There are deep problems with universal deployment of IPv6 far beyond simply getting people to throw a switch; the number of popular software packages that will malfunction when addresses cease being representable in scalar integers is large.
There are many problems of deploying v6, nobody is saying it'll be a walk in the park, but end devices (like my €100 Nokia dumb phone and my desktop) support it + can also support transitional methods like 6to4, Teredo etc. Tier 1 providers like NTT have been offering it for years - the problem is now the bit in between the end user and tier 1. I think DSL providers with ancient, non-software upgradable DSLAMs (I'm looking at you Ericsson), and the hundreds of millions of home routers out there doing nothing but IPv4 NAT are the bigger challenge than a few bits of code parsing a longer address.
The other thing to note is that IPv4 won't just be left in the dust, it'll have to be transitioned - the immediate future at least won't be entirely IPv6, and the world will have a bit of time where dual stack is inevitable for parts.
I actually didn't drop them completely, but did fall back to "basic" (no box required) + internet (cheaper than internet alone, which is what I really wanted).
Well, when ISP hits a cap they either have to get more IPv4 addresses (which they won't be able to do soon) or use some NAT. Except for legacy systems support, NAT64 is clearly a winner here.
Volia now everybody has an ipv6 address.
It's worth noting that on the 8th of June this year, Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Akamai and others are going dual stack IPv4+IPv6 for a 24 hour period to make people with broken setups aware that they have broken setups. "World IPv6 Day":
Basically, if you're one of the people with a system which thinks it has IPv6 access but doesn't, then you're not going to be able to access Facebook, Google, Yahoo etc on that day.
Most of the problems that I encounter with NAT and applications deal with protocols that have a control channel and then spawn separate streams frequently which are UDP. H323 is a perfect example. Both ends and the intermediate NAT devices have to understand how to handle the sub-channels.
This problem won't go away with IPv6 as firewalls will still need to understand the sub-flows. Additionally, we will be living in an IPv4 AND IPv6 world with NAT so not only will you likely have to go through an IPv4 NAT you also probably will have to go through a protocol tunneling device for some large set of users.
There is indeed a very large amount of software that is going to break with the change. Right now, there's little motivation to make your software IPv6 compatible, as everything is either dual stack or IPv4 only. Hopefully news like this makes developers take notice.
And the biggest issue is that very few people really understand ipv6 to make for a smooth transition..
The gravity of this announcement is that we are now in the Exhaustion Phase of the ICANN policy on IPv4 depletion: http://www.icann.org/en/general/allocation-remaining-ipv4-sp...
If anything, it means we need to boogie on IPv6 now, but that's not new (and is only tangentially related to the announcement).
Sure, for us geeks that's totally unthinkable... no servers, no P2P?!? But most users, who are content with just web & email, will probably never notice the difference.
ISPs will surely find it easier to turn NAT on than to switch to IPv6, and the backlash might be close to nonexistent.
$ dig +short AAAA ip6.16s.us
A little tool I built last week .. is your site IPv6 ready? http://ready.chair6.net
IPv6 is not here and won't be for a long time. While v6 may be better in some circumstances, it is worse in others. I'll be keeping my offices behind NAT routers thank you!
The main concern seems to be about ISPs starting to NAT everybody and their dog. Well, guess what, they just can't do that. For starters because their users would get very angry when their torrents stop working, and would jump ship for any other ISP that announces that it either doesn't do NAT or has implemented IPv6.
There is still a huge amount of work that can be done to compress the usage of v4 address space. Maybe not much that the RIRs or the ISPs can do, but as the cost of owning a static IPv4 address goes up (and I believe that it will go _way_ up), end users will start compressing their public services into fewer addresses and giving back small subnets to their providers to reduce costs. I mean, who the hell needs to have a mail server and a web server in two different public addresses when they can just do port-forwarding over a single address? (And since most servers are on DMZs with private addressing, they are mostly doing it already, it's just a matter of renumbering.)
The case most likely to go NAT is also the most likely to go IPv6: mobile devices. These are mostly behind NAT already, and going IPv6 would actually reduce costs for ISPs. It would also put ISPs in the track for more extensive IPv6, since the major problem now is that people have little knowledge of how IPv6 works and ISPs are trying to avoid the pain. The issue is, of course, that 99.9% of mobile devices don't support dual-stack and even in a pure v6 configuration don't actually work properly.
For this I predict that in 10 years the move to IPv6 will still be half-way. Considering that we are so close to IPv4 depletion and there is virtually _no_ IPv6 to be seen, I'm being faily optimistic.
* You can assume that each of the /8s have plenty of infrastructure relying on them, meaning $millions in migration costs. Do you think that the holders will just give them up tomorrow, or do you think its more likely they'll sick some lawyers on the problem? So even if you CAN get them back it'll take years.
