back to article IPv6 networking: Bad news for small biz

IPv6 is traditionally a networking topic. Yet IPv6 is as much a business consideration as it is a technical one. As world IPv6 day rolls around again, we're going to see an ever-increasing amount of technical IPv6 coverage. Before we do, I think a business interjection is warranted. IPv6 was neither designed for small biz nor …


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  1. Yes Me Silver badge

    Still involved...

    "How do you get individual end users to replace their IPv4 routers? "

    You don't bother. But next time their box breaks, they get a new one that *does* support IPv6. IPv4 and IPv6 will co-exist for many years, and any service provider or content provider that doesn't have their co-existence strategy in place is risking their future revenue. This is what the non-academics in the IETF have been working on for the last couple of years. You can't compare it to the DECnet transition, where prolonged coexistence wasn't part of the design. Which is why Phase V didn't deploy except in a few odd corners, by which time DEC had vanished anyway.

  2. Jon Press

    Re: Still involved...

    There was provision in DECnet Phase V for Phase IV nodes to continue to exist but the issue of "prolonged coexistence" is essentially the same for IPv4: once you have addresses that cannot be represented in 16/32-bits then you have a partitioned network.

    The argument that IPv4 and IPv6 will co-exist for many years was a viable one 20 years ago when IPv6 was being designed and address-space exhaustion was a relatively long way off. It's only viable now assuming either:

    a) Ways are found to extend the life of the IPv4 address space untl a transition is complete

    b) Ways are found to work around the partitioning outside the network layer

    And, of course, that the rest of the network behind the router can be made IPv6 compliant in good time.

    The problem is that the longer you extend the life of the IPv4 address space, the less is the incentive to make any active change. If you're confident it'll hold up until there are so few Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows 2000 machines left - and sufficient IPv4-only personal firewalls, wireless adapters and TVs, Internet radios, CCTV systems et al have expired - that ISP's customer support lines can cope with the residual calls, then fine. I just think that point might be further away than is currently envisaged.

  3. Jon Press


    YA Brian AICMFP

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Having been involved...

    "finding money to spend on major changes that brought no immediate benefit."

    Finding money when there's no demonstrable business benefit (except maybe "everyone else is doing it") is never a problem for the certified Microsoft dependent folks. Why the difference with IPv6?

    OSI networking and protocols (and Phase V for DEC) was going to be the answer to all the world's shop floor networking problems (MAP, Siemens AP, etc - not to mention TOP for CAD/CAM etc). Whatever happened to them?

  5. Roland6 Silver badge

    Re: Having been involved...

    >Whatever happened to MAP/TOP/GOSIP/OSI et al.?

    A very good question, particularly as the Enterprise Networking Event in June'88 demonstrated over 120 different vendors systems interoperating using 7-layers of MAP/TOP/OSI.

    The short answer (in my opinion) is that users discovered that Unix vendors were shipping TCP/IP (at this time the key application services were: Telnet, Sendmail/SMTP and FTP) for free, add in Sun's NFS and many connectivity and basic file sharing problems were resolved, particularly as TCP/IP+NFS was also available at reasonable cost for the PC, IBM mainframe, DEC etc. With the hard work done by tech's at various Interop events through the late 1980's a high level of interoperability between differing vendors offerings had also been achieved.

    Whilst TCP/IP is inferior to ISO/OSI in many ways - personal bias showing here :) the fact of the matter is that it worked and was readily available for many platforms and satisfied the immediate needs of many businesses (as the UK MAP/TOP/OSI confirmance test centre my company used TCP/IP+NFS both internally and to transfer images of OSI protocol stacks!) - with the arrival of the web in the mid-1990's the rest is history.

  6. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Whilst TCP/IP [was] worked and was readily available...

    You mean, people choose simple, easy and extant over complicated, expensive and reliant on future technologies and products that "the market will deliver?"

    Colour me shocked.


    Sorry, but I've been debating this topic (and BYOD!) with enough purists for the past few weeks that I'm a tad bitter. The divide is interesting. The purists rarely get the point of the article at all: they see only the technical arguments. They simply can't see past "but that's not right!"

    Worse, they are terrible are articulating why it isn't right, because they have been surrounded by people who think exactly like them for so long that they have simply never had to explain their position in a comprehensible fashion before.

