Birth of IPv6

Birth of IPv6

Summary: Well tonight's the night. For the first time, IPv6 domain resolution will be possible from a root server.

TOPICS: Telcos, Networking

Well tonight's the night. For the first time, IPv6 domain resolution will be possible from a root server. Just a few addresses mind you, according to this article. You may ask "what took so long?". The answer is that we did not really need it. IPv6 bakes in some security that was addressed by SSL in IPv4 so that driver did not help. The other issue, a rapidly depleting address space, was managed by NAT(Network Address Translation). But now depletion is really staring us in the face. It is getting hard to get address space. Soon you will see the first bidding wars for owners of large blocks of free IP addresses. Technically you are not allowed to sell IP addresses so don't expect a market for them. But do expect high valuations for shells that control IP address blocks.

So soon there will more than enough IP addresses to go around. How many you say? Here is a great excerpt from Wikipedia:

For example, IPv6 supports 2128 (about 3.4×1038) addresses, or approximately 5×1028 addresses for each of the roughly 6.5 billion people[1] alive today. In a different perspective, this is 252 addresses for every star in the known universe [1] – a million times as many addresses per star than IPv4 supported for our single planet.

That should do it.

Get ready for several years of growing pains. Not the least of which will be all the exploits for the newly deployed IPv6 stacks that have not been well tested in the real world. Routers, servers, desktops, all will have their turn. The bad guys will have fertile ground to work.

Topics: Telcos, Networking

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  • Question - Will IPv6 be the new Y2K?

    I'll be graduating in September with a Network Engineering degree. Due to the economy, there just are not a lot of job openings for that specific calling. What I'm wondering is, do you think IPv6 will be to Network Techs what Y2K was to programmers, namely, a good burst in demand, even if only for a set time?

    • Good Question

      The answer is probably both yes and no.

      With the Y2K problem there was a very definative cut off date by which the work absolutely had to be acheived. This led to an over inflated demand for IT professionals generally (not just programmers). With the benefit of hindsight many organisations would admit that they hired too many IT staff at too great a cost because of the worry that their IT systems would all simultaneously implode if they weren't fixed.

      I think that in this case the roll out of IPv6 will have a similar effect in certain business sectors (anything communications related for starters) but to a lesser extent as businesses will have learned lessons from Y2K and will be looking at their hiring strategies with a little more care this time around.
    • NE degree

      What do you mean by "network engineering degree"? Is it a BS in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis on telecom and datacom? Is is a BS in Computer Sciences, with an emphasis on datacom? BA or BS in MIS? There's big differences in them. With a solid foundation in the sciences that a BSEE or BSCS gives, you should have no problem, as you should have learned skills that are transferable among many job types.

      If it's an "engineering tech" program at a technical college, there's still opportunities, but with a more focused education specializing only in network administration or installation, you might not have a broad-enough technical background.

      That being said, IPv6 is coming (yes, it's inevitable as the rise and fall of the tide), and lot's of people don't fully understand it, so there's an opportunity there.

      Take Richard's comment: "IPv6 bakes in some security that was addressed by SSL in IPv4 so that driver did not help". That's actually wrong. SSL is an application-layer protocol, running on top of HTTP over TCP over IP (version 4 or version 6). IP Security (IPSec), is what he should have mentioned. IPSec is a mandatory part of IPv6 - you can't leave it out of the stack. It was glommed onto IPv4 as an afterthought. IPSec can handle UDP, TCP, RTCP, whereas using SSL to encrypt say a VoIP call is a tremendous amount of overhead, let alone a kludge.

      SSL does not replace IPSec.
  • RE: Birth of IPv6

    Does anyone else's browser display "2128" and "1038" rather than a "2" with a superscript of "128" and a "10" with a superscript of "38"?
    • Re: Browser display

      I use Opera 9.5 beta on Windows XP and I get 2128 and 1038 rather than the correct 2 (to the power) of 128 etc.
  • I've been wondering when this would happen

    IPv6 is finally starting to root itself in the internet, it'll be interesting to see how these addresses are handed out due to their high abundance... :D

    - John Musbach
    John Musbach