. i.e. it basically acts like a firewall, but potentially a little weaker because it isn't designed to be a firewall. As IPv6 doesn't keep you from having a firewall, this is almost moot. It's not entirely moot because home users who have NAT would not always consider having firewalls. The benefits of IPv6 are numerous, however.
      • by MSZ ( 26307 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @01:24PM (#13810256)
        The benefits of IPv6 are numerous, however.
        Cisco marketing rep:
        NOBODY expects the IPv6!
        Our chief benefit is length... greater length of the packet header and and unrememberable addresses...
        Our two benefits are greater length of packet header and unrememberable addresses... and rewrite of all network apps....
        Our three benefits are length of packet header and unrememberable addresses... and rewrite of all network apps.... and an almost fanatical devotion to some broken standard....
        Our four... no...
        Amongst our benefits... Amongst our array of benefits... are such elements as greater length of packet header and unrememberable addresses...
        I'll come in again.

        But seriously, if IPv6 was so good, it would not require so much pushing. If the IPv4 exhaustion was real and imminent, it would not rquire so much pushing.
      • Re:Is NAT Better? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fm6 ( 162816 )
        ...[NAT] basically acts like a firewall, but potentially a little weaker because it isn't designed to be a firewall.
        Weaker how? If you can't address a node, how can you attack it? Not having your systems in the public IP space may limit your functionality (such as not being able to run P2P applications), but I don't see how it's less secure than the complicated (and thus fallible) filtering rules in a "real" firewall.
        • Re:Is NAT Better? (Score:4, Informative)

          by FireFury03 ( 653718 ) <slashdot@@@nexusuk...org> on Monday October 17, 2005 @02:06PM (#13810602) Homepage
          Weaker how? If you can't address a node, how can you attack it?

          Well, ignoring the fact that there _are_ ways to defeat NAT (although they usually require cooperation from hosts behind the NAT anyway), one notable weakness is that you're relying on your ISP to get things right, and relying on someone else's cluefulness is always bad.

          What I mean by that is, given a network like:

                PC ( ------ ( Router ( ------- ISP

          Assuming is a global scope address and is site-local. The router is doing NAT, all well and good. However, if the ISP somehow ends up routing traffic destined to to your router (for exacmple, a routing cockup on their end) then most consumer grade routers will just let it right through because they don't explicitly block incoming traffic.

          Admittedly it's unlikely this would happen, and only nodes reasonably close to you would be able to take advantage of the routing. However, I still maintain that trusting a third party as part of your network security is a Bad Thing.

          but I don't see how it's less secure than the complicated (and thus fallible) filtering rules in a "real" firewall.

          Firewall rules don't have to be especially complex - a firewall that does the same job as a NAT (security wise) but provides protection from the above problem is simply a connection tracker configured to drop incoming connections. Infact, since a NAT is basically a connection tracker with some more stuff shoved ontop it could be argued that the NAT is more complex and thus more fallible.
      • Re:Is NAT Better? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
        NAT and firewalls (FW) are 2 separate things, as you can have NAT without a FW, and you can have a FW without NAT. Now, NAT, by its nature, inherently has some features in common with FWs, such as that it effectively hides ports unless they're mapped.

        A second item is that moving to IPv6 will not necessarily remove NAT or the current 1 router many PCs setup so many of us have. ISPs in general have charged per IP connection/computer, considering each IP a separate computer. Do you honestly think that will cha
    • Re:Is NAT Better? (Score:5, Informative)

      by phoenix.bam! ( 642635 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:48PM (#13809977)
      NAT is not defense. The stateful firewall is defense. You can use stateful firewalls on IPV6 also and there is no reason that consumer grade routers would not include the firewall.
      • Re:Is NAT Better? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ryanvm ( 247662 )
        NAT is not defense. The stateful firewall is defense.

        NAT *is* a stateful firewall. That's how it works. It has to keep track of outgoing connections to remap those ports on the external interface. No outgoing connections == no port remapping on the external interface.

        If you disagree, then explain to me how one could connect to a machine behind a NAT device if said machine has initiated *no* connections to the Internet. Sounds like stateful filtering at work.

