back to article IPv4 is OVER. Really. So quit relying on it in new protocols, sheesh

Well, that took a while. Eighteen years after the IETF brought us IPv6 as an answer to then-looming-now-upon-us IPv4 address exhaustion, the Internet Architecture Board says: no more. Getting IPv6 into the field has been a long, slow slog. According to Google, IPv6 carries just 14.6 per cent of search requests to the web giant …

  1. Neil Alexander

    In reality, this is massively overdue.

    IPv6 is in it's late teens, IPv4 address exhaustion has been on the table for years and is hardly recent news and it's not acceptable for so-called "standards bodies" to just sit back and pretend like nothing is happening.

    The IETF should have been rejecting drafts that were dependent on IPv4 long before now. If anything is going to drive IPv6 adoption, it's real-world use cases - that is, protocols and services that actually work, are well-defined and solve real problems.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Good luck standardising exclusively on something that almost every home ISP on the planet cannot yet support.

      Sure, that's not an excuse. But there's no point making a standard that - as a percentage of Internet users - most people cannot use, wouldn't buy, or couldn't care about.

      I blame the rubbish about "IPv6 must use an address per device on your network", when you really DON'T care about internal networks of people past the single address they use to the connect via their NAT router. IPv6 and NAT co-operate 100%, but some idiots pulled that out of the bag, scared people, and now nobody will touch it without thinking they have to renumber every device on their network, that they all have to support IPv6 (which isn't going to happen for everything for a long time yet), and that everything you do must be rejigged for IPv6.

      Rather than just getting an IPv6 address, slapping that into your gateway device, and done.

      IPv6 is in DOCSIS, it's in the 4G standards, it works for DNS, email, all sorts. Datacentre and server hosts all support it. It's in every major OS since XP. But it's rarely used because - well, I can name precisely on ISP, who are very expensive and technical, who actually support and advertise IPv6.

      BT don't on their network.

      Virgin Media don't on their network.

      Bye-bye 99% of users who would use those services, whether they know it or not.

      So you have to put IPv4 compatibility in anyway, which just pushes adoption dates even further back.

      P.S. The Reg - remember our rule? You can do an IPv6 story when you publish an AAAA record, even on a test website. If I've got them on my website, you should have them on yours if you're going to mock people for not using it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        This isn't about rejecting protocols that support IPv4… it's rejecting protocols that exclusively support IPv4.

        Note the emphasis. If a protocol works fine over IPv6 but still works over v4, it's fine. It's the v4-only cruft we want to be rid of.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "This isn't about rejecting protocols that support IPv4"

          Actually, it seems to be about just that:

          The IAB expects that the IETF will stop requiring IPv4 compatibility in new or extended protocols. Future IETF protocol work will then optimize for and depend on IPv6.

          That will only be viable when the IPv4 ceases to be used. The article refers to the the IPv4 address pool being "exhausted". This is an unfortunate choice of words. "The pool" is that of unallocated addresses and it's exhausted because the addresses have been allocated. The pool of IPv4 addresses being used is far from exhausted, it's pretty well full and there are a lot of them.

          Replacing IPv4 with new IPv6 addresses won't be straightforward. A more sensible approach would be to assume that IPv4 will continue in use indefinitely with IPv6 being added and only change that approach when it becomes clear that in fact IPv4 use really has been discontinued in practice.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Yes, it's two steps.

            1. Stop producing crap protocols that need IPv4.

            2. Focus on supporting IPv6 in new protocols. Long term, this means abandoning IPv4.

            We're at step 1 now. Stuff we produce now needs to be able to work without IPv4, or else it'll be useless junk when ISPs move on from that protocol in about 20 years time. (Okay, no idea how long it'll take… it's taken 18 years so far.)

            Step 2 comes later, once we've got mass adoption of IPv6 to bring up the stragglers.

            As for an earlier comment about "IPv6 needing an address per device"… hate to break it to those people, but IPv4 needs "an address per device" too. Typically one is chosen from the RFC-1918 ranges and a device does network address translation. The IPv6-way of doing the exact equivalent would be to choose a ULA for your network (fd00::/8 address block) and have your gateway do network address translation.

            Shock horror, that sounds almost identical! The preferred way is to assign public addresses (using RFC-4941 to randomise them) to those internal devices and just use packet filtering, but if people want to complicate things with translation, the option exists.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              You do not need to NAT!

              If you use Unique Local Unicast Addressing (ULU or ULUA) you can also assign Global Unicast Addresses to your clients. Remember IPv6 supports multiple addresses per interface. So if you are using ULU and assign Global Unicast Addresses configuring your Firewall to only route Global Unicast Addresses internet access is restricted to those devices with Global Addresses.

              While Linux does support IPv6 addressing fully, MS only permits a single IPv6 address to be statically assigned. However, the use use of Router Advertisements to indicate IPv6 network prefixes and flagging SLAAC will get MS making some attempt to support multiple addressing.

              1. kpanchev

                Re: You do not need to NAT!

                ...While Linux does support IPv6 addressing fully, MS only permits a single IPv6 address to be statically assigned....

                Which version of MS are you using? 3.11? Because the ones I'm using allow me to assign as many IPv6 addresses as I want statically.

                As for legacy devices not supporting IPv6, all you need to do is add a NAT64 device somewhere on your network and voila, problem solved. Or even better - use one other device commonly known as the "Rubbish bin".

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: You do not need to NAT!

                  As for legacy devices not supporting IPv6, all you need to do is add a NAT64 device somewhere on your network and voila, problem solved.

                  Not really. NAT64 allows an IPv6 device on an IPv6-only network to contact legacy IPv4 devices, but it needs to know that the device it is contacting is IPv4, and its IPv4 address. It's essentially a dual-stack model with the IPv4 stack sitting at the boundary between v6 and v4 networks.

                  It doesn't really solve the reverse problem, an IPv4 device that wants to contact a service that is IPv6 only, since the IPv4 device has no way of specifying what or where the IPv6 device is.

                2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                  Re: You do not need to NAT!

                  'Or even better - use one other device commonly known as the "Rubbish bin".'

                  The bin might not be big enough.

                  We've heard this time after time over OS versions. That "legacy" kit can be big industrial or lab stuff that just works and is paying everyone's wages. It might not be upgradeable for several reasons, one being that the original vendors no longer exist, there's no surviving source code etc. The reason it can't be scrapped and replaced - assuming a suitable replacement exists - is because it would cost an eye-watering amount to do that and would disrupt production for a long time.

                  Your use cases are not everyone's. Why is this so difficult to understand?

          2. Yes Me Silver badge

            "assume that IPv4 will continue in use indefinitely with IPv6 being added"

            That is exactly the assumption and has been for 20 years. Nothing that works over IPv4 is broken. Just don't expect new stuff over IPv4. Don't expect new material on VHS casettes, either. Same issue.

            1. gnarlymarley

              That is exactly the assumption and has been for 20 years. Nothing that works over IPv4 is broken. Just don't expect new stuff over IPv4. Don't expect new material on VHS casettes, either. Same issue.

              This is exactly what my ISP has been planning for years. They figure they have a large enough class B that they do not need to even think about IPv6. In fact, when we signed up in 2011, they knew about IPv6 and told me that they will not support it. I figure it is going to take digis/JAB wireless to be losing at least 50% of their customers before they pull their head out of the sand. Every so often, I go to see if they applied for a IPv6 range yet and no they have not.

