back to article IPv6 roots planted on the net

Monday marks a red-letter day for the internet, with the introduction of services that allow IPv6-based IP addresses to translated into domain names and vice versa. The change comes as net governance organisation IANA adds AAAA records for the IPv6 addresses of six of the 13 root name servers, making it possible for two internet …

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Anonymous Coward

Just FYI...

I attended a RIPE course for LIRs 2 weeks ago. You may wish to update the article. The current projection is for the pool of IPv4 address space to have been allocated to the various RIRs (RIPE, ARIN, etc.) by 2011. It will then take some time for the addresses to be assigned to the LIRs.

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Tum-de-tum.....

"For example, Cisco introduced IPv6 support on Cisco IOS and switches in 2001. Apple Mac OS X supported IPv6 since 2006, but full baked-in support in Windows didn't really arrive until Vista."

Of course, OpenBSD started supporting IPV6 back as far as 1999 (and probably earlier!) :-)

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Jobs Halo

Apple IPv6

Apple supported IPv6 way before 2006. More like 2003.

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Silver badge
Coat

IPvWhat?

"Meanwhile, the UK Government is failing to take the lead in preparing the country for IPv4 address exhaustion"

I would venture to suggest that most MPs probably don't know what IPv4 is, much less that it's running out and even less about IPv6.

You could probably get a lot of funny statements out of Parliament by leaking a carefully-prepared release about how IPv4 is a scarce natural resource but that ISPs are doing their part in recycling said resource (isn't DHCP wonderful...) How about a tax break for switching to an IPv6 address?

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Router firmware

What I want to know is whether companies such as Netgear will put out new IPv6-compatible firmware for their routers and, if so, how many of their older products will they support? If it wasn't for the recent trend of using very small, purpose-built software such as VxWorks over more generic, memory-hungry software such as Linux, I would flash my router with OpenWRT. Sadly, they really skimped on the RAM for this particular model. My older router has much more.

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Boffin

Re: Just FYI...

I've no idea what you just said. Does it mean not to worry, we're not running out of addresses so fast as the article claims?

At least use the blue-head symbol so we are warned when you do that.

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The Transition from IP4 to IP6 isn't exactly graceful.

Sure many vendors have future proofed their products by implementing IP6.

But it's practical use is limited to internal networks or tunnels.

Unfortunately first adopters will realize that having a pure IP6 address (not the IP4 subset) will make it impossible to establish a link with IP4-only services or peers, unless the IP6 address gets NATed to a public IP4 address.

Which means it will become mandatory for any ISPs offering IP6 addresses to NAT addresses back into an IP4 address, but then what's the point since ISPs do that today with IP4 while assigning private IP addresses (ie 10.*.*.*) .

If some company were to start disappearing from Ithe P4 address space in favor of IP6, then users would be forced to upgrade to IP6, or just look for an alternative.

Where is the incentive to be a first adopter?

Governments should just make File Sharing legal in IP6 for the greater good of the internet.

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Boffin

Politicians and tech don't mix

@ Dave

you can probably get a subsidy going for the carbon-neutral recycling of IPv4 addresses, and long-term sequestration of residual subnets, so as not to increase global warming. once you get the cash, start an ISP that only serves IPv4-to-IPv6 switchers, and you will likely have very little work to do for the next few years. truly, you can do it with a DSL modem and a single BSD server for routing.

easy business to get into, provided you can get the Gov to fund the subsidy, but considering their record of dealing with tech, this is a minor problem.

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Anonymous Coward

In the US

The OMB has set a June 2008 deadline to switch over the backbones of govt agencies. Also, new equipment is supposed to be IPv6 capable, and everyone loves to sell to the govt.

Countries such as Korea are taking a very aggressive stance and is doing a major migration. I think you'll see the more aggressive entities moving people along. As a research institution we need to at least provide IPv6 on the network so that collaboration can occur with IPv6 only locations.

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Coat

Consumers and non-ISPs need not worry

Western companies and organizations should primarily be concerned that equipment plan to use after 2012 is or can be made IPv6 compatible.

For consumers, Windows Vista comes with IPv6 capability. If your computer runs XP, you should already have applied the XP SP2 updates for security purposes. IPv6 capability comes with XP SP2.

For routers, NAT boxes, switches and cable boxes, likely there will be technical advances between now and 2012 that will render them obsolete, regardless of which version of the internet protocol they run.