        Now, stateful firewalls are just as easy to implem
    • Re:Is NAT Better? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fyonn ( 115426 ) <dave@fyonn.net> on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:57PM (#13810039) Homepage
      I remember reading a while ago that NAT actually turned out to be better than IPv6 by virtue of it "solving" the limited number of addresses problem and simultaneously providing a defence against simple hacking attempts by hiding your real IP address.

      well, it's not "better" as such, just a different solution. NAT is not a golden bullet though. Yes, it does, by and large prevent random machines on the internet directly contacting your unpatched windows desktop at home, but a firewall will do that too, and virtually every dsl router has a firewall these days too. I would like to see home dsl routers supporting native ipv6 but I don't know of any.

      I think that ipv6 is a good thing to go for, but it's not finished (but then, is ipv4? :). there's lots of advertised features for ipv6 (mandatory encryption, mobile ip etc) that are good on paper, but aren't all that in the real world.

      Mandatory support for ipsec is great.. except how many of us would use it? as there is currently no support for mndatory ipsec encryption to unknown strangers. you've got to be pre-configured for crypto. I'd like to see something like ssh. if you know the key then great, if you don't then you can accept and save one and then while you may not have verified the destination, you're at least protected on the wire. yes, they also need to sort out authentication and perhaps some form of certificate distribution, but lets make a start on something useable.

      mobile IP. sounds great! I can be using my ipv6 pda via my mobile phone and as I walk into my house, it picks up my wireless net and my downloads speed up instantly, all the while not dropping the voip call I'm making. or I'm using a laptop on the train and as it flits from hotspot to hotspot I don't lose any of my connections. sounds great! how does it work? you tell me, details are not easy to find. ots of talk, few working implementations (if I'm wrong, please tell me, I'm genuinely very interested).

      working with networks as part of my job, I know how useful and really annoying NAT can be, and I really think it should be an option, not a requirement. I'd love to see ipv6 rolled out and see what changes it brings, but I also think it needs a fair amount of work still.

      • Re:Is NAT Better? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by FireFury03 ( 653718 )
        Mandatory support for ipsec is great.. except how many of us would use it?

        Well, all those businesses that currently shell out rediculous amounts of money for VPN solutions I suppose. Things will get more interesting if DNSSEC (shoving X.509 certificates in DNS records) gets widespread and easier to use - at the moment it's horrendously complex to set up.

        I think in the long run it'd be nice to use IPSEC with DNSSEC instead of SSL, etc. There are some advantages - for one thing, once the keys have been nego
    • Re:Is NAT Better? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FireFury03 ( 653718 ) <slashdot@@@nexusuk...org> on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:59PM (#13810053) Homepage
      I remember reading a while ago that NAT actually turned out to be better than IPv6 by virtue of it "solving" the limited number of addresses problem and simultaneously providing a defence against simple hacking attempts by hiding your real IP address.

      NAT in itself doesn't provide any extra security - the connection tracking needed by NAT is what provides the security (and you can do this equally well without using NAT). I wrote an article [nexusuk.org] on this subject a while back.

      Whiles NAT does to some extent "solve" the limited number of addresses problem, it also creates many more problems. The Internet was designed to be peer to peer but NAT turns it into a client/server model. Whilest client/server works fine for "traditional" applications such as web surfing, it's a major stumbling block for peer to peer services such as VoIP, which have to employ various hacks to trick NATs into letting the peer-to-peer traffic through (with varying degrees of success). The likes of Skype are designed to hijack the connections of random Skype users who don't have NAT and use them to route traffic between peers who do have NAT when the NAT traversal hacks fail.
    • Re:Is NAT Better? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by freidog ( 706941 )
      IPv6 implements some nice features that aren't aimed at a larger address space.
      IPv6 provides for priority and quality of service information in the packet, allowing for better priority based routing.
      It also doesn't permit for fragmenting packets, which makes life easier for both routing and stitching it back together at the destination.
      And distrobution of the addresses is done more fairly. It's not the US and western Europe (to a lesser extent) grab the address space they'd like and the rest of the world c
    • Re:Is NAT Better? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by saikatguha266 ( 688325 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @01:27PM (#13810285) Homepage
      Actually, NAT is better because it provides address space isolation. If your organisation has 500 computers that all have a public IP address, it is harder for you to switch providers (500 IPs is too small to get your own address space for). When you switch your provider, you have to renumber all hosts, fix config files, fix DNS servers etc -- a royal pain in the ass. A NAT allows your to keep your internal structure exactly the same while you switch providers. That address isolation is very important for small-mid sized companies.