              AS is AS23205, but it seems that maybe this is no longer true with the addition of AS17306. Maybe hell really did freeze over.

            2. streaky Silver badge

              How is stuff like CGNAT a cheaper solution than running dual stack. Protip: it isn't, it's way way more expensive. It's also dumb because it smashes through all sorts of protocols and regularly kills TCP connections it shouldn't be - why? Because did I mention expensive. If you're gonna do that run CG-lite. Have working IPv6.

              My ISP, Hyperoptic, are so new to the game all their stuff should have supported IPv6 the day they bought it, they should have been assigning IPv6 from day one and they're exactly nowhere.

              Are you really saying that _Jamaica_ has better Internet service than the UK? Really?

              Do not tempt me to say yes, because arguably. Most (probably all) ISPs are run by clowns who don't understand things like networks and this new fangled IPv6 thing, networks in places like Jamaica probably have to be disruptive to get any sort of grip on the market. In the UK talktalk was and is still a fairly major player which shows how few fucks customers give about a) the internet generally and b) how easy it is to get and retain customers in this environment where it seems like they all got together and agreed to be utterly trash.

              Anybody involved in this nonsense should be utterly ashamed.

      2. James O'Shea Silver badge

        "Good luck standardising exclusively on something that almost every home ISP on the planet cannot yet support."

        Perhaps there is limited support in the UK, but I can tell you quite clearly that the major ISPs in the US support IPv6. All of the cellcos do: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, the riff-raff like Boost and Cricket and Virgin. A&T and Verizon support it on their DSL/FIOS/U-verse/whatever connections. Comcast, Time-Warner, and Cox support it. I have, right now, a combination VOIP/TV/Internet/WAP/switch/router thing from AT&T which supports IPv6. I got it quite some time back, maybe two years, maybe longer, and it replaced a similar thing which did NOT support IPv6. My elderly aunts have a device from Comcast which supports IPv6, and have had it for a year or so now. I used to have a cellphone from Sprint; it supported it. That phone was replaced by one from AT&T. It supports it. I also have a phone from T-Mob. It supports it. I'm in Palm Beach County, Florida, not exactly a high-tech wonderland.

        And, furthermore, I recently had occasion to visit Jamaica... and the cellco I bought a SIM from there Digicel) supports IPv6. Are you really saying that _Jamaica_ has better Internet service than the UK? Really?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          IPv6 Support by UK ISP's

          requires them to actually spend loads-a-money on their infrastructure.

          That is something they don't want to do.

          Despite me asking my current and former ISP for a V6 connection they won't let me have one. I know from a chat with a support engineer for the ISP I met a few months ago that they have it all ready to go for rollout but the bean counters won't let them do it. Apparently the ROCI is something like 60months when they want 10-12 months.

          So we wait or like me, I'm off to a provider who can supply IPv6 ASAP (when my contract runs out)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: IPv6 Support by UK ISP's

            "requires them to actually spend loads-a-money on their infrastructure.

            That is something they don't want to do."

            Yet Sky and BT (two of the largest consumer ISPs in the UK) have rolled out IPv6. It's there. It works.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: IPv6 Support by UK ISP's

            "requires them to actually spend loads-a-money on their infrastructure."

            Bullshit.

            Core equipment used by ISPs has supported IPv6 for a long time. This is being blocked by accountants.

            Even the large ISPs which "don't offer IPv6" do offer it to business accounts and it's definitely there in their core networks.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: IPv6 Support by UK ISP's

              "This is being blocked by accountants."

              Why would the accountants block it? Are they worried about the cost of the extra bits?

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: IPv6 Support by UK ISP's

                "Why would the accountants block it? Are they worried about the cost of the extra bits?"

                Because there's tons of IPv4-only kit still in active and heavy use that would have to be replaced at significant cost in order to be able to support IPv6 properly. And if there are investors to appease, they may not have the foresight to look long-term.

          3. thondwe

            Re: IPv6 Support by UK ISP's

            #JustSaying SKY apparently support IPV6 and they'll give you a subnet too - weird. I can't use em where I live, but it proves it's possible...

          4. bartsmit
            FAIL

            Re: IPv6 Support by UK ISP's

            I voted with my feet and left BT because of this. During the inevitable 'why are you leaving, what can we do to change your mind' phone call I stated my reason as 'you can't give me IPv6'. The reply was 'I don't know that channel'. I'm going to be kind and think that they heard ITV6.

        2. Alan Brown Silver badge

          "Perhaps there is limited support in the UK, but I can tell you quite clearly that the major ISPs in the US support IPv6"

          The same applies across Europe.

          The UK is seriously laggardly.

          OFCOM promised 4 years ago that when IPv6 hit a threshold they would no longer allow ISPs not selling IPv6 to call their product "Internet access", but they wouldn't specify the threshold then and show no sign of applying it now.

          It's time that misleading advertising claims were launched.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            "It's time that misleading advertising claims were launched."

            Following up on my own post: People should be prodding Ofcom.

            Seriously. Phone the wankers up and ask why they're allowing ISPs not offering IPv6 to say they're offering Internet access.

            The more people who do that, the more likely it is they'll take action.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Um... because the Internet is not just IPv6? What grounds would they have for that? If IPv6 were a selling point, then you can bet your arse that it would be appearing in the adverts. Hell, they'll make up technical stuff just to sell something, pro-vitamins and probiotics and synergistic omega 3 complex oil hydrating compound...

              We've already got BT's Superhubs, BT Infinity and Virgin's DOCSIS3 advertisements.

              They'll wake up when they decide to wake up, and when they decide they can use it to distinguish their product from every other bugger's product.

      3. Yes Me Silver badge

        something that almost every home ISP on the planet cannot yet support.

        Read the words. Firstly, it's already standardised, and it's been true for years that any ISP could support IPv6 if they decided to. Secondly, all they really said is: don't design any new stuff that depends on legacy IPv4. And about time too.

      4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Rather than just getting an IPv6 address, slapping that into your gateway device, and done.

        How then do the IPv4-only devices on my home network communicate with IPv6 servers on the wider internet?

        How do the IPv4 devices on my home network communicate with new IPv6-only devices also on that network?

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          IPv4-only can't talk to IPv6 only.

          IPv6 only can't talk to IPv4 only.

          Dual stacks have been around for 20 years. Deal with it FFS.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Dual stacks have been around for 20 years. Deal with it FFS.

            Dual-stack isn't a fix, its a kluge. You still need an IPv4 address on an IPv4 network for the IPv4 stack to work. Sure, once everything is running dual-stack you could turn v4 off. It doesn't solve the problem of v4-only devices.

          2. David Crowe

            True, but dual stack doesn't solve the problem of running out of IPv4 addresses. And we're not running out of addresses. NAT essentially extends the 32 bit IP address by another 16 bits, which gives you 2^48 addresses. Now admittedly, a lot of the 281 trillion can't be used, but even if 10% can, that's 28 trillion addresses. Even if only 1% can be used, that's still almost 3 trillion addresses. So dual stack solves no problem. We're not really running out of IPv4. What's the point?

            1. streaky Silver badge

              Hence why CG-Lite is a thing. Most services people care about are on IPv6. When customers are having their internet destroyed by CGNAT on IPv4 providers should be at least saying "but look at all this wonderful IPv6 you have" and there'd be no problem.