    I was really hoping this article would spur a few of them to be able to defend their take better, maybe even produce the relevant products and technologies. Instead, they've made the same old mistakes over again, and I still fear we will end up with a NAT66 world.

    How sad.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now, Trevor, what IS stopping you from wearing a shiny hat?

    I often enough wear one explicitly, right here.

    IPv6 always struck me as... well, the addresses were offensively unreadable and far too large, for one. And apparently a lot of other people thought about it more or less the same way. Bit of a pity that the people designing the mess (and it is a mess) were looking so far beyond everyone else that they failed to notice the massive "meh" and didn't fix the flaws in the system. By the same argument that they started early, they had enough time to address the failure of techie consensus to connect with the rest of the world, and thus they failed early.

    Then again, I don't fully agree with your logic. We did well enough with NAT until we needed it because, er, that was the quick fix for which IPv6 was supposed to give the real fix. Had we not gone the cheap route everyone'd be used to dealing with the problems you evoke. Nothing stopping you from configuring the local parts as you like, static, dynamic, however, and having the router distribute the network parts. So basically that's the "temporary" fix and now you're denouncing the real fix for not living up to the temporary one's rough edges. Er.

    Besides, having had to switch a public IPv4 network from one block to another twice in short succession, in a SME, I can tell you it's doable in the same sense that running a network is doable: Once it's more than a few machines, you move as many as you can to DHCP. If that's not the case at your shop the problems aren't due to IPv6, it's due to an unorganised shop.

    Of course, many SMEs have router boxes that are "optimised" for NAT, can't do anything else, can't even do IPv6 at all. They do do DHCP, but only in a very basic, limited sense, not fit to actually run more than two desktop environment emulators on. In other words, they suck. But I daresay that's nothing but those el cheapo boxes' fault.

    I do agree that IPv6 is a bit of a botch. An unexiting botch that "feels" heavy and clunky enough that I'd rather avoid it altogether. But I don't agree that NAT must necessarily be the answer. Without, people'll adapt. Maybe we'll get home/sme integrated router boxes that suck less out of it. For their DHCP and other features generally suck, and needlessly so. Here's to wishful thinking. You don't need full BGP though, didn't need it then, don't need it now, won't be needing it going forward, to do last mile routing. It doesn't cross AS borders. How often does your prefix change? Stick it in the uplink edge and have it propagate from there. Or get it from the upstream via dhcp6 or ppp(oe) options or what have you. There are exceptions, of course, but those tend to be rather rare, so not very useful as a general argument.

    Anyhow. The high priests of networking are entirely right that NAT is to be avoided, though in practice not at all costs. But if anything it is used more than strictly necessary today. The reasons are only partly technical. They could have been less priestly and more practical in the past decade or so, that certainly is true. There could've been a workable IPv6 that people actually wanted to, and easily could, deploy. We don't have that. That certainly is a real problem.

  8. Neil Alexander
    Thumb Down

    Re: This leads into the other major issue with IPv6: the inability to do multihoming.


    IPv4 and IPv6 multihoming is not any different whatsoever. Multihoming is the ability to route the same address space through multiple logically independent networks. The requirement for a "carrier-independent" address is exactly the same in both IPv4 and IPv6 if you want to perform true multihoming in the Internet BGP sense of the word.

    Don't blur the thick black line between multihoming and load balancing.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: This leads into the other major issue with IPv6: the inability to do multihoming.

    That is only one definition:

  10. ShelLuser

    The author ignores a key issue.

    Namely that it is perfectly doable to use both IPv6 and IPv4 together. So if you have a local infrastructure then you simply set that up in a way you always have. Then when its time to setup the /external/ (outside) connections then yes, something is going to change.

    But the described scenario where companies would have to change everything (routers, printers, etc.) is preposterous.

  11. Chris 211


    ..and what is the problem with small companys remaining on ipv4 connecting to the wider world with ipv6 on the outside interface.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: problem?

    And how does your IPv4 internal system specify that it wants to connect to an external host that has only an IPv6 address?

  13. Daniel B.

    The author hasn't really checked out IPv6.

    link-local and other types of address remove the need for NAT, which used to be "I need private addys to connect to my junk w/o being ISP dependant".