      Second, NAT helps multihomed corporations. For large companies, your 10k hosts are going to be distributed over many states/countries/ISPs ... and each site advertising its own address space is expensive for the ISP's because they cannot perform route aggregation (since your address space may not line up with the address space of each ISP). NAT solves this by having each site be NAT'ed behind that ISP's IP address (convinient for the ISP, cheaper for the company). The internal company network runs in the private space and when traffic crosses to the public internet, it gets an IP from the ISP it came out of ... consequently replies come back in through the ISP. Read: If you send a packet out of India, the response won't come back inthrough America ... which would otherwise require you to then forward it to India through your company's routers.

      It is this address isolation and multihoming support that drives NAT use in small and large companies. Address space depletion has nothing to do with it. IPv6 does not fix these problems; companies will continue using NATs because NATs do.
      • Re:Is NAT Better? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Spy Hunter ( 317220 ) *
        Wrong. Firstly, IPv6 provides support for automatic network renumbering, which solves the real problem instead of hacking around it with a band-aid that ultimately changes the network architecture. Switching ISPs with IPv6 is easy. Secondly, your multihoming example doesn't require NAT at all; why would it? Each site uses its ISP's address space, and you can set up your internal routing however you like.
  • Love that quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Matey-O ( 518004 ) <michaeljohnmiller@mSPAMsSPAMnSPAM.com> on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:41PM (#13809907) Homepage Journal
    "and suggests that it isn't worth trying to reclaim old allocations."

    Isn't worth it to whom?
    • Re:Love that quote (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cheeko ( 165493 )
      HP? IBM? MIT? Or anyone else who has a nice class A all to themselves ;) HP I belive actually has two (the original HP 15, and the old DEC 16). These companies/institutions will never run our of v4 addresses, so they likely will only push as hard as they are made to by their partners/customers.
      • Re:Love that quote (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot...kadin@@@xoxy...net> on Monday October 17, 2005 @01:42PM (#13810401) Homepage Journal
        Well if you look at the List of Class A address allocations [wikipedia.org] you'll see some possibilities of people who might not be interested.

        In particular, Level 3 Communications has not one but two Class A blocks, the and blocks; "Comcast IP Services" has another one.

        There are some oddball Class A assignments on there too. Who would have guessed that Ford has one? The US Postal Service? The Defense Department has something like seven, not a huge surprise given when the assignments were made. Halliburton even has one.

        Anyway, reading down the list you can see that the people who already have their own Class A blocks are unlikely to care too much about how quickly v6 gets rolled out, at least for their own use. But some of the newer big-time tech companies who aren't on that list might have more of an interest ... Cisco, for instance, is not on there.
  • Dupe. (Score:5, Funny)

    by haeger ( 85819 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:41PM (#13809911)
    I know I've read this statement atleast yearly for the last 2-10 years.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:41PM (#13809913)
    Will *BSD die before the switchover to IPv6? Maybe a good Slashdot poll:

    [ ] Yes
    [ ] No
    [ ] Microsoft
    [ ] I don't know what IPv6 is, but I'll post anyway
    [ ] Cowboy Neal encodes my packets
  • by s388 ( 910768 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:44PM (#13809942)
    TFA didn't help me get much of a clue. I tried reading it, and I said to myself: "aren't there one trillion possible IP addresses, available in principle? (minus 1)" just because of the 12-digit IP addresses i'm used to.