              Whole thing is an incompetentfest.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > Good luck standardising exclusively on something that almost every home ISP on the planet cannot yet support.

        Speak for your own planet.

        Smaller countries in Europe have long ago exhausted their IPv4 allocation so they tend to be IPv6-first (with residential IPv4 massively NATed).

      6. big_D Silver badge

        @Lee D

        It depends on what you mean by almost every ISP... Here, in Germany, many ISPs have been offering IPv6 for a few years and, for many customers, any new connection is automatically and exclusively IPv6. If you need IPv4 you need to explicitly state that and often will have to pay for a business connection.

        DT has been pushing IPv6 only connections on its new customers since 2012 or 2013. All others are at least dual stack, if they aren't giving customers IPv6 only.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: @Lee D

          "Here, in Germany, many ISPs have been offering IPv6 for a few years and, for many customers, any new connection is automatically and exclusively IPv6"

          You might think it's bad in the UK. Meantime in outer Bumfuckistan, the only thing ISPs are selling is NATed IPv4 addresses (If you want a single IPv4 then paying $100 a month is the norm) and NO IPv6

      7. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        > BT don't on their network.

        > Virgin Media don't on their network.

        You are "somewhat out of date".

        BT support it, and if you have one of the newest of their routers then it will turn on and appear on it's own. If you have an older router, AIUI they are doing a project to replace them over time.

        Sky have done IPv6 as standard for many years.

        ISTR that even Virgin Media have committed to supporting it by the middle of next year.

        So that's not exactly "hardly anyone in the UK" as these three probably have the vast majority of users between them.

        Annoyingly my own ISP (PlusNet), while being good in some areas, seem to have gone very very quiet on when they will be rolling it out beyond the trials they've been running. So for now I have to rely on a tunnel from TunnelBroker.net (aka HE).

        1. Adam JC

          That'l be Plusnet who are, ironically, owned by BT? :-)

      8. Blotto Bronze badge

        @ Lee D

        BT don't on their network.

        Virgin Media don't on their network.

        Bye-bye 99% of users who would use those services, whether they know it or not.

        BT & sky have 100 % ipv6 coverage for their non business customers. Virgin have not started ipv6 deployment yet, not sure on the others

        http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2015/09/uk-isp-bt-to-deploy-ipv6-to-entire-network-by-december-2016.html

    2. streaky Silver badge

      I (some years ago) advocated turning IPv4 off completely. Set a date in the future and on that date all the systems supporting it on the wider net get turned off. If you're not ready, get ready, if you fucked it up then call people in to fix it and go next.

      Shouted down obviously but as somebody who's broadband ISP turned on CGNAT systems recently and still doesn't have a working IPv6 solution it's looking pretty good right now. As long as people think they can buy into long-term IPv4 support we'll never get this fixed.

      Either way they entire thing has been mismanaged from day 1.

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        turning IPv4 off completely

        You know very well that that was never commercially viable, any more than turning off pulse-code dialling on telephones was viable until touch-tone phones had been the norm for 20 years or so.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: turning IPv4 off completely

          turning off pulse-code dialling on telephones was viable until touch-tone phones had been the norm for 20 years or so.

          And even there you could still plug either a tone or pulse phone into a socket, and as long as the exchange equipment could handle both you could connect to any other phone, old or new, pulse or tone.

          If only IPv6 had been designed with that level of compatibility...

          1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

            Re: turning IPv4 off completely

            "And even there you could still plug either a tone or pulse phone into a socket, and as long as the exchange equipment could handle both you could connect to any other phone, old or new, pulse or tone."

            BT rather brought that on themselves. My parents thought it was great to be able to buy their own phone and drop the rental once that was allowed, but BT flogged them a pulse-only phone.

            I was somewhat disgusted by that, since I'd been on a tone phone for quite a while by then.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: turning IPv4 off completely

              " BT flogged them a pulse-only phone."

              In other countries, telcos were surcharging the ability to USE your touchtone phone.

    3. Mage Silver badge

      Meanwhile

      Excellent points, Neil, that I really agree with, though I'm hoping someone is working on IP7, I don't like IP6, it seems to ignore too many real-world problems.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meanwhile

        > I'm hoping someone is working on IP7

        Odd-numbered IP versions are research + development only. What you possibly want is IPv8.

        1. M7S
          Flame

          Re: Meanwhile

          "What you / want is ipV8"

          With added Nitrous Oxide. Please.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Meanwhile

            I thought the trend now was to replace the digit with an X when you got to 10? So, we should be waiting for IPX, surely?

            1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: Meanwhile

              "I thought the trend now was to replace the digit with an X when you got to 10? So, we should be waiting for IPX, surely?"

              Um, IPX does not scale well for large networks such as the Internet

              (Whoosh, back to Novell, DOS and Win3/Win95)

            2. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Meanwhile

              "So, we should be waiting for IPX, surely?"

              You may be trying to be ironic but you're closer to the mark than you realise.

              IPv4 was a short-term kludge designed to cater to increasing network sizes until the REAL Internet Protocol that was being developed by Novell was released - and that REAL Internet Protocol is IPX

              Of course IPX turned out to be unroutable, so we were stuck with the IPv4 kludge.

            3. json

              Re: Meanwhile

              Novell has that trademark me thinks.

        2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Meanwhile

          "What you possibly want is IPv8."

          Google have trademarked V8. So it will have to be V10.

          1. oldcoder

            Re: Meanwhile

            Not google... Cambells V8 juice existed first. :-)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meanwhile

        Excellent points, Neil, that I really agree with, though I'm hoping someone is working on IP7, I don't like IP6, it seems to ignore too many real-world problems.

        Well, get cracking, I look forward to see your proposal adopted 18 years from now.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meanwhile

        I don't like IP6, it seems to ignore too many real-world problems.

        Such as ?

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Meanwhile

          "Such as ?"

          It's funny when you start challenging people on that one.

          IPv6 addresses most of the problems people bring up (including stable mobile IPs). The bigger problem is catering to every possibility that IPv6 offers and the simple answer is that "You don't have to".

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Meanwhile

          "Such as ?"

          Legacy kit that's still being used, still making money, and replacing it is simply not an option. Perhaps it's custom kit meaning replacing it is super-expensive and not guaranteed to work.

          How does IPv6 deal with IPv4-single-stacked legacy kit that simply will not go away. Basically, they're STUCK on IPv4 for good or ill. IPv6 is not an option because their legacy kit cannot be upgraded or replaced. This represents a noticeable chunk of the Internet, and IPv6 threatens to leave them behind.

          Oh, BTW, Walmart still sells VHS tapes because some people are really, REALLY incapable of understanding ANYTHING newer. Even DVD recorders (the closest analogues) confuse them. They want their VCRs, thank you very much. They'll raid secondhand stores to keep using VCRs, and they'll die before giving them up.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Meanwhile

            So, it seems the one "real-world" problem that IPv6 "ignores" is that it isn't IPv4.

            How does IPv6 deal with IPv4-single-stacked legacy kit that simply will not go away. Basically, they're STUCK on IPv4 for good or ill

            That kit can carry on happily communicating with all the other kit in the world that will still support IPv4. How does IPv6 affect this in any way whatsover ?? IPv4 addresses have run out, so the alternative would be.... err, no more world-routable devices.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Meanwhile

            > Legacy kit that's still being used, still making money, and replacing it is simply not an option.