    The mandatory 64-bit host segment removes the need for NAT in consumer networks, as you have 2^64 IP addys to use from your ISP, and it'll work automagically.

    The only thing you don't have with IPv6 is the "hide my public IP address", which is mostly security theater. The real protection you have with "NAT" is actually the fact that all NAT implementing devices will also have firewall rules by default that block outside traffic from the inside.

  14. Old Handle
    Paris Hilton

    Re: The author hasn't really checked out IPv6.

    And that's another thing. Why on earth did they think we'd have a local network 4 billion times bigger than the current internet?

    It would seem more practical to make the local section smaller, use multiple network classes, have four tiers of networks within networks, or almost anything except what they actually did.

  15. pixl97

    Re: The author hasn't really checked out IPv6.

    Biggest reason for the (64)+(64) format is routing aggregation. There are already a lot of documents on how ISPs and such should address their networks as not to fill up the memory on the backbones routers. So your question really boils down to 'why didn't they make IPv6 addresses smaller?' like a (32)+(32) address. Much of it was the rate of change they had witnessed in their lifetimes. They went from no bit cpus (as in no digital computers) to 64 bit machines in a short period of time. Even in the 90s we realized that every limit we put on computer systems was being hit in short periods of time. Every time we hit one of those limits we have to upgrade to new systems to surpass the limit and layer 'hacks' to make the old systems work. Each of those boundaries costs a lot for the entire industry to overcome. Just think how fast 8 bit, then 16 bit, then 32 bit, and now 64 bit software and systems have arrived. They wanted to push the 'end' of ipv6 so far out that we'd have other issues to worry about, like the heat death of the universe, or capturing all the solar output for power generation. And some time in the future that forward looking will save us untold billions/trillions in not having to upgrade every device on our planet again.

    Also, you 'can' address smaller then a /64, but none of the advanced features of IPv6 work. There is an RFC on using /126's on PtP links.

  16. -tim

    Re: The author hasn't really checked out IPv6.

    The / notation started out as a way to steal bits from the source and destination ports. So a network address would take a 2 bits from the 32 normally used for ports addresses and allow 4 times as many hosts to networks. Things work fine up to about /48 where they start getting messy allowing 65,536 times more machines on existing IPv4 address space. The other cool thing about that solution is that most network gear moves the packets without a problem and you can configure very old machines to work by just playing with port numbers.

  17. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    Re: The author hasn't really checked out IPv6.

    "They wanted to push the 'end' of ipv6 so far out that we'd have other issues to worry about, like the heat death of the universe, or capturing all the solar output for power generation. And some time in the future that forward looking will save us untold billions/trillions in not having to upgrade every device on our planet again."

    Plus, the nanobots will only have devoured half our planet.

  18. jubtastic1

    This topic always depresses me

    I admin a number of small networks, IPv4 addressing allows workstations to have a meaningfull, memorable and deduceable address, based off the workstation ID, VPN to a site and remoting onto a workstation is easy.

    If time is wasted, it's finding machines on DHCP, or sorting problems associated with broken leases or DNS, my clients don't have the budget for kit that works flawlessly, hence the bulletproof static addressing, with DHCP left for mobile equipment.

    It's not just that IPv6 isn't going to solve any problems for my clients, it's going to create them, it's going to increase their IT costs, it's going to make finding machines on DHCP harder, lengthening support calls and it's going to smother their networks with additional complexity that none of them are ever going to understand, or even want to understand. This last point may seem counterintuitive given that their lack of knowledge is what keeps my rent paid, but the value of having someone on site that has basic IT skills cannot be overstated.

    IPv6 addresses seem to have been designed to infuriate, we're clearly not supposed to remember them or try and make them relevant to the equipment they're assigned to, instead we're apparently supposed to trust a service to track where everything is, I suppose that makes perfect sense when there's thousands, millions of things to track and the equipment doing the tracking is appropriately priced, but when you've got less than 30 workstations to a site it's not just overkill, it's insane.

