A Politically Incorrect Guide to IPv6

Every packet of data sent over the Internet is sent from one IP address to another. The IP addresses in the Internet serve somewhat the same function as phone numbers in the US phone system, fixed length numeric identifiers where the first part tells what network the address is on. Since the dawn of the Internet in the early 1980s, the IP addresses in use have been IPv4, 32 bit addresses which means there are about 4 billion of them. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve doubtless seen reports that the supply of IPv4 addresses is running out. Earlier this month IANA, the master allocation authority, handed out the last so-called /8, a large chunk of 16 million addresses, to one of the regional address registries, and sometime months or perhaps a few years after that, the registries will hand out the last pieces of their chunks. Then what?

The conventional wisdom is that everyone needs to support IPv6, a mostly compatible upgrade to IPv4 with much larger addresses, by the time the v4 space runs out. But I’m not so sure, particularly for e-mail.

There’s two unanswered questions here. One is is how hard it will be for new or expanding networks to get IPv4 address space. The other is how important IPv6 addresses will be to be able to reach the rest of the net. The conventional answers are very hard and very important, but I think the real answers to both, for the next several years, at least, is not very. Below is my three-part post where I opine about getting IPv4 address space, addressing and reachability.

A politically incorrect guide to IPv6, Part I

A politically incorrect guide to IPv6, Part II

A politically incorrect guide to IPv6, Part III

Written by John Levine, Author, Consultant & Speaker

When will Ars Technica add IPv6 to its website?

Ars Technica has posted an excellent article on their reasons for waiting to deploy IPv6 on their web properties. For those of you facing a similar decision, it’s a good opportunity to compare your thoughts with theirs. From reading the article, their main issues centers around the lack of IPv6 support in phpBB.

The 6 biggest misconceptions about IPv6

Debunking myths that keep CIOs from adopting next-gen Internet addressing scheme.

For 15 years, Internet engineers and policymakers have been publicizing the need to upgrade the ‘Net’s current addressing scheme — known as IPv4 — to handle the network-of-network’s explosive growth. Yet many U.S. CIOs and CTOs continue to harbor misinformation that they use to justify why they are not adopting the next-generation IPv6 standard.

This issue is significant because the Internet is running out of IPv4 addresses. IPv4 uses 32-bit addresses and can support 4.3 billion devices connected directly to the Internet. The non-compatible replacement protocol, IPv6, uses 128-bit addresses and supports a virtually unlimited number of devices: 2 to the 128th power.

More from Network World…

IPv6 live on Verizon’s LTE network

Verizon has deployed IPv6 on their LTE network. This is a screenshot of an LTE-attached netbook. You can clearly see the IPv6 address:

(credit to Paul’s Random Crap for noticing this).

Back in 2009, Living with IPv6 reported that Verizon mandated IPv6 support in LTE devices. It’s good to see that they’ve taken the next step and enabled IPv6 on their network, and that they’re doing so with globally routable addresses

Source: Living with IPv6

The rise of IPv6

In a ceremony in Montevideo, Uruguay, the Number Resource Organization (NRO) (www.nro.net), the global organization that coordinates the assignment of Internet addresses, announced that the last block of IPv4 addresses had been assigned on January 31, 2011. Does this spell the end of growth for the Internet, just as the industry has been gearing up for 4G wireless smart phones, and streaming video into every family room? Fortunately not, and just like the case of Y2K, the eventual exhaustion of the IPv4 address space had been predicted for some time, giving Internet architects plenty of time to react, and develop a course of action to address the challenge. But let’s back up and first examine the problem, before we look at the solution.

More from Telecom Reseller…

BlueCat Networks Joins World IPv6 Day Trial to Promote IPv6 Preparedness

BlueCat Networks, the IPAM Intelligence™ company, today announced that it will participate in World IPv6 Day on June 8, 2011. BlueCat Networks joins a growing number of industry leaders including Akamai, Cisco, Google, Facebook and Yahoo that will participate in the worldwide IPv6 field trial organized by The Internet Society (www.isoc.org).

On June 8, 2011, BlueCat Networks will enable global IPv6 connectivity to its corporate website at www.bluecatnetworks.com for the purposes of the trial. Anyone with IPv6 Internet capabilities will be able to automatically access BlueCat Networks’ site with their IPv6-enabled devices. IPv4 traffic will continue to connect without any change. BlueCat Networks recently selected a new IPv6-compliant Internet Service Provider and is working to ensure all of its employees are able to access IPv6 Web sites by June 8.

As a leading provider of IP Address Management (IPAM), DNS and DHCP solutions, BlueCat Networks has been a vocal advocate for IPv6 preparedness and the need for smart solutions to help organizations smoothly and seamlessly transition to IPv6. BlueCat Networks’ IPAM solution supports a disciplined approach to IPv6 planning and readiness and simplifies the ongoing management of IPv6 and dual-stack IPv4/IPv6 environments.

“The more you talk to organizations, the more you realize that most do not yet have a plan in place for transitioning to IPv6,” said Richard Hyatt, CTO of BlueCat Networks. “We are excited to participate in World IPv6 Day, which should help galvanize organizations to start planning now for the inevitable transition. There are many reasons to adopt IPv6 sooner rather than later. If organizations wait, they may incur extra cost and risk due to an aging infrastructure, not be able to take advantage of new IPv6 applications and have limited connectivity on the new Internet.”

Always looking to provide the best possible working and studying environment for its faculty, staff and students, Texas A&M University, a BlueCat Networks client, is currently ensuring that its backbone infrastructure is IPv6 ready.

“Before we implemented BlueCat Networks’ IPAM solution, we tracked IPv4 addresses with a six foot spreadsheet on the wall — which certainly wouldn’t work with the much-longer IPv6 addresses,” said Wayne Pecena, Director of Engineering, TTVN Enterprise Networks for the Texas A&M System. “BlueCat Networks’ technology automatically tracks IP addresses to make it simple for administrators to centrally manage IP addresses for our extensive wide-area network. The migration to IPv6 is further simplified by BlueCat Networks’ DNS/DHCP solution which provides dual-stack capabilities to enable our campus and institutions to run both the older IPv4 infrastructure and the new IPv6 infrastructure simultaneously — making it easy to roll out IPv6 without any interruption to faculty, staff and students.”

BlueCat Networks will host a webinar on March 2nd, 2011 to discuss the practical steps that need to be taken to ensure IPv6 readiness. Richard Hyatt, CTO of BlueCat Networks and an international thought leader on IPv6, will speak about the current state of IPv6 deployment and the benefits of starting to plan now. To register for the webinar, visit www.bluecatnetworks.com/ipv6webinar.

BlueCat Networks’ IPAM solution is instrumental in helping organizations effectively prepare for and deploy IPv6. The IPAM solution enables organizations to discover their existing IPv4 and IPv6 space, model the new IPv6 network, track pure IPv6 and dual-stacked IPv4/IPv6 systems and simplify the management of IPv6 addresses. BlueCat Networks’ DNS and DHCP solution also supports the IPv6 naming and addressing infrastructure.