Beyond that, it doesn't matter if your own equipment is IPv6 capable if your ISP is IPv4. Unless you are in the Far East your ISP is not going to be on IPv6 until after 2012. Yes you can use IPv6 on a private network, but who many addresses does your private network really need? The benefits of IPv6 only occur when your ISP and the other ISPs in your region are all on IPv6.

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Unhappy

Pity the non tech home user

It will be a lot harder to set up local networks in ones home. Instead of using the IPv4's 192.168.0.1 - 192.168.0.254, they will have to figure out that the IPv6's ::c0a8:1 - ::c0a8:fe are the (approximate) new equivalents.

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Happy

Let's have the government help.

We just need to convince lawmakers that only basement dwelling nerds who would even know what IPv6 is look at porn and "force" all porn sites to use IPv6.

By the end of the year, 95% of the internet will be using IPv6. The elected mouth breathers get their feel good "thinking of the children" law and we get a slightly less goofy network protocol.

Everybody Wins!... sort of.

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Thumb Down

IPV4 exhausted in now + two years.

About 2000 the IPV6 crowed were saying the IPV4 address space would be exhausted in two years, and the exhaustion date has remained exactly the same since then -- now + another two years.

This is basicalyy a tactic to try and panic people into using a protocol that nobody actually wants -- and for good reason. The arrogent ivory tower bound geniuses behind ipv6 dont have a viable migration strategy.

There is no easy way to migrate the public internet infastructure from from IPV4 to IPV6.

This is not due to lack of vendor support as previously mentioned from BSD in 1999 to Vista last year IPV6 is supported on any piece of hardware you are likely to buy. And in certain parts of the world you can put up an IPV6 web site -- its just that only IPV6 enabled workstations, connected to an IPV6 ISP, connected to etc. etc. will be able to access your domain more of a "wee wonky web" than a world wide web.

I think IPV6 is destined to join OSI in the network junkyard.

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Unhappy

Asking for IPv6

"Many ISPs haven't implemented IPv6 for a very simple reason - customers haven't asked for it yet," said Dave Freedman

I've been asking Demon for IPv6 since before 2003. No joy there. Its apparently "Being Planned".

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Re: Router firmware

"What I want to know is whether companies such as Netgear will put out new IPv6-compatible firmware for their routers and, if so, how many of their older products will they support? If it wasn't for the recent trend of using very small, purpose-built software such as VxWorks over more generic, memory-hungry software such as Linux, I would flash my router with OpenWRT. Sadly, they really skimped on the RAM for this particular model. My older router has much more."

You do know that it works out cheaper to use an OS that requires less hardware resources (flash, RAM, CPU) at the expense of licenses for the volume that routers are made now. VxWorks supports IPv6 from 6.x, so the router manufacturer should be able to offer firmware upgrades, if they want to. Whether they bother is another question, (my guess being that they won't unless forced to as the wont see any return on the extra work).

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Coat

Re: Pity the non tech home user

No troubles remembering that range here - I'll get me ::c0a8...

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not just IPv6, multicasting too.

its not just not just IPv6, thats important, we really need the UK ISPs like Demon,VirginMedia and BT to finally turn back out the Multicasting capabilitys of all their already installed kit all the way to the end users.

seriously, it would then be possible to patch the many apps that the end users use to save vast amounts of data throughput for the whole UK network and to the advantage of everyone.

remember the old MBONE multicasting network that showed how they innovated in the old days, put that skill into todays p2p apps alone and you have a massive saving, not to mention the old multi client single server data and time savings.

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Go

Home Networking

@ Kevin Eastman

Home networking won't necessarily have to be all that complicated. Enough IPv6 addresses exist that within a given range you can just port MAC addresses into unique IP addresses.

That should make software for setting up networks automatically a lot easier to write.

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Paris Hilton

IPV4 exhausted in now + two years

> About 2000 the IPV6 crowed were saying the IPV4 address space would be exhausted in two years, and the exhaustion date has remained exactly the same since then -- now + another two years.

This is utter rubbish. Even if these claims were made in 2000, that doesn't make them false now. Current thinking is IANA will have no more IPv4 blocks by 2011 and the address registries will run out about a year after that. This assumes no policy changes, current trends continue and there's no last minute land-grab once the world realises there really won't be any more IPv4 addresses in the shops.