  19. Random K
    Thumb Up

    Re: This topic always depresses me

    Amen brother! I've only got maybe 80-90 IPs to manage. Hell, I've memorized most of them. Sub-netting even lets me keep the workstations from having access to the IP phones, since VLANs aren't possible with the low end kit we have in the office. This means no users f*cking around with the custom extensions and such the manufacturer so graciously decided to make available via web interface, but forgot to include any sort of user authentication. Of course scenarios like this are everywhere in the SME space. We just cobble together something that works using whatever we happen to have on hand.

    To make matters worse, all my workstations need static IPs, since SBS 2008's DNS never seems to know what the DHCP server (on the same bloody machine) is doing. I can't use DHCP now, and this is supposed to get better how exactly? So I get to send my boss a bill for manually entering and testing all these long incomprehensible IP6 addresses (several of which I am sure to enter incorrectly and have to troubleshoot), and we gain absolutely nothing. Yeah he'll love that.

  20. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Re: This topic always depresses me

    You do know that you can assign IPv6 addresses manually and encode lots of information into that. You can easily have addresses based on room numbers, or even serial numbers of the computers. You don't need to distribute the scarce of IPv4 numbers, you can just use a ::room-number:employee-number:count scheme, or whatever does the job for you. Hey you have 64 bits, you can even encode the host name of the computer into the address if you like.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: This topic always depresses me

    You can register some private address space here:

    These addresses can then be statically assigned or via DHCP for internal use.

  22. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Note to those folks who feel I am "recommending NPT66" here.

    I'm not. In fact, I only have the one network with it at the moment; one I set up specifically so that I could figure out how it worked for the article. At the moment I have 16 IPv6 networks up, 4 of which are isolated testbeds. (8 new networks planned for this year alone!)

    The article exists for one reason: to let the high priests of the internet know “oh, BTW, that NPT66 thing that? It’s in products and in use in SME shops all over the damned place already.” In other words: the utter failure of the priesthood to engage care for the issues faced by SME outfits resulted in them (shockingly!) going out and choosing the cheap and simple alternative that actually already existed! Note the two key words: “cheap” and “simple.”

    “Right” and “wrong” aren’t in there. Surprisingly, SMEs and consumers don’t give a damn about IP morality.

    I see a lot of talk about “use link local or ULA for internal addressing, and that solves everything.” No. It doesn’t. You would still have to re-address all your external-facing servers. I don’t think you quite grasp what that entails. Let me spell it out for you:

    For ages upon ages, the big thing holding any SME back from spewing an unlimited number of servers all over the internet has been that they just can’t enough external IPs. They had to be conservative. They had to put time and effort into using as few servers as possible to use as few IPs as possible.

    In an IPv6 world, we have functionally unlimited addresses at a time where we also have the ability to spin up hundreds of VMs on a single physical box. So what do these people do when you give them this ability? They spin up an instance of $server for every conceivable need, attach it to $external_ip and virtual sprawl sits on the internet to a magnitude you cannot possibly comprehend.

    Renumbering these servers is an absolute bitch. It’s lunacy. Madness of the sort that makes SME admins pale, and then spontaneously vomit. “Flag days” are simply not allowed in 2012.

    In a NPT66 environment, you don’t have to renumber. Ever. Because none of those servers have an external IP address. The only thing holding an external anything is the firewall. It holds the external subnet. It then 1:1 maps addresses back to the servers. The address issues NPT66 solves are not for internal use, but the addresses they will use to serve content to the outside world. Cheaply and simply.

    Could you sit there and berate these admins for being “wrong?” Tell them they “aren’t doing it right” and that they need “education” to understand your point of view? Well…you could try. They don’t – and won’t – ever care to hear what you have to say. They are generally overstretched, working against impossible budget constraints, and usually have IT as a secondary or tertiary job.

    The article is an exercise in pointing this out. That 13 years of belittling and berating instead of addressing cheap and simple are now biting everyone in the ass. Do I want the high priests angry? Yes. I want to slap each and every one across the face with their own hubris. That is 100% the intent.

    Mocking and belittling me will earn you nothing. I am one individual. There are millions of SME admins out there, and I seriously doubt that the priesthood has the time to chasten and belittle each and every one of them thoroughly enough to cause them to change.

    No; quit the opposite. The solution to this problem must come from the priesthood itself. You need to get your nerdrage on. You need to get out there and solve cheap and simple with extreme prejudice. You need to advocate and educate that your cheap and simple solution works, works well and works as easy as the alternatives.