    "The IPv4 address space has 32 bits, limiting it to an absolute maximum of 232 (roughly 4.3 billion) possible addresses. For both administrative and technical reasons (the latter in large part being related to routing), IPv4 addresses are allocated in blocks which are restricted to sizes which are powers of 2; this leads to many addresses being unused at any given time. In addition to this, substantial parts of the IP address space are not easily usable because of early technical decisions reserving them for private network use, loopback addresses, multicast, and unspecified future uses, which has resulted in some of these limitations being programmed into devices; working around these limitations will require substantial amounts of re-engineering to increase the amount of available address space. Finally, some of the IPv4 address allocations made early in the development of the Internet (in the 1970s), when only blocks of 224 possible addresses (called a /8 in IPv4 address terminology) were supported, led to some institutions that were involved in the development of the Internet having disproportionally large allocations. MIT, for example, has an entire /8 block allocated to it (224 addresses, about 0.39% of the whole internet address space) and various US Department of Defense agencies have several such blocks."

    THANK YOU wikipedia.
  • by dubdays ( 410710 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:45PM (#13809946)
    Besides the huge amount of fully routable IP addresses IPv6 will open up, what are the benefits to the average end-user? I mean, will anyone accessing a 4 Mb cable connection through NAT really notice any difference by upgrading? Even large corporations, who also use private IP address space, (as far as I know) don't need fully routable addresses for every machine. So, what exactly is the major benefit? Just asking...
    • by gr8_phk ( 621180 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @01:01PM (#13810071)
      I've been looking forward to a time when everyone gets at least one fixed IP address. Want to run a server of any sort? No? How about a mail server built in to your cable modem? Or do you like your email getting stored at your ISP? Then there are any number of handy p2p type apps that will benefit. VOIP comes to mind - without needing to subscribe to a directory service. Fire up gnome-meeting or whatever and enter your friends IP (well the software could remember it for you) - the same IP they have every time. Actually, fixed IPs for everyone reduces the role of the ISP to simply being a network connection like they should be. Also, it takes effort from developers to get software working through NAT, so the burden on them should be reduced.
      • Will there be measures in place that prevent the massive privacy problems of a fixed IP? I mean, it sounds a bit ugly to have anything I'll ever search or browse directly and eternally linked to my name/IP, with every website operator knowing who does what when on their sites? (Apart from larger entities such as goverments, ...).
        Right now, I can in most cases hide behind a /24.

        This question is partly rhetorical, as I don't think that this will be the case. But if anyone here knows about recent developments
    • Besides the huge amount of fully routable IP addresses IPv6 will open up, what are the benefits to the average end-user?

      Being able to get around NAT restrictions or trying to get UPnP working each time they want to play a particular online game, video conferencing, or transfer files directly with another person behind a NAT.

      Most End Users may or may not notice it or understand it, but often when say a group of people use a NAT they are unable to connect direct to anyone else's computer who is also behind a
    • what are the benefits to the average end-user?

      Well NAT is a huge pain in the arse for anything peer-to-peer - for example VoIP.

      Lets take Skype (horrible system that it is) for example. You want to make a call:

      1. Caller A places a call to caller B. This involves talking to the Skype directory server and ggiving caller A the IP address for caller B.
      2. The system realises that caller B is behind a NAT so caller A can't start a connection to B... ok, no problem, we just get caller B to initiate the session in
  • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot...kadin@@@xoxy...net> on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:46PM (#13809954) Homepage Journal
    It will be interesting (and perhaps this has already been all worked out, I haven't looked into it much) how they allocate the IPv6 addresses. It seems fairly clear now that the life of the v4 address space was definitely shortened -- although by how much is not clear -- because of the very large chunks of space that were handed out and never fully utilized. (Class A allocations; IIRC IBM had a massive one and I'm not sure ever used much of it, and I'm sure they're not the only one.) Of course this wasn't viewed as a problem at the time because there were so many more addresses than anyone imagined there would ever be devices.

    I just wonder how we're going to resist the temptation to do the same thing again, now that we have another glut of address space. On one hand we don't want to end up with vacant blocks of addresses, but we don't want to be too niggardly about it either, or else individual static addresses won't ever 'trickle down' to end users and we'll be stuck with the same mess of NAT traversals and subnets that we have now.