> This is basicalyy a tactic to try and panic people into using a protocol that nobody actually wants -- and for good reason.

This is utter rubbish too. Don't take my word for it. Take a look at http://www.potaroo.net/tools/ipv4 and similar web sites from the people who actually *know* about what's happening to IPv4 address usage.

> The arrogent ivory tower bound geniuses behind ipv6 dont have a viable migration strategy.

This is kind of true: very few people have figured out a migration strategy. However it's unkind to categorise this as something that's the responsibility of "arrogant ivory-towered geniuses". Everyone who uses the Internet and runs a network will need to plan for a mixed IPv4/IPv6 Internet. And that means more than just deploying more NAT and application proxies. What are you going to do on your networks James when the IPv4 space has all gone? Have you asked your ISP about this? What's your employer doing?

> I think IPV6 is destined to join OSI in the network junkyard.

Even Paris knows this is nonsense because there aren't enough IPv4 addresses to spare for all of her friends.

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Stop

@ James Anderson

"I think IPV6 is destined to join OSI in the network junkyard."

Aww don't talk about the OSI model like that or I will cry.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pity the non tech home user

@ Kevin Eastman

the ::c0a8:1 - ::c0a8:fe is for ipv4 compatibility ( btw. for those the ::192.168.0.1 notation is also valid).

In a pure ipv6 situation, it's much easier because of the 64bit minimum allocation. Your ISP will give you a 64bit block anyway. So there's no need for IP configuration, DHCP or NAT. Your local MAC addresses define your local IP addresses (link-local address), eg:

# Interface MAC

00-40-63-ca-9a-20

# IPv6 Interface ID (EUI-64)

::0040:63FF:FECA:9A20

# or

::40:63FF:FECA:9A20

# link local

FE80::40:63FF:FECA:9A20

so no configuration needed by the end user. Adding the (non-local) address part when routing to the Internet is also not the user's concern, but the ISP's problem. So in effect, it all becomes easier...

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Coat

chingching

Wow, my spambot farm can grow exponentially now without any hope of them blocking all my ip's, yay technology

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This may be a naive question but...

wouldn't it be a viable migration strategy to set up a parallel DNS which held both the legacy IPv4 and IPv6 addresses and acted as a kind of global NAT system, assigning new IPv6 addresses as required. Eventually everyone would have their new IPv6 addresses and the service would be running on pure IPv6. Can't see that it would matter if that takes 1 year or 10...

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Boffin

Richard Cartledge Apple cetainly wasn't first

1996 Linux gains alpha quality IPv6 support in kernel development version 2.1.8[26]

1997 In the end of 1997 IBM's AIX 4.3 was the first commercial platform that supported IPv6.[27][28]

1998 Microsoft Research[29] first released an experimental IPv6 stack in 1998. This support was not intended for use in a production environment.

2000 Production-quality BSD support for IPv6 has been generally available since

early to mid-2000 in FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD via the KAME project[30].

Sun Solaris has IPv6 support since the Solaris 8 in February 2000[31]

2001 Cisco Systems introduced IPv6 support on Cisco IOS routers and L3 switches in 2001. [32]

2002 Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 SP1 had limited IPv6 support for research and testing since at least 2002.

Microsoft Windows XP (2001) had IPv6 support for developmental purposes. In Windows XP SP1 (2002) and Windows Server 2003, IPv6 is included as a core networking technology, suitable for commercial deployment.[33]

IBM z/OS has supported IPv6 since version 1.4 that has been generally available since September 2002.[34]

2003 Apple Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther" (2003) has IPv6 supported and enabled by default.[35]

In July, ICANN announced that the IPv6 AAAA records for the Japan (.jp) and Korea (.kr) country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) nameservers became visible in the DNS root server zone files with serial number 2004072000. The IPv6 records for France (.fr) were added a little later. This made IPv6 operational in a public fashion.

2007 Microsoft Windows Vista (2007) has IPv6 supported and enabled by default.[33]

Apple's AirPort Extreme 802.11n base station is an IPv6 gateway in its default configuration. It uses 6to4 tunneling and can optionally route through a manually configured IPv4 tunnel.[36]

2008 On February 4th 2008, IANA will add AAAA records for the IPv6 addresses of six of the thirteen root name servers[37][38]. With this transition, it will be possible for two internet hosts to communicate DNS without using IPv4 at all.

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Happy

Re: This may be a naive question but...

Not so naive:

Solaris supports a dual-stack configuration (ipv4 and ipv6) to fit into such migration scenarios.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IPV4 exhausted in now + two years

Originally, the self-named "IP-Bigots" proffered a work-around(NAT) for a truly global address space that could have been provided by OSI. That has had it's day and the original unresolved issue has returned to the surface. Time to deal with it properly.

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Flame

IPv6 is damage - the market will route around it

>> "I think IPV6 is destined to join OSI in the network junkyard."

> Aww don't talk about the OSI model like that or I will cry.

He's talking about the OSI protocol stack - i.e. CLNP - not the OSI 7-layer model, which is a useful way of thinking about any sort of network. The US government mandated OSI in all government network purchases (as it is mandating IPv6 today). Look what good that did.

Some people I know and respect in the Internet industry are resigned to a rollout of IPv6. A typical comment is:

"most of us are ipv6 haters, but we're also pragmatic. ipv6 may suck caterpillar snot, but we have no alternative. so get over it."

I am still in the camp which believes it won't happen. Right now we have two alternative universes ahead: one with massive amounts of NAT/PAT, and one with IPv6. The first works today and gives the user full connectivity to the whole Internet. The second gives the user nothing.

One problem is that deploying dual-stack IPv4 + IPv6 (whether it's in your own network, or in your ISP's network) doesn't deliver any incremental benefit to the deployer. "The Internet" is IPv4, and you could reach that already. Nothing worthwhile is IPv6 only. No major content provider is going to put up IPv6-only services; it would be commercial suicide. And if someone did put up a massive IPv6 free porn server, all that will happen is that people will build IPv4-to-IPv6 proxies, perhaps adding a few banner ads at the same time.

Even if your ISP's network is running IPv6, and your home network is running IPv6, a more insiduous problem is that all your *applications* need to be rewritten to use it too. You might argue "patched" rather than "rewritten", but there are substantial changes: (a) resolver APIs are different; (b) applications may get a choice of IPv6 and IPv4 addresses, and have to try one and fallback to the other; (c) IPv6 addresses contain colons, but many applications use "x.x.x.x:port" as a syntax; (d) user interfaces may need to display both forms of address. There are others.

Consider all that software you've bought. All those on-line games which communicate using IPv4. All those legacy Windows NT 3.51 servers still running out there. Until you can remove or update every single networked *application* you have, then you will need dual-stack IPv6/IPv4; and as long as you have IPv4 in your stack, you have no need for IPv6.

Of course, dual stack IPv4/IPv6 *does* open up lots of new possibilities for virus propagation and network intrusion, since you will have double the number of firewall policies which need to be checked.

(Maybe IPv6 will find a niche as an RFC1918 replacement in some organisations; IPv6 inside the firewall, IPv4 outside. But for most people, I think RFC1918 is good enough as it is)

Regards, Brian.

P.S. The most ludicrous thing is, IPv6 doesn't really solve the address depletion problem either. Several ISPs have already obtained /19 allocations of IPv6 addresses, e.g. France Telecom. Since the first 3 bits of the address are fixed, this means that France Telecom by itself has already obtained 1/65536th of the total IPv6 address space.

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@B Candler

>>> one with massive amounts of NAT/PAT, and one with IPv6. The first works today and gives the user full connectivity to the whole Internet. The second gives the user nothing.

Except the first does NOT work. NAT breaks many things and the only reason many people don't realise it is that there are so many things going on in the background to "work around" the problems it causes.

I do some work with VOIP at work, and the hassles (and inneficiencies) caused by having NAT is unbelievable. IPv6 will allow each device to have a truly globally unique and routable address, so instantly many of the problems will just disappear.

IPv6 only "gives the user nothing" because people keep clinging on and throwing spanners in it's works because they are too thick to realise how broken NAT is. Don't forget that it isn't too many years since you could have said "IP gives the user nothing" - after all, what's wrong with the closed walled gardens of the likes of AOl and Compuserve ?

This announcement is but a small step. We need to be pushing for people to be implementing it - if done as part of the regular technology updates that vendors are doing then it really needn't cost much at all. But as long as people keep refusing to deploy it or ask for it, then it will be slow coming. But when it does come, people will be wondering why it took so long !

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