    Because cheap and simple IPv6 has shown up on our doorstep. And it is NPT66. 13 years of abject failure to address the practical issues have resulted in NAT being the easy choice for millions.

    So hey, insult me if it makes you feel better. Question my manhood, technical ability, parentage, DNA sequencing and whatever else gets your happy on. I’m from the internet, I can handle it.

    But when you’re done venting your spleen…please go make those cheap and simple products that the SME space needs, okay? Otherwise NAT will quite simply never die.


  23. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    [expletive] typothetans.

    Quit = quite. There are others, I am sure. I blame the lack of coffee. In fact, that sounds like a great coffeecoffeecoffeecoffeecoffeecoffeecoffeecoffeecoffee...

  24. Fred Goldstein

    A total waste of time and money

    There is never any justification for using IPv6 for anything, period. It was a colossal mistake in the first place, made after IAB accepted TUBA, then took it back because the k1ddi3z at IETF didn't like it because it was tainted by having been related to OSI. The good folks on the IPNG project left and the B team, given bad instructions, cadged together IPv6. All that before the Internet was a widespread public service.

    The correct answer for the intermediate term is to stick with IPv4 and use more NAT and more private addresses. Net 10 is pretty big. NAT only breaks broken applications. View IP addresses as internal to that layer and the application-name as canonical, and suddenly it all works. Besides, a v6 internet won't be as useful as a v4 internet because all public sites are on v4, not all are on v6, so you need v4 anyway, thus v6 will never catch up. Plus v4 space is inefficiently used, so it can last forever with a modest market in address blocks.

    In the long term we retire TCP/IP itself and develop a cleaner protocol suite. It was, after all, a 1970s lab project that just worked too well to be thrown out, but it was not meant to scale to today's use.

  25. Jon Press

    Re: A total waste of time and money

    I'm afraid you're largely right. If there were any real merit in IPv6 it would have been deployed by now and noone would have noticed. It was pretty clear even 20 years ago that using the same protocol end-to-end suited small robust military networks - in which every route was valid and throughput was not the primary goal - but wasn't really the obvious solution for a heterogeneous global backbone where policy and payment became critical in routing decisions and quality of service and billing would be significant issues for the end-user interface. Unfortunately, the fact that CCITT had realised this too and hopelessly over-engineered their solution has made even discussing the basis of the TCP/IP "standard model" taboo within the IETF and blighted anything tainted by ISO, as you say. Ironically, of course, the whole reason that the connectionless model of networking was being pushed in ISO was to effectively fix the bugs in TCP/IP and have an international standard alternative to X.25.

    IPv4 will remain the main access protocol for the foreseeable future with a few larger outfits using IPv6. The backbone(s) will increasingly run different things, including but not limited to IPv6 and at some point there will be other access protocols. The time for IPv6 to be a ubiquitous protocol has long since passed.

    I'm not quite as sanguine that "v4 space ... can last forever with a modest market in address blocks" but if it doesn't the problem can largely be solved by hybrid hacks involving v4/v6 NAT and DNS. And the hacks will emerge when they're needed.

  26. Jim Morrow

    Re: A total waste of time and money

    > I'm not quite as sanguine that "v4 space ... can last forever with a modest market in address blocks" but if it doesn't the problem can largely be solved by hybrid hacks involving v4/v6 NAT and DNS. And the hacks will emerge when they're needed.

    There's no need for hacks or NAT. Just deploy IPv6. This will be cheaper and simpler. Bodging workarounds will create needless complexity and extra costs in network design and operations. In some cases, these hacks will not work. [Good luck getting two or more simultaneous audio/video streams to run via your NAT box.] And who's to say if the Next Big Thing on the interweb will not work with NAT at all? If you stick to this IPv4/NAT bodging, you will go the way of DECnet and X.25.

  27. Jon Press

    Re: A total waste of time and money

    "Just deploy IPv6. This will be cheaper and simpler."

    The cheapest and simplest option for me is to do nothing, that's the fundamental problem. It's also the cheapest and simplest option for everyone else who already has an IPv4 address. Especially if they're still running Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000 or have (as the majority of people seem to do) a router than doesn't actually support IPv6 at all.