    I'm sure that this issue has been addressed (or will be addressed) but I'm just curious how the IANA will find the 'balance point' between assigning enough high-level blocks to make sure end users can get static global addresses, while not overassigning. Perhaps there should be some sort of a periodic review process for high-level address block assignments to see how fully utilized they are, and either assign an entity more addresses or reallocate underutilized resources.
    • Examples (Score:3, Interesting)

      by overshoot ( 39700 )
      $FORMER_EMPLOYER has several Class B address spaces but keeps the entire internal network behind proxies and doesn't even support internet DNS lookups for machines in the intranet. Net result is that the entire company could present less than a Class C to the internet at large.

      In general, corporate networks today are so completely firewalled that they might as well be behind NAT, and some (bless 'em) are -- Intel for one uses nonroutable addresses internally.

  • by C0vardeAn0nim0 ( 232451 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:47PM (#13809964) Journal
    in 2 to 10 years lots of things will happen. some people will die, some will be born...

    aw, c'mon...

    in a month europe, brasil and a few other nations will force a global netsplit, so we'll have 2 "internets". double the address space for the same price, so this prediction is not only imprecise, it's useless!

    my R$0,02.
    • double the address space for the same price

      No, there will not be a doubling of the address space, just the name space. Same internet, twice th ICANN. Now people will have to purchase domain names from two registrars to be listed on both DNS systems. And the moment this happens there will be a flurry of activity to develop rootless DNS systems, from which all will benefit.

  • by Hershmire ( 41460 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:47PM (#13809969) Homepage
    I have my IPv4 address. Why should I worry? Perhaps I can even sell mine to the highest bidder when the shite hits the fan.

    Hell, maybe the address shortage will create this crazy new "Road Warrior" world where IP addresses are a rare commodity and people have to fight each other with mad overclocked computers just to get some packets routed. And then Mel Gibson can play an ex-help-desk-guy-turned-hero whose Mac was killed by software pirates in the movie version.

    All I know is, I'm training my kids how to catch sharp boomerangs.
  • by overshoot ( 39700 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:48PM (#13809976)
    Hmmm -- I wonder how many machines have been saved from being owned precisely because of NAT?

    I'd love to know the zombienet operators' take on the conversion to IPV6.

    • Re:Nasty NAT hacks (Score:5, Informative)

      by nutshell42 ( 557890 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @01:44PM (#13810415) Journal
      I'd love to know the zombienet operators' take on the conversion to IPV6.

      United Zombienet Operators issued a press release today adressing fears about increased zombie activities following a theoretical switch to "Eye P-V6". Only one line long, it reads "Please remember the codewords are 'Klaatu Verada Snugglesworth'." Asked for an official statement a spokesdead of the Army of the p0WneD just said "Urgh...MUST...EAT...BRAIN". We will continue to report this story as it develops.
  • Home routers (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bozojoe ( 102606 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:49PM (#13809980) Journal
    Perhaps this is an AskSlashdot, but who is making a decent(affordable) IPv6 router for the home? And where can one locate documents on SIP/RTP in IPv6 land?
  • My cold, dead hands (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BJZQ8 ( 644168 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:52PM (#13810004) Homepage Journal
    Until I absolutely HAVE to switch to IPV6, I will keep my much easier-to-remember addresses. Try to remember something like these:




    I mean, DNS goes a long way towards turning that hex into something memorable, but as a sysadmin it does NOT make my life easier. Let's reclaim some of those /8 blocks allocated to people that barely use them, first. Does E.I duPont REALLY need 0.39% of the internet address space? Does Eli Lily? That is 16777216 addresses, for what? Does Eli Lily even have 16 million adressable devices? It seems to me that we have plenty of IPV4's, it's just the allocation stinks.
    • by Mondoz ( 672060 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @01:22PM (#13810234)
      I'm with you. This scares the hell out of me.
      Unless my host file grows to be the size of Montana...

      Do host files and IPITAV6 work together anyway?

      Besides, this is going to make my "There's no place like" shirt obsolete in 10 years!
      I'll have to get one with colons in it!

      • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Monday October 17, 2005 @02:58PM (#13811075) Homepage Journal
        Besides, this is going to make my "There's no place like" shirt obsolete in 10 years! I'll have to get one with colons in it!

