Feb 202011

That was one of the comments made following my piece in this week’s WIA national news.

We better start thinking up a better protocol then if that’s the truth. And we’ve only got 5-10 years to do it apparently, and migrate everyone.  The IPng working group started their work in the early 90’s.  It took them 5 years just to come up with the protocol, and it took a further 5 years before consumer operating systems included support for it.

My tip; IPv6 migration will be the easy route.  For starters, operating systems already support it.  Much software already works with it.


IPv6 is completely incompatible with IPv4

Addressing-wise, maybe… but TCP and UDP still work the same way.  The only catch is that you now need 16 bytes to store an address, instead of 4.  If your application passes IP addresses around in the upper layers, you just need to find room for the extra 12 bytes.  Not impossible, and not a show-stopper if your protocol was designed right in the first place.

There’s plenty of /8s allocated to companies, we can use those for the next 5-10 years!

Mmm hmm, you think they’ll just graciously give us that space?  And that it’ll last forever?  China alone if it gave one address to each of its citizens could fill up a whole /2 on its own.  How big’s a /2? 230 =~ 1 073 741 800 addresses.  And they’re growing.

Fact is, this may delay the ultimate IPocalypse, but whatever we do, it will probably take 5 years to migrate.  So our best move is to start moving now.  Not wait until the crunch happens.