    Even if ISPs send out IPv6 routers to every end user, they'll go in cupboards or end up on eBay and even if they didn't, they wouldn't ensure 100% of customers were 100% connected.

    The Internet is no longer a bunch of research organisations with large capital budgets, network support departments and allocated cisco salesmen. It's mostly homes and small businesses with little or no networking expertise, largely unidentified equipment and paying small numbers of pounds per month for service.

    You might wish that for the greater good that customers would accept or even understand that IPv6 was their problem, but they won't. That's just the way things are, whatever the greater good. This is not ultimately a technical problem at all, it's a problem of human behaviour and the humans in this process are not going to "just deploy IPv6" however hard you try to persuade them and the ISPs don't have the money to deal with the individual problems that will arise if they tried.

  28. Neil Alexander

    Re: A total waste of time and money

    "The correct answer for the intermediate term is to stick with IPv4 and use more NAT and more private addresses."

    No. No no no. No no no no no, never ever. Never!

    NAT is a dirty hack which never should have existed in the first place. The Internet is designed to make machines globally routable. NAT breaks that very philosophy.

    If my ISP ever put me behind carrier NAT, I will cancel my service.

  29. Mike Pellatt

    Re: A total waste of time and money

    " NAT only breaks broken applications"

    That statement, I'm afraid, led me to ignore everything else you said. It's so, so, so wrong.

    "NAT breaks the network" is the correct statement. It's a horrible, horrible hack.

  30. moiety

    I don't get the problem. IPv6 just gives an address for the front door. You can do whatever you like inside.

  31. Jon Press

    Suppose your SatNav only accepts 7-character postcodes. Then in the future, Royal Mail decides that postcodes have to have 10 characters to improve address locality.

    WA143Q1C02 may be "just" the postcode of the address of a front door, but you can no longer enter it into your SatNav. The address may exist, but you cannot represent it and therefore cannot find a route to it.

  32. fajensen Silver badge

    Then buy a new SatNav! A shiny brand new one costs less than the damn subscription for the annual software upgrades to the old one - at least it does with TomTom!! The yobs here don't even bother to nick them any more!

    The same principle applies to all the little shitty Netgear routers and cheap HP switches people have been running:

    If the kit is more than 3-4 years old, well: Its been written off already and the new gear gives so much more Bang/Watt that it is just plain retarded to keep relying on ancient stuff from long-dead product lines where there is neither support nor warranty.

    In many cases a years worth use of electricity for running the old crap will pay for the new crap!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Written off in 3-4 years?

    Yes indeed. Every 4 years my employer says "lets chuck out the old stuff and get in brand new shiny kit for everyone".

    Does he bollocks!

    In the small business world, kit is retained until it is no longer usable or used. "Written off" for small business means as in as in middle car of a 10 car shu

  34. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Re: Written off in 3-4 years?


    I find it completely fascinating how stark the divide is on this topic. Individuals from large enterprises, government departments or academic institutions all burble with uncontained rage. Flinging ad hominem attacks left and right, they demand retraction of the article followed by seppuku and erasure of all traces of my bloodline from the face of the earth.

    SME admins and business owners meanwhile nearly universally show support and understanding. I have had far – by a wide margin – more people thank me for writing about this topic and bringing the issues to light than I have had people demanding my blood for sacrificial use at the next Cisco Core Router christening.

    The issue at hand was never a question of what is technically correct. Obviously IPv6 the way it is designed now was designed by the brightest networking minds of three generations.

    The point that needs ramming home however is that this is completely irrelevant. SMEs and consumers who are living on the frugal edge don’t care about the technical purity of the solution. They don’t care about the “right” implementation versus the “wrong” one. They are not interested in anything except making their equipment do what it needs to do right now, today. They’ll cross whatever other bridges need crossing when they come upon them, if they happen to encounter them.

    What’s the net result? The net result is that a bunch people have started to buy equipment and implement technologies that save them money. How?

    1) The upfront cost is essentially nonexistent. A pfsense firewall works on that beat up old P-III…

    2) The maintenance cost is nonexistent. No retraining, no “replace things every 3-4 years,” no flag days for renumbering, no having to baby firewalls on every single device...