        Good point. Imagine the joy:

        Cute girl: There's no place like... colon?
        You: *sob*

        Think maybe I'll pass on that one.

    • Excuses, excuses (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jd ( 1658 )
      IPv6 address prefixes are defined up-stream. All you need to do is remember the one byte that indicates your router. The rest is imported. As for user machines, IPv6 addresses are automatically defined as being the router prefix + the MAC address. There is absolutely nothing for an administrator to do, with IPv6 networks, besides plug in the one byte designator and kick back.

      The only admins who don't like IPv6 are those who are either ignorant of the way it works, or who are too hooked on being worked to de

    • by mindriot ( 96208 )


      Why don't you try to remember v6-tunnel34-uk6x.ipv6.btexact.com instead?

      I mean, that's why you have the DNS. You don't have to remember any addresses. Honestly, how many public IP addresses do you know and actually use? Even as a sysadmin, I think you'll manage. Seriously, the "difficult to remember" argument isn't really an argument. 99.9% of the Internet-using population couldn't care less if their address had 32, 128 or 1024 bits or were written using Babylonian numerals. Heck

    • by shreak ( 248275 )
      There are a lot more endpoints out there than you think. One of the major pressures to go IPv6 is coming from the wireless phone service providers (mainly out of Europe and Asia). ALL the phones they sell are IP enabled. That's LOTS of phones. It's a lot easier to just allocate them a static IPv6 addy than the constant DHCP traffic every time they access. We're talking MILLIONS of phones per service provider.

  • by puzzled ( 12525 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:55PM (#13810022) Journal

      I've been playing with IPv6 off and on since 2000. My current IPv6 plant incarnation is a Cisco 2610XM tunneling traffic from btexact (best tunnel broker if you want to play), a Cisco 1605 that is sometimes online, and a FreeBSD box. I don't have a site up this time, just taking it slow and playing, doing this mostly because the CCIE lab has started requiring IPv6.

      The transport works just fine, the application support is still a hassle. If its a barrier for me after five years of dinking and nothing left to do Cisco wise except complete my CCIE ... well ... Joe MCSE is probably going to get chewed up by it.

      Moving to IPv6 from IPv4 is as much a change in mindset as moving from IPX to IPv4 was ...

  • Simple fix.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrJerryNormandinSir ( 197432 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:57PM (#13810034)
    Don't use real IP addresses after the gateway. I do IP
    MASQUERADING. I get only 1 ip address from my provider.
    I've got a wireless webcam, a zaurus wireless pda, company assigned laptop, my linux development desktop computer, my Apple G3 running LinuxPPC (my gateway, web, imap server),
    My oldest son't room with a Linux based AMD 64bit server, a
    mini mac, a sharp zaurus, my 2 youngest boys room and thier
    computer and a laptop up in thier room, my hombrew robot,
    a hacked compaq IA-1 that runs linux that I use to monitor my firewall, email, etc.. All these devices get to the outside world on 1 ip address. I have multiple servers that
    are accessed by the outside world via port redirection as

    My point is that we should be tighter with ip address allocation.

  • by 3770 ( 560838 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @12:59PM (#13810060) Homepage
    So, today you have to pay extra to get a fixed IP. I can understand that, somewhat, because there is a limited number of IP-numbers.

    Now, if we have an unlimited number of IP-numbers, then I will be pissed if they expect me to pay extra for a fixed IP. What is their explanation and motivation for a higher price for a Fixed IP?

    So maybe one of the reasons that they are trying to delay the introduction of IPV6 is because they know they will no longer get the extra income from customers that are paying for a fixed IP.
  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @01:01PM (#13810077)
    To make most efficient use of the 4.3 trillion possible IPv4 addresses, all we need is one giant honking DHCP server for the world to use. Of course, the USA should run it forever.
  • Waste (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ed Almos ( 584864 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @01:01PM (#13810079)
    If the IP 4 address space was properly allocated then we could probably get another ten years out of the system. We have for example BBN occupying three class A blocks and HP taking another two or three. Set against this is the continent of Africa which is assigned one block.

