General IPv6

  • IPv6 Means Never Again Having to Wonder…

    …about the IP address of your default router (default gateway in IPv4-speak).

    It’s tough to argue against the fact that most IPv6 addresses are not much fun to type.  Being four times longer than IPv4 addresses and expressed in hexadecimal means things can get ugly on the keyboard pretty quickly.  For people in the IT field one very common mechanism for testing IP connectivity is to ping the default gateway.  And in IPv4 networks, the default gateway is always different for every layer-3 network.  It has now been a thousand bajillion times in my career when I have either asked someone or told someone what the default gateway is for a host who is having connectivity problems.  In IPv6 the ability (or inability) to ping the default router is just as helpful as it ever was in IPv4.  But there are a few apparent problems/challenges:

  • In the World I See…

    I wrote this post several years ago.  By writing it I was trying to get people to begin to think about how the size of the IPv6 address space, when combined with RFID technologies, was going to change everything about how they manage their lives.  I wrote this way before NetFlix began streaming content, before Amazon’s Kindle and before the iPad.  When I recently re-read the post I laughed at how so much of what I wrote was already possible or being done in a completely new and innovative way (e.g. better than I had foreseen).  The sum total of innovation made by forward-thinking individuals continues to take the capacity of technology to places we seldom imagine.  Things once thought laughable and impossible become reality in short order.  So I present the blog post below as a still relevant reflection on where I saw (and still see) things heading.  And here it is:

  • The Debate Surrounding Section

    The IANA (Internet Assigned Number Authority) distributes IPv6 address to RIR’s (Regional Internet Registry’s) around the world. At the moment there are five RIR’s and each of them is responsible for allocating IPv6 address space to ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) and, in some cases, End-User organizations.  Once a block of addresses is allocated to an ISP it becomes their responsibility to distribute the address space to their customer base.

  • On the Practical Feasibility of Ping Sweeping IPv6 Networks

    The IPv6 address space is huge.  On paper each IPv6 subnet (/64) supports more than 18.4 quintillion hosts (millions, billions, trillions, quadrillions and then quintillions).  It’s an amazingly large number.  By every conceivable measure today we can’t contemplate a situation where anything but the tiniest portion of that address space will actually be utilized.  Assuming you never have more than a few hundred nodes on each local segment (a common and best practice using today’s technologies) the randomly generated addresses of your nodes are effectively hidden within the total number of possibilities.  Actually finding one of your nodes using an ICMP ping sweep becomes almost impossible.  We are no longer talking about playing the networking equivalent of Where’s Waldo?, that would be easy.  This is something completely different.

  • The Sound of IPv6 Inevitability

    “You hear that?  That is the sound of inevitability…”    – Agent Smith, The Matrix.

    You will migrate to IPv6.  It is happening.  You will not be able to resist.  The IANA gave out the last IPv4 allocations on 2/1/2011.  There are no more.  As I write, the RIR’s will completely run out of IPv4 addresses within days.  Not years, not months …days.