            That is hardly a problem with IPv6, is it? Bit like complaining that your SD reader can't play cassette tapes.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Meanwhile

              Bit like complaining that your SD reader can't play cassette tapes.

              More like complaining that your landline phone can't call cellphones.

      4. hmv

        Re: Meanwhile

        I'm suspicious of criticisms produced by people who can't even spell IPv6 properly.

  2. JimC Silver badge

    Fairly suprised actually

    I would have hoped that anything new would have been dual protocol for the last few years. Good few years actually. But I suppose its rather less work to implement IPv4 only, so the beancounters are happy.

  3. Mr Flibble

    Consumer routers?

    Last time I looked at those available via the likes of PC World (okay, sample size of one, and a few years ago), they relied on IPv4 and if they supported IPv6 at all, it was either via 6to4 gateways or instead of IPv4. Which is not much use with ISPs such as the aforementioned less-cheap more-techy one.

    Has the situation changed much?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Consumer routers?

      It should've. I've had several routers over the last few years that could take an IPv6 address if offered. My current Netgear one, a couple years old, is certainly IPv6-ready and said so on the box.

      1. Mr Flibble

        Re: Consumer routers?

        I've seen some labelled “IPv6 ready”. Unforunately, that looked just a little too much like televisions labelled as “HD Ready”, and as I didn't need anything like that at the time…

        (The one which I'm using isn't claimed to be IPv6-ready. I'm only actually using it as switch and AP anyway as I usually find that these things are insufficiently configurable, particularly in the firewall department.)

    2. James O'Shea Silver badge

      Re: Consumer routers?

      Every single consumer-level DOCSIS 3.x device I've seen in the last three years has supported IUPv6. All of them.All consumer router/WAPs which have 802.11ac also support IPv6, or at least all that I've seen. The very first router/WAP which supported 802.11n that I saw didn't support

      IPv6. All subsequent ones have.

      Your milage may vary.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Fibble

      It depends per country I guess but in some consumer routers are indeed set up with IPv6 in mind. I see the same with my broadband (cable) provider (Ziggo). However, those scenario's also clearly show why this IPv6 adaptation is such a mess: it has never been about co-existence (well, maybe now) and that is in my opinion a major issue.

      For example: my IPv6 router (WAN side) only spits out IPv4 addresses on the LAN side. So obviously my browsing is mostly done with IPv4. Even 'whatismyipaddress.com' shows me using IPv4.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: @Fibble

        "For example: my IPv6 router (WAN side) only spits out IPv4 addresses on the LAN side."

        That's because it's been configured not to provide IPv6. Go into the control panel and enable it.

      2. Adam JC

        Re: @Fibble

        That's... kinda how it works even if ipv6 *was* being distributed on your LAN side.

        For all the internal LANs where ipv6 is being offered by a DHCP server, ipv4 is also being dished out - As some devices do not support it. This is the correct way for it to function, you may have to enable IPv6 DHCP manually on the LAN side in most cases, if it even supports that. (The Drayteks I use do, some of the TP-Links do on the LAN side, some WAN only though.)

        Try http://ip6.me for a true test, I wouldn't rely on whatismyip.com to accurately report your ipv6 WAN IP address.

    4. Adam JC

      Re: Consumer routers?

      Even the cheapest TP-Link ADSL / Cable (FTTC capable) offering proudly boasts an 'ipv6 ready' sticker on the box nowadays. No excuse.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Consumer routers?

        "Even the cheapest TP-Link ADSL / Cable (FTTC capable) offering proudly boasts an 'ipv6 ready' sticker on the box nowadays. No excuse."

        Oh, you're offering to buy me a new router then, at least as good as the old one was...? Because it's working just fine, and it's not going anywhere any decade soon...

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Consumer routers?

          If your router is so old that it doesn't support IPv6, as traffic speeds increase, it's going to start choking from sheer volume. I was forced to replace a DI-604 because it kept rebooting. It was made during the WEP era and WPA (not 2) was a little too much for it. If your router has wireless support, you may need 802.11ac support for newer wireless devices (I'm talking laptops, phones, tablets, and other portable gear, not IoT) to keep wireless data rates up (this was why I switched to my current Netgear--it supports ac, my last one only went to g).

        2. Adam JC

          Re: Consumer routers?

          Tell you what, I've got 3 back at HQ - I'll gladly post you one if you're located anywhere near the south-west of England if you buy me a beer ;-)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where I am working right now

    A project has been started to get rid of several internal network segments still using public IP addresses (yes, there were idiots in the past too) and it was quickly brought to a halt by a dozen IBM Notes/Domino servers running important applications nobody would like to touch right now. It also happened twice in my career to stumble upon an old, no longer maintained application whose license was tied to ... why yes, the IP address of the server. Trying to find someone who will write an application for you and pay him a hefty sum of money just for the sake of IP addressing ? No, siree!

    So there you have it, IPv4 will be with us for a while whether we like it or not so those high priests of IPv6 should better start working on some sort of NAT or translation gateway that will do the job.

    A migration to IPv6 in a large company is costly, risky, disruptive and brings no value to the business. Try and go tell your CFO you need to spend a few millions of dollars just because the public Internet is in danger of running out of IP addresses and see what you can get.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Where I am working right now

      "an old, no longer maintained application whose license was tied to ... why yes, the IP address of the server."

      does it have anything to do with a cert? [yeah I realize you COULD hard-code an IP address into a cert, but that's what DNS is supposed to be for...]

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where I am working right now

        does it have anything to do with a cert? [yeah I realize you COULD hard-code an IP address into a cert, but that's what DNS is supposed to be for...]

        Such morons exist… including those that think an IPv4 address is a hard-coded globally-unique constant.

      2. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        Re: Where I am working right now

        "does it have anything to do with a cert? [yeah I realize you COULD hard-code an IP address into a cert, but that's what DNS is supposed to be for...]"

        It might be nothing to do with certs, instead the mentality that once upon a time thought it was OK to tie a licence to a MAC address,

        Which of course was Bad News if you have a network card failure...

    2. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: Where I am working right now

      It doesn't matter. We're talkiing about a 10 billion node public network. If a number of enterprise networks of a few 1000 or few 100,000 nodes stick to legacy junk, who cares?

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Where I am working right now

        " We're talkiing about a 10 billion node public network."

        There are only 4 billion possible IPv4 addresses.

        Which means that you're using NAT extensively, which in turn means you need to use 8 bytes to canonically refer to anything (PublicIP+PrivateIP) and possibly more if there are multilayer NATs going on.

        So why not just use IPv6 and be done with the kludges?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Where I am working right now

          Because of IPv6's colon cancer.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Where I am working right now

            What? I have great difficulty reading IPv6 addresses in some of the miniature typefaces knocking around nowadays. All those contiguous colons are hard to read.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Where I am working right now

            "Because of IPv6's colon cancer."

            I saw the same criticisms made about IPv4's dotted quads.

            That's what DNS is for. Deal with it.

            1. TRT Silver badge

              Re: Where I am working right now

              "Deal with it." The mantra of the Daily Mail commentard. Along with putting "Fact." at the end of every opinion.

              DNS worked out great, didn't it? I'm being unfair. In principal, a great idea, in practice, poorly implemented with all the hijackings and poisonings.