* For each /8 you successfully extract this way, you buy the world mere WEEKS of time.
IPv4 allocation isn't completely efficient -- we all know that. The real problem, however, isn't efficiency. 2^32 is just too small of a number.
We need to stop beating a dead horse and start deploying AAAA and v6 across the board. We used to only have 3 network sizes too (/8, /16, and /24), but we managed as an internet community to get rid of classful crap and move onto VLSM and CIDR.
Apart from that, it's not a question of having the /8s 'give back' IP adresses -- it's about them monetizing their available IPv4 space, out of their own volition.
Whether that relieves the IPv4 shortage for weeks or months doesn't really matter. What matters is what value they can extract from it.
1. it's ARIN (and, I think, other registrars) policy that you do not `own' your assignments in any legal sense. So if you sell them you may be committing fraud. If the deal goes bad it's not clear what the legal recourse would be. This is just a flipside of the "take back the /8s" problem: it gives too much for the lawyers to do.
They might even collide: suppose a large company with a /8 (say, Haliburton) decides to open a IPv4 marketplace. In response, ARIN says "well its clear you have more IP space than you need, so we're taking back your allocation effective next month" Now who has the rights to those IPs: the people who paid Haliburton for them, or those that got them in new assignments from ARIN?
2. Just having an IPv4 address isn't useful if it isn't routable. To split up a /8 into tiny salable bits means that all of the backbones need to update their BGP route prefix filters.
If this were done under the auspices of ICANN this wouldn't be a big problem at all: if ICANN says that the allocation policy for an address range has changed then all of the big players will follow suit. (There can be a few remaining routing issues for a new /8 on the periphery but they tend to get sorted out fairly quickly)
Would a similar announcement from Halliburton have the same effect? Doubtful, especially if it is done in opposition to ICANN's wishes. So probably any IPs "bought" in this system won't actually be routable.
3. Related: even if there was a healthy, 100% legal marketplace for IPv4 space it could only be practical if they were bought and sold in large chunks exclusively. If everybody who wanted some space for their company had to buy their own /28, the global BGP routing table would completely explode.
The only workable marketplace would be at the ISP level.
4. The registries are all united in wanting IPv6 deployed. Having companies making big profits selling their lucky IPv4 windfalls means that there would be deep-pocketed people with a vested interest in stalling IPv6 even more... after all if IPv6 were widely deployed the value of `their' IPv4 addresses would plummet.
Now it is true that if the IPv4 situation becomes dire enough, some of these players might decide to suddenly get into the hosting game and put more of their IP space to use. For instance, Apple has a /8 and just built a HUGE datacenter.. maybe they want to do their own version of EC2? The idea is a little odd but maybe not unthinkable
Imagine $1-5/month DSL to your home, price-locked for 3 years--except it's IPv6-only. Lots of cost-conscious people would sign up or switch to save $xx/month, even if it meant their Internet access was crippled for a while.
But it wouldn't be crippled for long, because with such an underserved user base, the major services most people care about (Facebook, Google, etc.) would very quickly start to cater to it (even if the demographics did skew low-income), because it would be a green field and a big opportunity to build longer-term user relationships to monetize down the road.
Given that a switch to IPv6 has potential to cause widespread problems, and that we might be facing such a switch before they are ironed out..
Can we not simply update IPv4 and add a new octet to the address space? So 255.255.255.255.255, then call everything distributed so far 000.xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx and make a start on the 001.xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx address space.
I appreciate that we would need to update a lot of software to handle the new octet, but I can't help feeling that would be much easier to do (with the advantage of easier "failing gracefully" / backward support).
But networking ain't my thing :)
"APNIC reiterates that IPv6 is the only means available for the sustained ongoing growth of the Internet, and urges all Members of the Internet industry to move quickly towards its deployment."
In other words, as wmf has already said, IPv6 isn't here. But it needs to be, and soon, otherwise the game is very rapidly going to be up.
a) what impact will this have on me as Joe Public internet user?
b) what impact will this have on me as a web developer?
Or point me to suitable websites that explain in quick skimmable chunks...
a2) Alternatively, in a year or so, you get service from a brand new ISP that has no v4 connectivity (so, you are v6 native), and you cannot access anything on the v4 Internet around the world (e.g. most things today).
b) Don't store IP addresses as 32bit integers, or as 15 character strings. Be aware that geolocation services probably don't do well with v6 addresses. Make sure your deployment platform has the infrastructure in place to serve both v4 and v6 customers (or at least v6 after a year or two) - AAAA dns records, etc.
The new ISP would need it's own space to announce (it's not much of an ISP if it's got no customers to give addresses too, so it needs addresses. It's also not much of an ISP if it's only got one upstream, so it'll need PI (provider independent) space, allocated to it from it's RIR (ARIN, RIPE, etc). And that'll all be gone soon :)