Jump to content
Zzozzach

What If IPv6 Simply Fails to Catch On?

Recommended Posts

This is quite a thought-provoking article. It raises the question of what could happen if nobody bothered to move to IPv6 and just continued to limp along with IPv4 for as long as possible. Of course, it's been done before. Many protocols that underpin the Internet are really quite old (FTP, SMTP, TCP/IP, etc) and are still serving us reasonably well. But unlike the others, IPv4 has a definitive endpoint and there's only so many layers of NAT that can be supported while still maintaining some semblance of stability.

 

Anyway, head over to the article and judge for yourself.

 

Essential linkage: http://www.pcworld.com/article/228410/what...t_catch_on.html

 

Précis of the article (it's too long to post in its entirety here):

 

During the past six months, the Internet engineering community has undertaken an unprecedented effort to promote IPv6 as an urgent and necessary upgrade for network and website operators to allow for the continued, rapid growth of the Internet.

 

The symbol of that effort is World IPv6 Day, a 24-hour trial of IPv6 that is sponsored by the Internet Society and scheduled for June 8. So far, 200-plus website operators -- including Google, Yahoo and Facebook -- have agreed to participate in the event by serving up their content via IPv6, an upgrade to the Internet's main communications protocol called IPv4.

 

Amid the buzz around World IPv6 Day, it's hard not to wonder: What if IPv6 fails to catch on after this event? What if the Internet is still 99% based on IPv4 five years from now as it is today?

 

More...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Asking if it will 'fail to catch on' seems to imply that there's a choice. It will catch on, because we will run out of IPv4 addresses one day.

 

I don't buy in to these 'dire' predictions about what will happen if we don't all immediately switch to IPv6 though. It reminds me of the way IPv4 exhaustion has been handled by the media.

 

The transition will happen, but it will happen over a long period of time and not all at once. Dual-stack will be the norm for many years, until IPv4 eventually starts to get turned off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it's true that there isn't a choice and that something needs to be done to ensure the continued future of networking as we know it. However, to me the article is asking what will things be like if people resist the change. Knowing that a change is needed is different to actually accepting it. There are many constraints to take into consideration: cost of hardware, shifting to new software, knowledge upgrades, all of those. To some, it may appear better to struggle along with a failing technology rather than go through the pain of adjusting to a new one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are many constraints to take into consideration: cost of hardware, shifting to new software, knowledge upgrades, all of those. To some, it may appear better to struggle along with a failing technology rather than go through the pain of adjusting to a new one.

This is one of those situations where the industry leaders will lead the way, you are already seeing this with Google, Facebook and the like signing on for the event.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've no doubt that many organisations and companies will struggle on with IPv4 for some time, for the reasons you've mentioned. Hell, there are still companies that use (for example) NT4 for similar reasons. Will they be able to keep on using NT4 forever though? Of course not- eventually the benefits of moving to newer technology outweigh the pain of adjusting to the new technology.

 

The way the article reads seems to suggest that if there isn't a massive uptake of IPv6 soon, we'll never end up switching from IPv4. I doubt very much that this is what will happen.

 

There are many constraints to take into consideration: cost of hardware, shifting to new software, knowledge upgrades, all of those. To some, it may appear better to struggle along with a failing technology rather than go through the pain of adjusting to a new one.

This is one of those situations where the industry leaders will lead the way, you are already seeing this with Google, Facebook and the like signing on for the event.

 

Yup, that's part of it too. If everyone waits for everyone else to adopt IPv6...no-one ever will! So we have the big players leading the way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Asking if it will 'fail to catch on' seems to imply that there's a choice. It will catch on, because we will run out of IPv4 addresses one day.

I thought we already ran out of IPv4 addresses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Asking if it will 'fail to catch on' seems to imply that there's a choice. It will catch on, because we will run out of IPv4 addresses one day.

I thought we already ran out of IPv4 addresses.

 

The top-tier organisations that administer IP addresses and hand out blocks of them to large businesses or institutions are running out. In the case of of our local Asia-Pacific administrator, APNIC, they have no more spare blocks left to honour requests for more.

 

However, that doesn't mean there aren't any more IPv4 addresses left, though. Many ISPs have lots of IP addresses they haven't used yet. Large companies like Microsoft can afford to buy blocks from other places. But these won't last forever, and the trickle-down effect starting at the top will eventually reach the bottom where us poor users are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The scary thing is when ISPs do the demented ostrich act of pretending nothing is happening.

 

I've got grave fears for smaller ISPs like the one we're with now (iTel) who seem to be ignorant of the problem.

 

Carrier NAT means it's harder for a server operator to track down who is abusing their network, since the IP they have could be shared by hundreds of users. Previously, the IP could, with the ISPs assistance, lead to your door... now it barely points to the city you're in. I predict if we go down this path, we'll be drowning in a sea of spam in the next few years.

 

Anything that relies on direct communication PC-to-PC is going to suffer too... Skype is about to really degrade (and at no fault of Microsoft), as is other VoIP solutions. Running your own games server is soon going to be a thing of the past.

 

The problem is a lot of people are not technically minded enough to understand there is a problem. Or, they're in denial... Or completely confused...

 

http://www.wia-files.com/podcast/wianews-2011-02-20.mp3 – WIA News: 20th February (~30min)

http://www.wia.org.au/members/broadcast/wi...news-2011-02-20 – Transcript

 

http://stuartl.longlandclan.yi.org/blog/20...-take-off-ever/ for a summary and my take on their coverage.

 

Some think IPv6 is totally incompatible. I'm accessing this very website via IPv6... my proxy server is set to [2001:388:d000:1100::1]:3128. Squid 3.1 listens there, and puts my request out on whatever protocol works... in this case AtomicMPC is on IPv4, so it fetches via IPv4, but I see the page come back via IPv6. Incompatible? I think not. There's also NAT-PT, DS-Lite, NAT64...etc.

 

There's a lot of misinformation out there... I guess time will tell. All we can do, is push the ISPs and content makers (Atomic... you listening?) towards the newer protocols.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rh hits the nail in the head. There's no reason ISPs can't supply IPv6-ready routers that contain the logic to play ball with IPv4 consumer equipment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×