    Ed Almos
  • Not any time soon. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dills ( 102733 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @01:02PM (#13810085) Homepage
    I have worked in the internet service business for over a decade now. I have seen a lot of things come and go, and a lot of predictions about when we would run out of IP space.

    The bottom line is that the only people who realy WANT a rollout of IPv6 is Cisco. Why? Because the vast majority of their existing installed routers will not support IPv6 with anywhere near the same feature set and packet rate as those routers can handle with IPv4. Thus, IPv6 means people upgrading equipment that isn't really deficient.

    Most people have no concept of:

    a) How much IP space we have left.
    b) How extremely inefficent we have been with a large percentage of the address space.
    c) How much assigned, announced, and routed space is completely unused.
    d) How much the rate of growth has flattened.
    e) How wrong every prediction about when we run out of IP space has been thus far.

    If you search the nanog archives, you'll see posts by myself going back many years stating essentially "Somebody tell me why we need IPv6 again?"

    Do not hold your breath. We're 10-15 years away from IPv6, because it will take an even larger gross expenditure for the service providers to upgrade to support IPv6 than it did for the broadcast industry to upgrade to HDTV.

    This is what industries that rely on revenue growth do when their customer growth flattens. They invent a new widget, come up with reasons why everybody needs it, market it, and hopefully everybody buys the product all over again. IPv6 is admittedly a good bit different; it was created by geeks in attempt to solve a perceived problem. However, it was siezed upon by the router vendors as a future "upgrade when growth flattens" path.

    Don't buy into the hype. IPv4 is here to stay for a long time. Even when IPv6 starts to have some decent degree of market penetration, you will always find most of the devices on the net are IPv4 behind IPv6 to IPv4 NATs.
  • by br00tus ( 528477 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @01:02PM (#13810089)
    I went to a NANOG [nanog.org] meeting in 1997, at which were many of the bigshots of network operation - Van Jacobsen (author of traceroute and Van Jacobsen compression, which you may recall as a checkable option on Windows 3.x's Trumpet Winsock), Paul Vixie (of BIND and MAPS fame), Kim Hubbard (of ARIN), Mark Kosters (of Network Solutions) and that type.

    Anyhow, I myself was curious about if/when IPv6 would be rolled out. One of the talks was about how to deal with IPv4 space running out, and a lot of the talk revolved around such things as multiple web sites running on the same IP (which was very uncommon then) and other ways to use less address space. Some audience members gave other suggestions for conserving IP space such as ways to use Network Address Translation to limit public IP use. I would say the feeling in the hall was that this was not a problem, and that people had to go the route of IP sharing, and aside from the need for more IP sharing, everyone pretty much liked the situation as it was, which was in contrast to the prevailing attitude in the world outside the hall. One audience member rose his hand and said, "What about IPv6?" The response to this was the entire audience broke into laughter - it was the funniest thing they had heard that week. After that I began thinking about IPv6 more along the lines of projects such as MBONE [savetz.com] (anyone remember the hooplah over that years ago?). Not that IPv6 will never be implemented, but this story that IPv6 was needed straightaway could have been written 8 years ago. I haven't seen much headway in it in the past 8 years, except for products promising they were IPv6 compatible, just in case. Not that IPv6 will never be rolled out on a large scale, but I'm not holding my breath.

  • I don't think that IPv6 will see the end of NAT at all. NAT is a very quick and covenient technique for consumer DSL routers to use.

    For a start, a lot of ISPs only offer one address, partly to encourage people to buy more expensive packages with multiple addresses, and NAT transparently solves that issue.

    There is no reason to assume that increased avilability of addresses will cause ISPs to offer more addresses to consumers - after all if they anticipate 100,000 single PC broadband connections, they are going to find it hard to get approval for 800,000 addresses (to allow a /28), even with the increased address space. And even when you do have multiple addresses allocated, what about the users that have one more machine than usable addresses? Small company networks etc? Now matter how many addressed IPv6 supplies, we will run out eventually, and much sooner than we expect.

    Also low end ADSL connections often force NAT upon a user, allowing the vendor to create a differentiator between it's commercial and domestic offerings.