              Anyway, I like dotted quads. They're kind of friendly, and the dots are there to separate number groups, which are always there. I like Mac addresses too. They're logical and they have separators between numbers which are always there. They exist at a different level to IP addresses - this is OK in my world-view - it's how it should work. They use different delimiters - this is helpful in immediately recognising what kind of a number you are looking at. And then there's all the "Unicast-prefix-based multicast address format" and "Solicited-node multicast address format".

              I'm not opposed to IPv6, don't get me wrong. I recognise IPv4 depletion is a serious issue. But I think they tried to do too much with it, muddied the waters, and made it unfriendly.

              1. Pirate Dave
                Pirate

                Re: Where I am working right now

                "Anyway, I like dotted quads. They're kind of friendly, and the dots are there to separate number groups, which are always there."

                Amen!

                "I'm not opposed to IPv6 <snip> But I think they tried to do too much with it, muddied the waters, and made it unfriendly."

                Double Amen!

                IP6 is just too unwieldy for mortal use. Sure, it's the cat's meow in a fully automated, integrated, updated network where the network admins get to stare at a wall of 70" screens in the NOC. But for those of us who still frequent dusty closets where network switches share space with electrical breaker panels and old phone line splice boxes, it seems like far too much overkill for our simple needs. Honestly, IP4 with 1 or 2 added octets would seem like a far better answer while still being relatively easy to remember. Everybody says "oh, that's what DNS is for." Yeah, because we know DNS never breaks or goes down. Until it does go down and you can't remember what the frikking 16-octet IP6 address is for the DNS server to connect to it. Buggers.

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: Where I am working right now

                  So you just keep a couple backup numbers for when you need it, like:

                  (Google)

                  2001:4860:4860::8888

                  2001:4860:4860::8844

                  (OpenDNS Sandbox)

                  2620:0:ccc::2

                  2620:0:ccd::2

                  (Verisign)

                  2620:74:1b::1:1

                  2620:74:1c::2:2

                  Note that thanks to IPv6 address shortening, these addresses aren't really all that long. The Google ones are even all-numeric and only 16 digits total: not much more than the 12 you may end up using with IPv4. Even if you can't keep these in your head, a quick scribble on a piece of paper slipped into your wallet or phone makes for a handy note in case you need it.

                  See, IPv6 does try to accommodate. And as for keeping the local DNS address for when you need, don't they keep the notes handy by the access terminal? I figured anyone who's had to configure the DNS and so on would keep a hard copy nearby.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where I am working right now

      "Try and go tell your CFO you need to spend a few millions of dollars just because the public Internet is in danger of running out of IP addresses and see what you can get."

      Simple. Tell the CFO (and the board, for that matter) that future customers WILL (not may, WILL) be IPv6-ONLY. IPv6-only customers can't talk to IPv4-only servers. Meaning unless they want to lose customers (and with it, business), they better plunk down.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Where I am working right now

      Try and go tell your CFO you need to spend a few millions of dollars

      That's obviously arse about face and is unlikely to get approval.

      The general way to get IPv6 in a company is via the whole unified communications malarkey so the phone call can be shit either out of the phone or via a headset attached to the PC. CFOs love the potential savings associated with getting rid of their PBXs. In Germany at least the approach has been coordinated to some degree by the governments so there are tax sweeteners and jobs for the techies. Everybody's happy. Well, except the makers of PBXs and PCs.

      As for but IPv6 "is utopian crap", while that's partly true, it's still better than yet another IPv4 kludge and if there are no serious steps taken to migrate then no one is going to bother writing improvements (of which there have been several) unless there is take up. Dual-stack is a well-understood stop gap for legacy systems. Consumer stuff will be led by mobiles and TVs to the IPv6 world.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Where I am working right now

        Re: "Dual-stack is a well-understood stop gap for legacy systems."

        Well the basic operating principles are well understood; however, I suggest we have some way to go before we can be sure about security. It would not surprise me if we see more attacks that use a combination of IPv4 and IPv6 to exploit cross stack vulnerabilities.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where I am working right now

      "A migration to IPv6 in a large company is costly, risky, disruptive and brings no value to the business. Try and go tell your CFO you need to spend a few millions of dollars just because the public Internet is in danger of running out of IP addresses and see what you can get."

      Dear CFO, at some point (the timing of which is hard to predict) there will be customers and/or suppliers and/or other parts of our business that do not have IPv4 addresses because all the IPv4 addresses are in use by other people. At this point we will be losing business and/or unable to conduct business.

      Prior to this point we should invest in a 21st century network architecture. Luckily all the devices we've bought in the last few years, and all new equipment we buy in the future, already supports a thing called IPv6 but we need engineering time to deploy this and budget to buy new equipment to replace the obsolete stuff we currently use.

      Please add this into the budget, or put it in the risk register together with your reason for delaying.

      Yours,

      Technical Manager

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Where I am working right now

        "Dear CFO, at some point (the timing of which is hard to predict) there will be customers and/or suppliers and/or other parts of our business that do not have IPv4 addresses because all the IPv4 addresses are in use by other people. "

        This is already happening. Large chunks of SE Asia are only getting onto the Internet (IPv4) via CGNAT gateways and you can't connect to their systems/resources (which is important when doing some kinds of transaction control).

        Of course those same areas of the world generally have ISPs who will look at you like you just sprouted a second head when you ask for a IPv6 /48

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where I am working right now

        Dear CFO, at some point (the timing of which is hard to predict)

        Dear Technical manager, please come back when you know when this point will be reached.

        Yours, CFO

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Where I am working right now

          Dear CFO.

          According to new research, that point was actually reached several years ago.

          Customers in Southeast Asia (major growth market that includes China, Japan, and South Korea) are FORCED to use IPv6 due to lack of IPv4 allocations on that continent. Without an IPv6 setup, this growth market will be unreachable, and I've also read that our competitors are either deploying IPv6 or already have, meaning we are currently late to react: a development that may not sit well with the investors. Further delay is likely to draw their attention.

          Yours, Technical Manager

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Where I am working right now

            Dear Technical Manager,

            re: "According to new research, that point was actually reached several years ago."

            Please detail the impact this had had on our business, as surely if what you say is correct our existing customers from these regions would be unable to access our website and place orders. Likewise, since we email invoices to our customers we would be unable to invoice these customers.

            re: " we need engineering time to deploy this and budget to buy new equipment to replace the obsolete stuff we currently use.

            Please add this into the budget, or put it in the risk register together with your reason for delaying."

            I thought you were responsible for managing engineering time and IT budgets and risk register, if you are having difficulty, I'm sure we can recruit someone with an MBA to help out.

            CFO.

    6. Blotto Bronze badge

      Re: Where I am working right now

      @AC

      A project has been started to get rid of several internal network segments still using public IP addresses (yes, there were idiots in the past too)

      nothing wrong with using your own public IP's internally. Thats how things where originally intended to work. RFC 1918 just means we can make much better use of the available public addresses, typical orgs do not need /8's or /16's any longer a /22 would normally be plenty.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If your kid's 18years old and still half baked, try again...

    IPv4 largely works. Apparently the people involved with IPv6 designed it to not be used, and intend to keep it that way.

    Beyond making a Don Quixote windmill fight against NAT a cornerstone of the protocol, they naively left in the blind trust of the early Arpanet largely intact, and failed to get buy in from the major firewall vendors to get fleshed out IPv6 routing and stateful packet inspection. Need the ability to fail over promptly from one one redundant/load balanced link to another? IPv4 works within limits, but IPv6 is busted by design. BGP can't propagate quickly enough, can't scale to accommodate every consumer access point on the planet, and allows any other idiot on the planet to to hijack your routing if they misconfigure their routing.

    In addition, with things like Apple setting up their own IPv6 peer networks, you can get failures on dual stack capable hosts where an IPv6 "Island" sets itself up and starts taking priority for traffic from the IPv4 network.

    IPv4 is not, and should not, ever really go away anyway. It will live on on local networks, in virtual machines, and on legacy WAN links in the government and universities. It will live on in Satellites and sea radio beacons. The internet archive and every retro-game that only ever supported v4 deserve to live on in history. I just plan to put stronger firewall rules on them. Much the same as the firewall rules I recommend for IPv6 traffic now.

    Here's hoping IPv7 or IPv8 will be less of a SNAFU.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: If your kid's 18years old and still half baked, try again...

      It isn't half-baked; it's done, it works well, it's already carrying vastly more traffic than IPv4 carried 18 years ago.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: If your kid's 18years old and still half baked, try again...

      "and failed to get buy in from the major firewall vendors to get fleshed out IPv6 routing and stateful packet inspection. "

      Those "major firewall vendors" didn't exist that long ago and SPI was only just starting to be discussed.

      Can I sell you a tardis?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If your kid's 18years old and still half baked, try again...

      "IPv4 is not, and should not, ever really go away anyway. It will live on on local networks, in virtual machines, and on legacy WAN links in the government and universities. It will live on in Satellites and sea radio beacons. The internet archive and every retro-game that only ever supported v4 deserve to live on in history."

      I gave you an upvote, but you forgot the <Cue-Patriotic-Music> tag for that paragraph. I can almost hear George C. Scott now...

  6. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    what new protocols?

    Does anyone have an example of new protocols or ideas that this might impact? Just curious, I can't think of any new protocols that I have heard of that would have been useful to me in the past decade.

    Or if someone can just name some useful protocols that have come out in the past decade?

    I have been doing networking for the past 16 years or so, though generally base stuff. There is a bunch of fancy shit out there I know that has never had any value to me(e.g. TRILL -- but that is a layer 2 thing totally independent of course of layer 3 IP).

    Would HTTP/2 count as such a protocol ? I suppose it would but again I'm perfectly happy with HTTP 1.1.

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: what new protocols?

      Firstly, backwards compatbility with an exhausted protocol that only works due to address translation at line speed is quite a brake on connectivity.

      Secondly, how about hosts with as many millions of virtual addresses as you want?

      How about autonomic systems with complete self-configuring secure control planes?

      How about home networks with tens of self-configuring network segments?

      Just three that I of between two bits of bad news about the US election...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: what new protocols?

        "backwards compatbility with an exhausted protocol that only works due to address translation at line speed is quite a brake on connectivity"

        Ummm. This word "exhausted" that you keep using. You're looking at it from the supply side. The correct term would be "fully used". If you have potentially a few billion devices using it can you afford not to support it? That's your problem and I don't think I've read any reply here that proposes a solution except to ignore it or denigrate it.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: what new protocols?

      "There is a bunch of fancy shit out there I know that has never had any value to me(e.g. TRILL -- but that is a layer 2 thing totally independent of course of layer 3 IP)."

      You haven't been paying attention:

      https://www.ietf.org/proceedings/90/slides/slides-90-trill-2.pdf

      TRILL keeps being pushed as a data centre protocol, but the reality is that it's better used as a large campus WAN/MAN one - the reason Radia Perlman created it was spanning-tree storms that took out a hospital network, caused by continued joining up of previously-isolated switch networks until the entire ediface fell over horribly.

      TRILL distributed L3 gateways take away the SPOF of routers and the extreme traffic loads which can occur on router links. It's better than the Anycast L3 gateway proposal which proceeded it.

      Yes, it works on IPv6 as well as IPv4

      The vast majority of readers might THINK they have no use for TRILL, but as soon as you have more than a couple of switches interconnected and/or start having to use LACP, it has advantages.

      Spanning Tree should never be used for networks more than 4 switches wide - the wastefulness of having redundant links sitting idle is one factor as is the convergence time and the fact that ANY LACP link change (even to clients) will result in a spanning-tree reconvergence event. When I'm running multiple 10GB/s links around it's not sensible to waste their capacity by having one or more sitting idle when another may be maxxed out - this happens with both spanning tree and LACP.

  7. Tim Brown 1
    Pint

    Exhaustion? and yet...

    The major dedicated server supplier I use is still happy to provide 16 free IPv4 addresses with even its low end servers (with justification of course).

    1. Nate Amsden Silver badge

      Re: Exhaustion? and yet...

      Try getting a /24 it is pretty painful. But even /27s not hard to get still.

      1. Yes Me Silver badge

        Re: Exhaustion? and yet...

        Um yes, but if you need a /16? (The equivalent in IPv6 is a /48 which is trivial to get.)

      2. Pirate Dave
        Pirate

        Re: Exhaustion? and yet...

        "Try getting a /24 it is pretty painful."

        Unless you're a college/university. I got one in 2013 and it was way easier than the tech guru at my ISP had warned me about. ARIN didn't really even ask for justification, they just saw I worked for a university and said "Here you go..". Sometimes it's nice to get an unexpected break...

  8. DougS Silver badge

    What new protocols are IPv4 ONLY?

    I can't even think of how that would happen, unless you define in the protocol that an address must be 32 bits, or four octets in text separated by periods. Anyone have an example of a new protocol crafted in the last five years with such a restriction?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: What new protocols are IPv4 ONLY?

      Reading the IAB statement and RFC 6540, it would seem the big problems are: Firstly, the need to review, mainly the pre-IPv6 RFC's, to ensure they correctly refer to 'IPv4' rather than 'IP' - given when they were written 'IPv4' was 'IP' everything else was 'experimental'. Secondly, it seems the master RFC that defines the current suite of RFC's that define the current IPv4 & IPv6 profiles and thus the current "Internet Standard" RFC's needs to be updated to take account of IPv6...

      As for the request: "The IAB expects that the IETF will stop requiring IPv4 compatibility in new or extended protocols.". In most cases, this won't be an issue, however, for as long as IPv4 is widely used I anticipate there will be the occasional need for an IPv4 specific RFC to address some issue, such as security.

      Otherwise, the only two areas, within the IETF remit, where new protocols might be written as IPv4 only are:

      1. Those intended to enhance the IPv4 network layer protocol suite, namely protocols designed to carry IPv4 addresses etc. as part of their payload.

      2. Link Layer protocols that assume they only carry packets and hence need to interface to an IPv4 network layer.

      Naturally none of this prevents protocol implementors and application programmers from using the various API's in ways that only support IPv4 or IPv6.

  9. martinusher Silver badge

    Not exactly important

    IPv6 does solve the address space problem but it does it in such a cack-handed way that its no surprise that its been a bit slow to be adopted. Since they're both just containers for higher level traffic there's no particular reason to favor one or the other, especially if you're running all your traffic in a private tunnel like a VPN.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Not exactly important

      "but it does it in such a cack-handed way"

      The original proposal for IPv4 was to use 128 bits for addresses. It was cut down to 32 bits because IPv4 was intended to be a kludge with an expected lifespan of a decade at most.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IPv4 and IPv6

    Speaking from experience, the problem I see with the latter is that the standard is perceived to be massively more complicated than IPv4's for little additional practical benefit. I imagine that if they had instead just increased the address space without changing anything else (conceptually speaking), adoption would have been much faster and IPv4 would be just a footnote in history books by now.

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: IPv4 and IPv6

      > I imagine that if they had instead just increased the address space without changing anything else (conceptually speaking), adoption would have been much faster and IPv4 would be just a footnote in history books by now.

      Probably true, but then we'd also still be having to work around some of the issues that are "solved" in IPv6 - as in, they looked at what the problems were and didn't design in the same problem again !

      Take one "simple" example - determining if another node is "locally connected". If your only experience is with small networks, ethernet, one subnet per network domain - then you'll be thinking that this isn't a problem (and I was in this camp too until the penny dropped). Simple solution, you look at your IP and the other node's IP, and if they are in the same subnet then you are "locally connected" (meaning that you can send a packet directly to the other node).

      Trouble is, this isn't true in many networks. Take a wireless mesh for example, and I believe cellular systems can be similar - it needs a flat IP space so devices can move around freely, but propagating all that ARP broadcast traffic would be very wasteful, and so the nodes have to effectively "fake" the ARP process or bu**er about with routing tables to make what the end device sees as a flat network into something that's actually routed. One example of "IP in same subnet, isn't locally connected".

      And then there are cases where you've added a second IP subnet to a network - a shared network, often done when you run out of addresses. Now you have a case of (unless you manually add routing rules to each device) "device in different subnet is actually locally connected".

      In IPv6, the routing information provided to each node by the network has not just a list (note, list which may be one or more than one) of prefixes on the network, but also information on which of these are to be considered "locally connected". Thus the process is a bit more complicated than in IPv4, but it inherently supports all four combinations of "same prefix/different prefix" and "locally connected/not locally connected" while IPv4 only supports 2 of them without messing about.

      This is one example where IPv6 appears more complicated (it did to me before I got my head around it), but which is there for a valid real-world reason.

      Most of IPv6 isn't hard - it just looks daunting. Perhaps part of the problem is that there isn't a good online tutorial (at least I haven't found one) that can take someone with "basic IPv4 skills" and take them gently through a controlled learning process. Looking around, I've found lots of stuff, but a lot of it is either too basic and doesn't explain the "WHY ?" or too complex and anyone not already familiar with the subject matter is just going to drown.

      The nearest I've got is to do the IPv6 certification at TunnelBroker.net. I think it still leaves a lot out that you need to know (at least if you are a serious network nerdtechie), but it at least has a progression of steps with tests at each step to show you've grasped things so far.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: IPv4 and IPv6

        Another reason for IPv6's structure was to deal with routing table problems. Thanks to all the IPv4 address hawking, there's no longer any logical, down-the-bits progression of topology. That's the reason IPv4 routing tables have gotten so huge: to the point some routers choke at the size. The massive overprovisioning of IPv6 is intended to stem a repeat of this for as long as possible, much like how ZFS's filesystem provisioning is intended to make sure physical limits hit before the logical limits do.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IPv4 and IPv6

        > Probably true, but then we'd also still be having to work around some of the issues that are "solved" in IPv6

        Yes, fair enough, but at least those were familiar problems which already had a solution or at least a workaround. I think I would have opted for a more gradual evolution, given the chance.

        > Perhaps part of the problem is that there isn't a good online tutorial (at least I haven't found one) that can take someone with "basic IPv4 skills" and take them gently through a controlled learning process.

        Nearly eighteen years on since RFC2460 was published, makes you wonder why indeed, doesn't it?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IPv6 is OVER!

    ISO foisted a dumb, over-designed network protocol on the world, called OSI. Laughingly, the 'L' in LDAP stands for lightweight. The world overwhelmingly adopted the five-layer model of IP, which was succinct, well-architected and designed to interoperate. OSI died a death.

    Apparently, the OSI people got the last laugh and delivered IPv6. 18 years later, the entire planet has collectively said "uh, no thanks..." To put it into context, if IPv6 were a mobile phone technology, our phones would have four times as many buttons for dialling numbers, phone numbers would be 40 digits long, the phones themselves would look like Motorola units from the 80's, and the kicker? They wouldn't work with *any* of the existing phones. "Yes, you too can be the first kid on the block to have an incompatible phone. You can wait until all your friends have converted, before you can actually call them..."

    Instead of flogging this dead horse which has failed to get any significant market traction in almost two decades, they should admit defeat and develop IPv8, something with a maximum of 64 bit addressing, and something which seamlessly interoperates with IPv4. In reality, you don't need to change the upper layers of the stack; leave TCP and UDP alone. Just up the bit count for addressing, bearing in mind that every additional bit of address doubles the number of addresses.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: IPv6 is OVER!

      And keeping in mind adding just ONE bit breaks IPv4 compatibility. Completely. Period. Because the IPv4 stacks expects 32-bit addresses. Not 31 or less, not 33 or more, 32. It's hard-coded into the spec and can't be changed or extended.

      IOW, the ONLY way to add more addresses is to break the mold. If we're going to break the mold, why not start from scratch with some future-proofing in the process. We're using 128 bits (1) so we can keep logical down-the-bits routing that keeps routing tables small and keeps routers from choking, and (2) to help keep the IPv4 exhaustion problem from happening again down the line as unexpected things (like, oh, more and more people starting to connect EVERYTHING to the Internet like what's happening RIGHT NOW) take up more IP space. It's the same reason ZFS uses 128-bit provisioning even if it could probably get away with 96 or maybe even 64 bits.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IPv6 is OVER!

        > It's the same reason ZFS uses 128-bit provisioning even if it could probably get away with 96 or maybe even 64 bits.

        If it were up to me, I would design a 73-trit architecture. Purely because a) I like primes, and b) would give me an excuse to use Łukasiewicz logic.

        Off to kickstarter, back in a bit.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IPv6 is OVER!

        And keeping in mind adding just ONE bit breaks IPv4 compatibility. Completely. Period. Because the IPv4 stacks expects 32-bit addresses. Not 31 or less, not 33 or more, 32. It's hard-coded into the spec and can't be changed or extended.

        So add an extended header at the start of the data packet, put the extra address bits somewhere in that, and define some special SRC/DST values for the existing fields that say 'this is an extended v4 packet'. Existing v4 stacks will route based on the existing address fields so that "real" v4 packets buzz about as normal and "extended" v4 packets get routed transparently to some new dual-stack systems that can handle the extended header. Systems that can fully process the extended headers can use them to reach new systems that don't have old v4 addresses.

        That way dual-stack systems can talk to anyone, v4 systems can still talk to v4, and v4 networks can transparently route between islands of "extended v4".

        OK, the extended header idea needs to play tricks, so its a hack that offends the purists, but so what?

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: IPv6 is OVER!

          "So add an extended header at the start of the data packet, put the extra address bits somewhere in that, and define some special SRC/DST values for the existing fields that say 'this is an extended v4 packet'."

          Which does NOTHING for the "old device talking to a new device" problem, which IPv6 also has. No IPV4-only device can talk to anything outside the scope of IPv4 without a proxy. It doesn't matter whether it's IPv6, your idea, IPX, or whatever. IPv4-only devices can ONLY see IPv4 devices, and this cannot be solved in the scope of IPv4 alone. So again, if you have to break, why not break clean?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IPv6 is OVER!

      ...The world overwhelmingly adopted the five-layer model of IP, which was succinct, well-architected and designed to interoperate. OSI died a death...

      Apparently, you have absolutely no idea of what you're talking about.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IPv6 is OVER!

        Maybe you'd like to explain what Layers 5 and 6 of the OSI model map to in an IP world. Or perhaps, you don't actually know what you're talking about?

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: IPv6 is OVER!

      "phone numbers would be 40 digits long"

      When phone numbers were standardised so that 11 digits was the maximum needed to dial almost all international numbers, it was regarded as excessive.

      13, 14 and 15 digit numbers are popping up all over now and the world's phone routing network is so messed up it makes the BGP4 tables look tidy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IPv6 is OVER!

        13, 14 and 15 digit numbers are popping up all over now and the world's phone routing network is so messed up it makes the BGP4 tables look tidy.

        But no-one has had to buy a new phone to use it, the complications are handled transparently by the networks.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: IPv6 is OVER!

          "But no-one has had to buy a new phone to use it, the complications are handled transparently by the networks."

          Because telephones are pretty dumb devices. All the smarts are done by the exchange. However, IPv4 devices can't do that. There's a certain minimum degree of complexity involved. And one of the catches is that IPv4 devices expect a 32-bit address, period.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IPv6 is OVER!

      > To put it into context, if IPv6 were a mobile phone technology, our phones would have four times as many buttons for dialling numbers

      One of my professors used to say that if you have to use an analogy to explain something, you do not understand the subject well enough.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: IPv6 is OVER!

        "One of my professors used to say that if you have to use an analogy to explain something, you do not understand the subject well enough."

        Yes, all that endless row of people who ended up having to try to explain voltage and current using liquid flow analogies to an audience who's eyes immediately glazed over on any attempt to explain the subject directly must all have been ignorant on the matter themselves. Definitely. Yeah, that must be it.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: IPv6 is OVER!

          "Yes, all that endless row of people who ended up having to try to explain voltage and current using liquid flow analogies to an audience who's eyes immediately glazed over on any attempt to explain the subject directly must all have been ignorant on the matter themselves. Definitely. Yeah, that must be it."

          IOW, YOU try explaining electricity to people who can't understand why 10mA (or whatever current you can get from a handheld stunner) can shock them off their feet.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: IPv6 is OVER!

          > Yes, all that endless row of people who ended up having to try to explain voltage and current using liquid flow analogies

          Yes. And Einstein can talk about trains in the context of relativity all he wants, but we're not all Einstein (and his wasn't an analogy anyway).

  12. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Happy

    Leftover Halloween Decorations

    Very ingenious to use those leftover Halloween decorations before you pack them away for another year.

    Is there anything else dead you'd like to make us aware off, besides the brains of the political leadership? It's the perfect time.

  13. Havin_it

    Granny factor

    I won't be the first to opine this, but the worst thing about v6 is the lingo.

    I (eventually) got the heads of my dependents, both at work and closer to home, around the concept of an IPv4 address. Four integers with dots in between. Sort of like a phone number, in that the format was consistent.

    IPv6? 8 numbers in hex notation (with which we're all super comfortable, yeah), colon-delimited, which if they happen to be zero can be omitted, and if a number of them adjacent to each other are zero the colons can also be omitted just to make it extra opaque.

    Do people really not get this? It's too much. Joe sixpack does not want to speak hexadecimal, nor to make sense of which address components are elided or why. If the address is reliably eight integers, with colons or periods or fucking Euro symbols delimiting them, that he can grok (possibly with help). IPv6 address notation is design by engineers, for engineers; granny need not apply.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Granny factor

      Because it's the engineers who are most likely to actually be fiddling with these numbers. Thanks to things like DNS and DHCP, why would Granny need to even know these numbers exist? If something goes wrong with their Internet, Granny's likely to call the grandson or some tech who would grok this stuff anyway.

      In other words, for most people, IP numbers is Somebody Else's Problem.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Granny factor

        "In other words, for most people, IP numbers is Somebody Else's Problem."

        Are you sure you're on the correct website? You do realize quite a large part of El Reg's readership are the folks to whom you've just casually tried to give a whole new mess of IP number problems as if it's No Big Deal. We're the "Somebody Else" you're talking about. We aren't all web-designers here, some of us do real work.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Granny factor

          "We're the "Somebody Else" you're talking about. We aren't all web-designers here, some of us do real work."

          And we're usually the people who know how to get around things like octets. WE WRITE THEM DOWN. I've been dealing with IPv6 for years now, and it's really been no big deal for me because I'm literate enough to see the differences. For those who don't grok it, they shouldn't have to. For those that do, it comes with the territory.

  14. Daniel B.
    Boffin

    Yes please

    Now, if ISPs can get off their asses and start providing IPv6 addresses, it would be very nice! 18 years and counting ... the protocol is old enough to vote and drink in most countries by now!!!

  15. carlsonjma

    IPv15

    I sure hope we get it right by IPv15. It's a shame to run out of bits.

    (For what it's worth, I was there for IPng and the arguments over variable length addresses to appease the OSI weirdos. This has been a much longer slog than anyone ever imagined.)

  16. David Crowe

    I hate to say it, but it's IPv6 that's over. When does IPv6 have any value? When you can communicate with the rest of the internet without an IPv4 address. Dual-stack HAS NO VALUE. It doesn't save IPv4 addresses. This whole exercise is feel good for lovers of IPV6 who won't accept that they've lost. What's needed? A complete redesign with forward and backward compatibility between IPv4 and IPv7. IPv6 was a series of disastrous decisions and it is blocking the progress that would come by starting over.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "When you can communicate with the rest of the internet without an IPv4 address."

      Working on it right now. There's an IPv4 compatibility space within the IPv6 space.

      "Dual-stack HAS NO VALUE. It doesn't save IPv4 addresses."

      It's not meant to. It's meant to transition IPv4 into IPv6. Sorta like a ladder so you don't have to climb the sheer cliff with your bare hands.

      "What's needed? A complete redesign with forward and backward compatibility between IPv4 and IPv7."

      Which is a non-starter. You can't make IPv4 forward-compatible with anything BUT IPv4 because of the hard 32-bit address limit. And no extension to IPv4 will work because older devices won't grok it; they STILL won't be able to see the new addresses, meaning they're STILL left out. You're asking us to cram a baker's dozen in an egg carton (128 bits in a system that can only grok 32). It'd be like trying to perceive a tesseract (a FOUR-dimensional object) in only three dimensions: something WILL get lost along the way. Which means as more sites got IPv6 (and by that I mean IPv6-ONLY--ask Asia), IPv4 devices won't be able to see them without a proxy, which has its own issues. And trying for a sharp break is like trying to go cold turkey on a hard drug: too much risk of withdrawal complications.

      As the article says, get over it. The ONLY way to get more than 4 billion devices on the Internet is with something OTHER than IPv4, and since IPv4 can ONLY understand IPv4 (AND its 4 billion device limit), that means we either do it the way we are now or we break the Internet trying something else.

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