    Businesses demanded this stuff. And suppliers acknowledged this. Then they went to the IETF and shoved the NPT66 RFC down their throats. Now we have NPT66 working in the real world.

    Why? Because the SMEs and consumers in question aren’t just consumers of content. You’ll see a great deal of posts here in this thread about “just plug it in, and you can get on the IPv6 internet!”

    Not good enough. There’s more to it than simply accessing the internet. These people want to host things. They want control over their own servers without having to configure each and ever individual server’s firewall and remap the edge system each and every time the address assignment changes.

    Note that “they want control thing.” It doesn’t matter if you believe they shouldn’t have complete control. They want it. Cheaply and simply. And they won’t buy any solution that removes the control they have, degrades ease of use on establishing and maintaining that control or costs more than what they currently use.

    But the thing that doesn’t matter is the opinion of “right” and “wrong” held by nerds. And the fact that the nerds cannot understand this…that their only solution to this dilemma is to deride, belittle and launch ad homenim attacks means that businesses have taken the decision about what the future of the internet will look like out of their hands. They don’t get a say any more. The people with money have spoken, and that is the only group of people that matter.

    The technical point of view? It doesn’t matter.

    So get ready to welcome your NPT66 overlords. They’re here to stay. And no, these companies won’t be going out of business because they refuse to implement IPv6 the way that nerds feel it should be implemented.

    Quite the opposite: companies that refuse to supply these businesses with the goods they want won’t sell equipment, and they will go out of business. Websites that refuse to play ball simply won’t get users.

    The money is what talks. And the disharmonious chanting and warnings of doom heard in the distance?

    Nobody cares.

  35. Aqua Marina Silver badge

    I've always viewed...

    ...World IPV6 day, the same way I've always viewed World Esperanto day.

    Something that will never achieve anything in my lifetime :)

  36. Christian Berger Silver badge

    It's funny that....

    ...the people complaining the most about IPv6 don't seem to even have tried it yet, while the people who have tried it generally report no problems.

    But of course the anti IPv6 crowd happily dismisses everything that doesn't work with NA(P)T as "broken". I'm sorry, if you don't want the Internet, stick with Compuserve or X.25 networks, but please leave the net alone.

  37. Tom Maddox Silver badge

    Re: It's funny that....

    You want to know how I know you didn't read the article?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Christian Berger - Re: It's funny that....

    NAT/PAT is just fine, fix the crappy apps that don't work with it and leave the net alone. Why would I want a Chinese guy have a direct route to my toaster ?

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: @Christian Berger - It's funny that....

    Because you are to dumb or too cheap to run a firewall?

  40. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    It's only two more fricking Bytes

    Speaking as someone who knows bugger fuck all about this 'shite' then IPV4 gave you,

    255*255*255*255 Blah Fucking IP addresses.

    Ergo moving from IPV4 to IPV6 gives you two more Bytes and you get

    255*255*255*255*255*255 Blah Fucking IP addresses.

    Fuck me if I call it 'not' rocket science but next up you will want IPV7 and IPV8 for 'scalability'.

    Stick another byte on the front end and you can scale up to IPV255

    Yadda Yadda Yadda.

    As stated I know bugger fuck all but would someone please NOT try to explain to me how it is so shit fucking hard to add another two bytes to an IP address in a manner that does not....

    Naturally you need not bother.

    As a self subscribed 'knuckle scraper' my brane processing power is mostly used to deal with extracting fluff from my navel should my eye things spot where it is and something to do with fingers and nails.

  41. Robert Heffernan

    Re: It's only two more fricking Bytes

    Honestly, I don't know if you are trolling or not but IPv6 does NOT add another 2 bytes, it adds another 12 bytes!

    Using your terminology (not the correct one for IPv6 by the way) the address would be...

  42. frank ly Silver badge

    Re: It's only two more fricking Bytes

    6 - 4 = 2, so it sounds like she's talking sense to me.

  43. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Re: It's only two more fricking Bytes

    Camilla is a man's name!

  44. This post has been deleted by its author

  45. tcpnetworks

    Re: It's only two more fricking Bytes

    You couldn't be any more incorrect if you tried!

    The addressing is not just a few more bytes.

    Read up on the topic before commenting.

  46. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    Re: It's only two more fricking Bytes

    @ TCP Networks


    255*255*255*255 is 4,228,250,625 addresses.

    This equates to 'about' 1 per person on Planet Earth.

    255*255*255*255*255*255 is 274,941,996,890,625 addresses.

    This represents a 65,025, probably plus a bit, increase in the population of Planet Earth.

    Not very fucking likely...

    Everyone gets one and 'nats', or whatever, the rest for their fridge/tv/vibrator plus gives the opportunity to snout.

    As for adding another 12 fricking bytes. Which dumb fuck came up with that idea?

  47. Oliprof

    NPT66 is NOT a solution

    So, more FUD about IPv6 with an article that totally fails to grasp key IPv6 concepts.

    1) NPT66 is still hardly more than an RFC, there are *no* trivially accessible implementations of this (as in, for the low-end folks), and sure as shizz not in home routers or even the latest build of OpenWRT - the only way you're going to get it is by merging a bunch of currently unstable Netfilter patches into the Linux kernel source and building yourself.

    2) It's largely unnecessary anyway - ISPs can delegate prefixes of /64 or larger to clients (either through RAs and/or DHCPv6-PD) which could then be announced on the LAN side for assignment to clients (something that could be achieved with ISC'd DHCP client and/or a bash script to invoke radvd and optionally dhcpd)

    3) Don't confuse multihoming with poor-man's load balancing involving round-robin SNAT on multiple separate IPv4 addresses - exactly the same tosh can be done with IPv6 but the responsibility moves to the endpoint (i.e. you give a machine an IP in every one of your subnets and configure it to use them in some per-connection rotated fashion) - of course, I have no doubt the plebiscites will be utilising round-robin IPv6 SNAT once it gets mainlined into the kernel.

    4) Suggesting the use of BGP to be a bad idea because of an issue in China is mentally retarded when you take a moment to that your provider, or their provider MUST BE USING BGP since, y'know, it's the backbone protocol of the *entire* Internet and therefore, any upstream prefix hijacking is basically *unavoidable* - on the contrary, at least if you do BGP yourself, you have the option of using stuff like pgBGP to at least have a chance of handling prefix hijacks.

    5) You can actually get a free IPv6 BGP tunnel from companies like HE providing you have your own ASn and subnet assignment from an RIR which is generally affordable if you get it via a sponsoring LIR, but also only something either an enthusiast or small business would do.

  48. Christian Berger Silver badge

    Re: NPT66 is NOT a solution

    Full ACK, however in companies you are likely to use a Proxy server anyhow so you can do content filtering and other things. You can also do poor-man's load balancing that way.

    BTW, point 2 is already done by consumer IPv6 routers. It seems to work quite well.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IPv6 isn't happening any time soon

    Which organisations want to be allocated only IPv6 addresses? None - because their website(s) would be invisible to the majority of Internet users.

    No organisation is likely to authorise an IPv6 migration (a disruptive and expensive proposition) without some significant benefit i.e. because they really have to. Those who already have IPv4 allocations are not likely to migrate at all. In the last ten years, I have been asked to check that existing kit is IPv6 capable and to ensure that any new kit to be procured is IPv6 capable - but an actual IPv6 migration is not even on the horizon.

    There are plenty of IPv4 addresses but there is currently no sensible process to recover unused address space. My previous employers had only 500 employees but use a handful of addresses in 3 out of 4 Class C networks and have an entire Class B completely unused.

  50. pixl97

    Re: IPv6 isn't happening any time soon

    >There are plenty of IPv4 addresses but there is currently no sensible process to recover unused address space.

    There will be in the future... The value of that class B will become a way to boost the balance sheets. By what others have paid, it's worth $786,408US so far, a price not likely to go down. Now two things will happen, your company would feel retarded not selling a multi-million dollar asset they aren't using, or the government will find a way to tax you for your IPv4 holdings. If IPv4 addresses suddenly started costing their holders 1% of their market value a year that more funds would suddenly appear for v6 migration (just wait till IP4s are selling for $100 each on the market). Since I can sign up for about as many free ipv6 tunnels as I want and request a /48 for free, I'd say the taxable value of v6 will be $0 for some time.

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