    In the end NAT offers security, independence of allocated IP space to available addresses, simplified network management with an excellent delineation point between vendor and consumer (the ISP dosen't have to worry about what is inside the end user network), and a reasonable form of security. It's great for a small internet connected network.
  • by infonography ( 566403 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @01:16PM (#13810194) Homepage
    I have had 10.x.x.x addresses for a long time and I am gonna keep them. You varmits need to find your own, your not taking away my net addresses. Same goes for the 192.168.X net. That's mine too, it's just my summer home.
  • by 72beetle ( 177347 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @01:36PM (#13810348) Homepage
    The EU is so hot and fired up to wrench control of the intarweb from the US, so let THEM deal with it. If we can't be trusted with the DNS system, seems logical to me that the EU would be much better off orchestrating and paying for the upgrade to IPV6.
  • Let's not forget that any rollout of IPv6 aware devices is going to be plauged by patent litigation. Turns out that just before its release, and lot of "Intellectual Property" "Firms" simply guessed the IPv6 standard, or parts of it, and bought^H^H^H^H^H^Happlied for corresponding patents from the USPTO rubber stamping office.

    That means for around the next 20 years we'll have the whole RSA debaucle played all over again in the IPv6 sphere. Expect to see "Innovative Ideas" lawsuits gouging money from OS makers and especially makers of routers(esp consumer grade) and other networking devices.

    Look on the bright side thought. With any luck, we'll run out of IPv4 addresses before the litigation finishes, and then someone really WILL have to do something about it!
  • by digitalgimpus ( 468277 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @01:40PM (#13810387) Homepage
    There are *millions* of Linksys, Netgear, DLink, routers and access points out there. Most of which don't support IPv6. And I doubt these vendors are going to update all that firmware.

    Nor will consumers be into throwing out old hardware "to get more IP space"... that's not exactly going to work (marketing wise).

    Nor will people with old OS versions, or other odd devices (IP cameras, etc. etc.).

    IMHO this will need government pressure, similar to the digital switchover for TV. Some sort of a date for compliance of devices, and a clean switchover date.
  • by shapr ( 723522 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @02:01PM (#13810550) Homepage Journal
    I'm using 6to4 right now, but it's not good enough! One of the greatest benefits of IPv6, true multicast support, does not work, since the underlying IPv4 layer does not support multicast.

    Many applications could take advantage of multicast if it were available.

    Some examples:
    Bittorrent is a cheesy IPv4 emulation of multicast.
    Game servers could multicast 'common' data and save roughly 50% of the total bandwidth used.
    Mirror sites could multicast their updates. Debian, Redhat, and other mirrors would use a fraction of their current bandwidth.

    If you went the bittorrent way, files could be sent via looping multicast, no more slashdotting the Id games servers.

    Basically, any duplicate TCP/IP streams could be a single stream that gets replicated at the router. I want it now!

    Think of it, even spam could be more efficient with multicast emails!
  • by austad ( 22163 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @02:15PM (#13810694) Homepage
    We had an IT person in our london office at a previous job. When I was out there, I had mentioned that they were running out of IP's for the office and we'd have to assign a new block. She pulls out her spreadsheet which is fully poplated up to something like .253, and proceeds to show me all the empty space up to .999.

    Obviously we are underutilizing the ipv4 space, no one seems to use anything above .255. We should just all follow her lead and go to .999. It's like a network that goes to 11 man.
  • by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Monday October 17, 2005 @04:43PM (#13811927) Journal
    It's funny to see that the people who keep shaking their heads left and right when "IPv6" is mentioned are mainly ALL in the U.S. Fact: China, Japan, Korea and MUCH of Europe will move to IPv6 first...and much sooner no matter what the U.S thinks. Control is the issue, those moving to v6 see it as an opportunity to move away from having to call a U.S. organization to get address allocation. Also..since DNS becomes REALLY important with v6 (try to memorize IPv6 addressess..) Europe could use it as a means of setting up their own root DNS servers to take control of the future address space. Whoever has the DNS servers that people use will get control, and if Europe/Asia defines that first they will have control.

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler